Kremenchug Muslims Dream of Mosque

Throughout 8 years the Kremenchug Muslims try to build a mosque, but the city power does not give them due support
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The Kremenchug Muslim community includes the Chechens, the Tatars, the Daghestanians, and also Russians and Ukrainians who converted to Islam.

It is headed by Lenar, the native of Bashkiri. Their instructor the Kremenchug Muslims name Imam-khatyb. “Imam” is translated from the Arabic language as a spiritual wise man who leads Muslims, and “khatyb” - a preacher.

Stars of Muhammad will shine on the city suburb

- Throughout 8th years we try to build a mosque, but we do not feel due support from outside the city authorities, - Lenar tells. It is our unique hindrance. In Kremenchug there are temples of other religious minorities, and we are refused for some reason.

However, according to Lenar, the still is a hope to build a mosque in Kremenchug. The community agrees on building of a Muslim temple in a green zone near to “AvtoKrAZ”. Certainly, if the city council allocates the land. There will be no problems with financing of building, - the Imam-khatyb assures. Among sponsors are local rich believers making “kind acts” in all their sincerity.

Temple in apartment

Until now the Kremenchug Muslims gather in apartment on the ground floor of a usual building around the Water canal. In this house adapted under a mosque, Lenar waits for parishioners daily from 9am till 6pm.

- I advise all interested persons, - kindly explains Lenar. - Even adherents of other faiths can come, talk about Islam. Also are obligatory general Sunday lectures and male - every Friday. At the lessons we first of all learn to perform namaz (a prayer - auth.), Islamic rituals, necessarily we study rituals of marriage and funeral. Lessons are carried out according to the program which was compound by Islamic scholars.

Life as that of princess

- A woman lives in Islam, as if she is a princess, - the spiritual instructor of Muslims Lenar assures. - Yes, before coming of the Prophet Muhammad there were prejudices against women. But they disappeared for a long time already. Prophet Muhammad said, “Best of you are those who are the most kind with the women”. Nowadays a Muslim woman can work, if she wills, but she is completely maintained by her husband.

Hijab should be in a soul!

In silent city streets this girl is as an outsider, passers-by turn around and gaze at her. She is wrapped in clothes as if in a cocoon - from roots of hair to anklebones her body is carefully hidden from extraneous eyes. Maria is neither a nun nor an eccentric woman. Simply the girl decided to become exemplary Muslim.


For Maria - the newly-converted Muslim from Kremenchug, Islamic laws were always close
For Maria - the newly-converted Muslim from Kremenchug, Islamic laws were always close

Still half a year ago usual Kremenchug girl Maria, as well as all her friends, dressed miniskirts, celebrated Orthodox holidays and communicated with ordinary Ukrainian boys. Nowadays she wears a scarf, studies the Arabic language and is going to marry only a Muslim.

- By nationality I am a Tatar, therefore I was born a Muslim. This belief was transferred to me by birth. But I grown up in the Orthodox world and I had no Muslim education, had no accurate knowledge about Islam. To tell the truth, it was rather difficult to dare at external transformation. It was terrible to put on a scarf, after all the Christian society may inadequately react to such changes. But faith won uncertainty, - Maria tells.

The girl says that laws of Islam are close to her. Subconsciously she adhered many of them before, and now she only fills up her knowledge, learns to pray and fast.

- I never liked to eat pork, I did not smoke, did not drink alcohol. When I wore non-Muslim clothes, I felt that it is not suitable to me. In my soul there always was internal hijab, - Maria smiles. - In my opinion to wear a scarf does not mean to be the hostage. It means preservation of modesty and chastity which are invaluable for the girl! Beauty and the whole world of the woman are in her eyes. Hijab for me is not a compulsion, but a state of mind and body. It is not enough just to cover the body, Islam also forbids for woman coquetry in gait, gaze, voice.

The most mysterious religion

The Quran is the Holy Scripture of Muslims. Muslims believe that it is the divine order for the mankind, the last Holy Scripture sent by Allah. They consider the Quran as the basic miracle of Muhammad, the proof of his prophecy, the culmination of the Divine Messages. The Quran was written down from words of Muhammad by his followers. It is a basis of both religious and civil Muslim legislation.

Duties of a Muslim: to avoid sins, to perform namaz 5 times a day, to visit the Friday sermon with namaz in a mosque. Friday is a special day for Muslims for on this day was created the Prophet Adam. Muslims believe that on Friday the angel Israfil will blow in a forge once - all live will die, there comes a Doomsday. It will be the Judgment Day when Allah will carry out the report of acts of His slaves.

Imam-khatyb Lenar says that in Kremenchug there are no Muslim schools because of the absence of a high-grade mosque. And in other cities of Ukraine at mosques work kindergartens and elementary schools where teach exclusively Muslim women.

Namaz will be performed next to “AvtoKrAz”?

Nowadays in Kremenchug, according to the city council, are registered two Muslim communities. The first has a legal residence permit on Nagornaya street that is in the area of the Water canal, the second - on the avenue of 50 years of October, on Molodezhnoye.

And the Muslim mosque will appear next to a crossroads of Moscow street and Yaroslavskiy drive. It is a green zone beside the gas station, next to “AvtoKrAz”. It is interesting that the Kremenchug Baptists also apply for a part of this territory - for the purpose of church building. This issue was considered at the last session of the City Council on March, 30th. The site under a mosque is located very close.

- Last year we gave to a Muslim community the information on restriction for the given land area, they developed a town-planning substantiation, but “grasped” a site earlier coordinated for placing of Baptist church, - the main architect of the city Victor Trush marks. - Now the Muslim community should modify the documentation and get decision of “Hyprograd” institute - the author of the general layout of building of Kremenchug, as the given site is a green zone of the general using. After that the question will be taken out on session of the city council for the preliminary coordination of the location of the mosque.

(Given in reduction)

“Kremenchug Panorama”, 15.04.2010

The full version of the article on the web-site “Kremenchug Panorama”

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With Widely Shut Eyes (UNIAN)

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