Tajuddin, Talgat Safich
- (1948– )Also Talgat Tadzhuddinov or Taj al-Din. Religious leader. Considered by many to be the ultimate leader of the Russian ummah (Muslim community), Tajuddin is a Kazan Tatar. He studied at the Soviet madrasah of Mir-i-Arab in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, and al-Azhar Islamic University in Egypt. In 1980, he became sheikh ul-Islam, or the supreme Islamic authority of Russia’s Muslims, and grand mufti of Soviet Europe and Siberia. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he warded off challenges to his leadership from more radical muftis, including the leader of Moscow’s Muslims, Ravil Gaynutdin. In the past decade, his moderate stance, based on the traditional Hanafi school of jurisprudence prevalent among Eurasian Muslims, and vociferous denunciations of Saudi-influenced Wahhabism (vakhabizm) have won him the backing of Vladimir Putin and shored up his claim to leadership of all Russian Muslims. Tajuddin’s close relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church and his assertions that Turkic Tengrism (sky worship) was the original monotheism have been condemned by some conservative Muslims. His controversial statements on the United States, homosexuals, and Scientology have made international headlines. Tajuddin is the head of the Central Directorate of Russian Muslims.
Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. Robert A. Saunders and Vlad Strukov. 2010.