DUSHANBE, March 31, 2012, Asia-Plus  -- Materials regarding the Muhammadiya Mosque will be brought before a court at the town of Vahdat because Eshoni Nouriddinjon Turajonzoda ignored a decision made by the Committee on Religious Affairs (CRA) and acted as imam-khatib of this mosque, the CRA deputy chairman Mavlon Mukhtorov told Asia-Plus on March 31, noting that the court will decide the further fate of the Muhammadiya Mosque.

Meanwhile, Tajik prominent religious and political figure Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda sees a political order in this decision.

Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda is sure that the issue will not be decided in their favor because “this trial is the command from above.”

At the same time, Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda does not deny that his brother Eshoni Nouriddinjon could act as imam-khatib several ties, “because the incumbent imam-khatib Vaysiddin Qurobonov cannot be in constant attendance in the mosque.”

As it had been reported earlier, the Muhammadiya Mosque may lose its status as a Friday mosque.

The Muhammadiya Mosque, which is also known as the mosque of the Turajonzoda family, is located in the village of Turkobod, some 30 kilometers east of Dushanbe.

Currently, the Muhammadiya Mosque is functioning as a mosque for daily prayers.      

The incumbent imam-kahtib Vaysiddin Qurbonov said that “members of the Vahdat local council sent a letter to the government, noting that several five-time mosques (mosques for daily prayers) received status of Friday mosques (larger facilities built for weekly Friday prayers), and therefore, there is no necessity for restoration of the Muhammadiya mosque status as a Friday mosque.”

The Muhammadiya Mosque was temporarily deprived of its status of a Friday mosque in December for celebration of the Ashura ceremony.

Muhammadjon Turajonzoda, who served as the Muhammadiya Mosque’s imam after the elder brother, Eshoni Nouriddinjon, had been forced by the authorities to resign in January 2011, also resigned last December and Vaysiddin Qurbonov was selected as a new imam-khatib of the Muhammadiya Mosque.  According to some sources, Vaysiddin Qurbonov is one of students of Eshoni Nouriddinjon.

It is to be noted that the law stipulates that imams and imam-khatibs of mosques are selected by the appropriate state bodies in charge of religious affairs.

We will recall that the Council of Ulamo (a group of scholars and imams that provides interpretations of religious practice) on December 6, 2011 accused the Turajonzoda brothers of commemorating the Ashura ceremony, which is commemorated by Shi’a Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad.  The statement by the Council of Ulamo alleged that Nouriddinjon and Muhammadjon performed the Ashura ritual at the Muhammadiya Mosque on December 2.