DUSHANBE, April 12, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Imams (heads of mosques) as persons who may promote the importance of safe of motherhood are taking training courses, organized by the Committee on Religious Affairs (CRA) under the Government of Tajikistan in cooperation with UNFPA CO in Tajikistan.
The CRA head Abdurahim Kholiqov told reporters on April 11 that imam-khatibs of Friday prayer mosques in Khatlon province already took similar training courses and currently, imam-khatibs of Dushanbe’s mosques are taking such training courses.
On the attestations of imams, quizzing them on their knowledge of Islamic principles, Kholiqov said that 327 imam-khatibs of Friday prayer mosques have been vetted over the past year and 39 of them have failed to test. According to him, a special commission, comprising theologists, relevant researchers and officials, is currently assessing professionalism of imams of ‘five-time’ prayer mosques. “All imams that failed the test will improve their knowledge of Islamic principles and the country’s religion law through taking year-long training courses,” the CRA head added.
We will recall that Tajikistan’s religion law stipulates that imams and imam-khatibs of mosques are selected by “the appropriate state bodies in charge of religious affairs.”
Tajikistan now reportedly has 3,348 "five-time" prayer mosques (registered mosques for daily prayers), 330 Friday prayer mosques (larger facilities built for weekly Friday prayers) and 34 central mosques. There are 74 registered non-Muslim religious organizations in the country.
There are 19 religious madrassahs and one secular/religious madrassah for students who completed at least the ninth grade in Tajikistan. The only higher education Islamic institution in the country is under the Ministry of Education.