Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya has told his people that all talk of the possible end of the world on December 21 was sinful for true Muslims as the precise date is only known to the Almighty.
“I cannot understand how people can believe all this. They go and buy candles; they say the lights will go off. Don’t they know that when the end of the world arrives there will be no use for candles? A person who believes in such rumors is considered an apostate by Muslim canons,” Kadyrov told the press. The Chechen leader, who is a devout Muslim, has ordered clerics in the country to talk to their congregations about this problem and make sure that the right understanding is delivered.
According to the official web-site of the Chechen Government, Kadyrov went on to claim that the Muslim holy book, the Quran, contains a detailed description of the end of the world as well as all the inventions of modern scientists, including the launch of man-made satellites. Thus, the head of the republic concluded, the discussions of the issue are a sin and only the Almighty himself knows the date of the end of the world.
This is not the first public display of piety by the Chechen leader. Earlier this year a court in Chechnya outlawed the film Innocence of Muslims even before the Russian Federal authorities had an opportunity to do so.
In early December Russian news agencies reported that Chechen authorities started to build a new mosque in the city of Shali, named after Ramzan Kadyrov. Currently the biggest mosque in the republic is named after Ramzan Kadyrov’s father Akhmat Kadyrov – a senior Muslim cleric who was Chechen President for a year before he was killed by terrorists in 2004.