One of the Muslim spiritual leaders of Ukraine has changed his religious attire into a military uniform and joined Kyiv Territorial Defense Forces
Since the beginning of the war Saeed Ismagilov, head of the Religious Administration of Muslims of Ukraine ‘Ummah,’ has become the chaplain of the Muslims in the Kyiv Territorial Defense Forces.
When the war broke out, on February 24, 2022, Ismagilov was at home, sleeping. He woke up very early from the explosions in Kyiv region, where he lived. This area had become temporarily occupied shortly after that. Saeed used to live in Donetsk and had to leave it in 2014 after the Russian occupation of Donbas.
“I wanted to join Territorial Defense as an ordinary soldier. But, unfortunately, I was quickly recognized. I didn’t want to do what I was doing in my daily life again. […] But the command spoke to me and said that there was no one left to perform religious services and meet soldiers’ religious needs because all the other muftis and imams had disappeared, fled, or done nothing to support our Armed Forces spiritually. That’s how I have become an imam-chaplain,” explained Said Ismagilov and said that he would stay in Kyiv until the victory.