Nafigullah Ashirov was born on September 10, 1954, at the Yurty Tachimovskiye village near Tyumen. He spent his childhood at his village. Nafigulla’s ancestors are descenders from the Tatars who call themselves Bukharians.
Ashirov was an active member of the Islamic community since the opening of a mosque in Tobolsk in 1979. He took private lessons on Islam from the local imam and became later a muezzin.
After the restrictions on religion were relieved, he graduated from the Mir-Arab madrasah in Bukhara and later the Amir Abdel Kader Islamic University in Algiers majoring in Islamic Call (dagvat).
After graduation from the university in 1992, Ashirov worked as first deputy mufti of the Republic of Bashkortostan and chairman of the executive committee of the Supreme Coordinating Center of the Moslem Boards in Russia and later the chairman of the center.
Sheikh Ashirov is an honorary member of the patrons’ board of the Islamic Call, an international organization based in Khartoum, Sudan, and member of the patrons’ board of the European Islamic Conference uniting Islamic organizations in European countries.
He has taken part in many international conferences and symposia and met with leaders of major Islamic countries and international Islamic organizations. He was a signatory to several cooperation agreements between Muslim organizations in Russia and overseas Islamic foundations through which Ashirov initiated the construction of mosques and madrasah in various regions in the Russian Federation. In cooperation with international Islamic universities, he has made a considerable contribution to the training of theological cadres. He is an active supporter of the idea of Islamic unity and brotherhood. With his assistance, an Islamic college called Rasul-Akram has been opened in Moscow to train students from all over Russia.
He led Russian pilgrims to Mecca on five occasions.
In August 1997, a conference of Muslims from the Urals, Siberia and the Far East elected Sheikh Ashirov chairman and supreme mufti of the Muslim Board for the Asian part of Russia.
In 1998, an enlarged meeting of the Council of Muftis in Russia elected him co-chairman of the Council of Muftis in Russia.
Ashirov is one of the most energetic Islamic leaders in the post-soviet space. He is a good organizer and diplomatic leader who devotes much of his time to developing international Islamic relations.
He is married and has many children.