Ravil Gainutdin (Gainutdinov) was born on August 26, 1959, in Tatarstan. After graduation from secondary school, he entered the Kazan Drama School and graduate from it magna cum laude, certified as Tatar drama actor. After the graduation from the Drama School, he acted as stage manager for literary and dramatic shows on the Kazan television. Later he entered the Department of Artistic Direction of the State Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography in Leningrad and studied in it by correspondence.
He began to study the basics of Islam, Arabic and the Koran in 1977, coming to the Cathedral Mosque in Kazan and taking lessons from the oldest theologian in Kazan, Ahmadzaki Safiullin. In 1979, he put in an application to the Muslim Board for the European Part of the USSR and Siberia and, through the intercession of its chairman, was sent to Bokhara to enter the Mir-Arab Madrasah there.
He graduated from it in 1984, having covered its seven-year course in four years, and was immediately elected imam-hatyb (rector) of the second Cathedral Mosque in Kazan. Half a year later, he was invited to take the post of the executive secretary of the Muslim Board for the European Part of the USSR and Siberia.
He became the first imam-hatyb of the Cathedral Mosque in Moscow in 1988. In January 1994, he became head of the newly-established Moscow Muftiate and was granted the title of mufti. On July 1, 1996, the constituent assembly of the Council of Muftis in Russia elected Mufti Gainutdin as chairman of this organization.
Mufti Gainutdin defended his D. Ph. thesis in December 2003 at the Russian Academy of Civil Service.
He is married and has two daughters.
Mufti Gainutdin is member of Presidential Council for Cooperation with Religious Association, as well as presidiums of the Interreligious Council in Russia and the Interreligious Council in the CIS. He is awarded the Order of Friendship and Honour.