Ukrainian Muslims Charter
In the name of Allah Most Gracious and Merciful!
Today, Muslims constitute an integral part of the Ukrainian society. In times of crisis trials, the country on the whole and Muslims in particular are in quest for the consolidated Muslim standing on societal, political, economic and cultural processes, and religious processes per se, taking place in Ukraine and beyond. Therefore, in autumn of 2016, after consultations with various Muslim communities, the decision was taken to adopt Charter of Ukrainian Muslims and address members of religious and public organizations of Ukrainian Muslims, proposing them and anyone who shares its statements to sign it.
Main principles of Charter
Although belonging to various religious administrations, centers and communities, Ukrainian Muslims share the principles of the faith laid by God in the last Holy Scripture and conveyed to the people by His Messenger (may be peace and blessings upon him).
These principles lay the foundations for understanding of Islam as the last Divine revelation to the humankind, which recognizes national and cultural specifics: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Quran, 49:13).
In view of this, Ukrainian Muslims agree that with true faith in One God and trust in the Prophetic mission of the Divine Messenger Muhammad (may be peace and blessings upon him) they shall be united in one community, enabling for unity in diversity; and they believe that they are equal and full-fledged part of the Ukrainian society.
Understanding of Islam by Ukrainian Muslims
1. Understanding of Islam by Ukrainian Muslims is based on Koran and Sunnah, arguments of various schools of Muslim law, namely the principles of “common agreement” (ijmah), “analogy” (kiyas) and others, on respect to the legacy of Muslim scholars of the past, and on due consideration for the Ukrainian realities.
2. Ukrainian Muslims stick to “the golden mean” on issues raising discussions in the contemporary Muslim ummah, being guided by the words of the Most High: “And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you...”. (Quran, 2:143) and avoiding any kind of extremes.
3. Understanding of Islam by Ukrainian Muslims rests on the high principles and goals of this religion, for which the last Messenger and Prophet Muhammad (may be peace and blessings upon him) was sent by God to the humankind: “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds”. (Quran, 21:107), “I was sent to perfect good morals” (Al-Bukhari, Adab al-mufrad).
4. Ukrainian Muslims are convinced that Allah Most High calls the people to faith (Iman) and to action (amal); Islam, therefore, is not confined to the observance of ritual rules, being central to the social, political, economic and cultural life of the Muslim communities of ummah.
5. Ukrainian Muslims state that Islam protects the fundamental human rights (right to life, to protect and preserve religion, personal honor and merit, property, posterity), irrespective of gender, race, nationality, citizenship or confession.
6. Ukrainian Muslims are convinced that Islam has respect to national and cultural diversity of nations that are its followers.
7. Ukrainian Muslims believe that understanding of Islam cannot be confined to a certain theological or legal school, or to a group of followers of a certain Islamic leader; they condemn the practice of accusations in apostasy from Islam (takfir) in defiance of the religious and legal procedures established by it.
Islam in Ukrainian history
1. Considering the scientifically established facts, Ukrainian Muslims argue that Islam appeared on the Ukrainian territory as early as in medieval times.
2. Considering that the southern area of Ukraine was incorporated in the Muslim world from 13 till 18 century, Ukrainian Muslims argue that there are several regions in Ukraine with Islam becoming an integral part of the Ukrainian history and culture.
3. Bearing in mind the case of Crimean Khanate, Ukrainian Muslims argue that peaceful and mutually beneficial relations did exist between followers of Islam and other religions for centuries, added by intensive exchange in the field of culture and learning. These experiences have to be adapted today.
5. Considering the positive contribution of Islam in the Ukrainian history, caused, inter alia, by the impact of Crimean Khanate, Ottoman Empire and Muslim communities of Volyn area, Ukrainian Muslims aim at including authentic information about it in the textbooks on Ukrainian history.
Islam and the contemporary Ukrainian society
1. Ukrainian Muslims adhere to the legal rules of Ukraine and recognize all the rights and duties implied by the Ukrainian citizenship.
2. As active citizens, Ukrainian Muslims are allowed to participate in the political life of Ukraine, because the citizenship implies political activity regarding participation in the national elections, on the one hand, and in the national political institutes, on the other.
3. Ukrainian Muslims recognize the Ukrainian’s sovereignty and independence, being strong supporters of its territorial integrity.
4. Ukrainian Muslims believe in the equality of man and woman before God and law, emphasizing that rights and responsibilities of marriage partners are protected by Islam and encouraging women’s participation in the social life.
5. Ukrainian Muslims, although belonging to various nationalities, consider themselves as full-fledged actors in the social life of Ukraine.
6. Ukrainian Muslims consider marriage as the union of man and woman. Guided by the principle of dominance of Islamic religiosity and preservation of Islamic identity, they nevertheless agree with cross-confessional marriages once the Islamic norms are properly observed.
7. In issues concerned with bioethics, ecology, economy or other walks of the social life, Ukrainian Muslims follow the collegial advanced conclusions of Islamic scholars.
8. Ukrainian Muslims fully enjoy their right to religious freedom and dress in public places in the manner they deem conformable with the norms of Islamic law.
9. Ukrainian Muslims, being loyal to the doctrinal principles of Islam, are always open to the dialogue with followers of other religious on matters of importance for the Ukrainian and other societies.
10. Ukrainian Muslims recognize national holidays of Ukraine, and they will seek to assign the Muslim festivals of Id Al-Fitr (Uraza-Bayram) and Id Al-Adha (Kurban-Bayram) the status of national holidays.
11. Ukrainian Muslims make use of their right for religious freedom to do their utmost to combat the negative stereotypes of Islam in mass media.
12. Ukrainian Muslims, being members of various Muslim organizations, call for inter-Islamic dialogue on the common grounds of Koran and Sunnah; they condemn use of the negative notions like “extremism”, “Wahhabism” or “Islamism” as ones with destructive effects for the image of Muslim communities in the Ukrainian society. Yet, Ukrainian Muslims condemn any kind of terrorism, especially one under religious slogans, as a crime incompatible with the principles of Islam.
13. Ukrainian Muslims vigorously support preservation and development of the official Ukrainian language, Crimean Tatar language and other languages, and they declare that the language of sermon is a language that can be understood by majority of the audience in a mosque.
14. Ukrainian Muslims support and promote economic and cultural cooperation of Ukraine with countries of the Islamic world, and with Western countries, because they believe that European integration of Ukraine will improve protection of freedoms and rights of its religious minorities.
15. Ukrainian Muslims strongly condemn violence, being at one with their coreligionists repressed or persecuted in any country.