Rawil Gaynetdin, the Grand Mufti of Russia, presented a strand of hair believed to have belonged to the Prophet Muhammad to hundreds of Muslims at Moscow Cathedral Mosque, Tuesday. Gaynetdin said the hair will remain in the mosque in “permanent storage.” The hair was a gift in honour of the mosque’s opening from Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Russia's Chechen republic. The relic, which is protected in an armoured glass casing, will be put on public display at the mosque on religious holidays and ceremonies. The mosque, which opened in late September, was demolished four years ago and has been rebuilt to accommodate 10,000 people. After the reopening, held on the eve of Eid al Adha (known in Russia as Kurban Bairam), the temple has become a new complex 20 times larger than its predecessor at 19,000 square metres (204,500 square ft). Muslims make up roughly 14 percent of Russia's population and about 300,000 of them live in Moscow. The new mosque, which will be the seventh in Moscow, is expected to help decongest other mosques in the city, which are inundated by the capital's growing Muslim population. Muslim clerics are negotiating with the city authorities to build another large mosque outside the Moscow Ring Road
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