Kazakhstan's spiritual administration details 2018 achievements

By Aydar Ashimov


Kazakhs December 28 attend the opening of Astana's 10th mosque, called the White Mosque. [Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan]

ASTANA -- Efforts by the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan (DUMK) are enabling hundreds of radically inclined Kazakhs to return to traditional Islam, the DUMK said in a summarisation of its work in 2018.

"This year 518 citizens of the country renounced radical views," read the December 25 statement. "Some of those who returned to traditional [Islamic] religion have officially declared their religious views and positions. Supporters of radicalism were disconcerted by the negative attitude of propagandists of destructive movements towards traditions, customs and state symbols."

An educational outreach group created by the DUMK, which had 347 lecturers and specialists, held more than 7,000 explanatory general and personal meetings last year, in which 646,000 attendees participated.

New initiatives

According to the DUMK, 38 new mosques opened in Kazakhstan in 2018, constructed according to rules approved by the organisation.


A modern mosque completed last May in Astana is shown August 22. It even has solar panels to generate electricity. [Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan]


Religious literacy training is shown last October 9 in Almaty. [Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan]

Those rules include incorporating symbols of Islam and references to Kazakh traditions in the design, including the decoration of the mosque's dome.

In addition to educational outreach meetings in Kazakhstan, religious literacy courses are available to the public in 966 mosques across the country. About 82,000 individuals took those training courses in 2018.

The courses teach the basics of Islam, and according to DUMK analysts, these courses help the public to reject radical ideology.

"I attended the courses last fall and studied for two months," Timur Uskembayev, 21, a resident of Akmola Province, told Caravanserai. "I have learned a lot about religion, about different movements and about details of our faith. I think that now during any conversation I will be able to determine if someone is trying to deceive me, lead me away from the right path, or distort what is said in the suras of the Koran."

Interacting with the public

Last year, specialists of the Sharia and Fatwa Department of the DUMK answered questions during face-to-face meetings as well as online.

About 6,000 Kazakhs received answers, according to the DUMK. Most of them took their queries to the website, 1,750 individuals asked a specialist in person, and the DUMK office received 1,590 phone calls.

For example, on the website of an Almaty mosque, an Almaty resident named Madina asked how she could strengthen [her] faith in this difficult time, when "Muslims kill people, supposedly on the path of Allah". In his answer, the imam asked her to continue to pray and to defend her opinion, but not to resort to fanaticism.

"The ability to get an answer [...] on the mosque's website or on one of the DUMK websites is very convenient," Saule Bakhtiyarova, 46, a resident of Taraz, told Caravanserai. "You don't understand everything all the time, nor is it always convenient to ask your imam directly. On the websites, you can read other believers' questions and ask your own."

Additionally, in 2018, the DUMK issued 11 fatwas on social matters, examined the competence of 160 imams in response to questions that arose about their abilities.

Do you like this article?

5 Comment(s)

Comment Policy * Denotes Required Field 1500 / 1500

An educated person is not religious.


What does "traditional Islam" mean? Every nation has its own traditions. Does that mean every nation has its own Islam?


Traditional Islam means an order followed by our grandpas and grandmas who prayed and whose homilies were within the Sharia law. Nontraditional Islam is a new trend, it contradicts various norms and principles of our ancestors. This modern life is significantly different compared to the traditional [life]. The basic distinctions are visible: short pants and a beard, girls wearing nicab, a frightening appearance. Islam is a peaceful religion calling to demonstrate kindness. But these new nontraditional Islamists almost willing to kill beardless men or women without a nicab do not represent our traditions. There has never been anything like that.


Zhazakallahu khayron. Rakhmet [thank you] to everyone who tries to do anything for the moral and spiritual well-being of the country.


They'd better teach their own workforce how to interact with people. Do they know what is going on in Atyrau? They should concern themselves with that