Under the Badge of Half Moon. To Praise Allah in Lugansk Uneasy

Under the Badge of Half Moon. To Praise Allah in Lugansk Uneasy
13/10/2009
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"Molodogvardeets", 23.09.2009

The citizens of Lugansk for a long time paid attention to the unusual building towering in the Artemovsk area. It seems, with a half moon this small mosque rests its top directly against the clouds.

What is inside for certain interested everyone. "MG" was not an exception. So it decided to visit the temple of followers of the Prophet.

The mosque is opened for all

Approaching the gates, we noticed that in the mosque court yard there still continues building. On the threshold we were met by a harmonious young woman in a Muslim attire. He had Slavic appearance. It is a secretary of the mosque – Abir.

She carried us along the narrow carpeted corridor to her room. Having entered, she took her shoes off and sat in front of the computer. On the right shoulder of Abir was hanged the gilt image of the Quran, on the entrance door – the schedule of Namaz for men and women.

– - The mosque appeared in Lugansk more than seven years ago, – Abir started our conversation. – Before it existed in the form of apartment or office where Muslims gathered, performed Namaz and simply communicated with each other. Then the idea of building of this mosque appeared. And the people started to collect means, to help as they could. Here we build it, by our own means. But the main thing is that people, and not only Muslims, already come here. Mainly they are Christians. Here also come Jews and Hindus. They bring here their children. We are opened for all...

People of different faiths come to the mosque not only out of interest. Here there are free courses on teaching of all interested persons the Arabic language and oriental culture. Lectures are held not only by the Arabs, but also by the Slavs who comprehended delicate matter of the East. Small children are trained here, too.

- Here they are told about oriental countries, their traditions and life. Me myself have learnt a lot of interesting about the East, about the language, – our interlocutor continues. – The Arabic language is very difficult, very deep, expressional. In Russian it is impossible to make a declaration of love how it can be made in Arabic.

"Ana bahebbek kteer"

Or "I love you very much". Three years ago these words won the heart of the young Lugansk artist. She married the Palestinian, and soon changed her Slavic name for Arabic - Abir. Wedding of the Christian and the Muslim took place in a mosque in the presence of several witnesses and the Imam Muhammad. Witnesses asked her whether she is compelled to get married. Then they gave her a gift of the husband and his family which the bride chose herself, – a gold ring, discussed her "inheritance" in case of divorce and so there was a new family.

- I married to a Muslim, being a Christian. I converted to Islam only two years after the marriage. It is a stereotype that the Muslim somehow forces his wife, forces to convert to his faith, to put on a scarf and so on, – Abir tells. – My husband told me at once that I will come to Islam by my own will. In general Islam means "peace". Here there is no room for compulsion.

As it tells Abir, the Muslim religion interested her even before acquaintance to the Palestinian. It happened after disappointment in Christianity and the Bible. Once Abir in the future, saw one of Orthodox clerics to buy alcohol in a supermarket:

- Is it was surprising. And the Bible was the second drop. Reading it, I understood that it is not the Divine word, it represents just thoughts of a human being. I was disappointed and decided to understand, how Islam is good. It involved me for a long time. As an artist I was always interested in something unusual, – Abir admitted.

History of the Slavic Muslim

The girl decided to convert to Islam just one year ago. There were no doubts, she says. She lifted a forefinger of her right hand, repeated after the Imam the testimony that Allah is the Only God, and became a Muslim. Now Abir with pride speaks about the rights of a Muslim woman:

- Only Islam really respects the woman and grants her rights. It was the first to grant to the woman the right of inheritance. According to Islam, the man has no right to strike the woman. Even in such intimate question as critical days, Islam protects and understands the woman, releasing her from Namaz. And she is not considered filthy, as in Orthodoxy.

The modern European woman, striving for independence, is not understandable to Abir. Emancipation, in her opinion, led to the fact that nowadays women became men, and men became women, ceased to care of a family.

She does not consider it as a problem for her family and right of the husband to have several wives. First of all, according to Islam, for this purpose there should be weighty reasons, instead of the desire of the man. Besides he should have possibility to provide for all wives equally.

Now it is important for her to graduate from magistracy in Lugansk. And, certainly, all together to finish building of their common Muslim house – a mosque. Only after that her family, probably, will leave Lugansk. Аbir dreams to live in the homeland of her husband. She never visited it yet. But she is sure that there she could bring up her children according to Islamic traditions without any problems, according to the Quran. And here she is afraid of misunderstanding from the Orthodox.

Nevertheless the way of life on the Lugansk land is not too alien to Muslims, as it seems to be.

Female beauty – only for husband

- It is not necessary to think that if a family is Muslim, all of us spend their free time reading the Quran. No. We watch the TV, various films, I read newspapers to be well informed about life. I continue to paint. And at the same time together with my husband we observe fast in Ramadan. We eat only after sunset. We cannot eat dishes from pork and to drink alcohol. In everything else there are practically no exceptions. By the way, my husband is not against Russian cabbage soup and Ukrainian varenyks. He likes Slavic cuisine, and I like their, oriental, cuisine. We like to go to pizzerias, we love shawarma. We try to buy "correct" - Halal - meat products. That is the cattle should be slaughtered in accordance with Muslim customs with mentioning of the name of Allah. But in Lugansk it is uneasy.

Abir with no problems goes out of doors in a Muslim attire and with the covered head; it should be sewed – to buy such clothes in Lugansk is impossible. She does not use make-up and does not wear a lot of ornaments. A Muslim woman should not attract excessive attention, especially men's:

- At home for my husband I can put on a short skirt, high heels. It is wrong for a woman to flash before eyes of her husband with hair curlers and with a mask on the face. The husband should admire his wife. In the Quran it is stated that a woman is a beauty, she needs to be hidden from eyes of other people.

Therefore Abir tries to avoid men's company. But she freely visits her female non-Muslim friends. However, the rest on the sea for her and her husband is a problem. Muslims cannot visit ordinary beaches behind semi nudes. And there are very few private beaches. But this does not confuse Abir, too. She considers herself to be an absolutely happy woman:

- Now I study the beautiful Arabic language, I study the Quran. This book amazes me with its wisdom and truth more and more. Reading suras (the Quranic verses. – "MG"), I am more and more convinced that it was written not by a man. Only in Islam I found what I searched for.

Olga ULYANOVA

(Given in reduction)

Article original on the site of the edition "Molodogvardeets"

Related Links in Ukrainian Media:

With Widely Shut Eyes (UNIAN)

How Live in Flashpoints Ukrainian Wives of Muslims. Article in the Newspaper "Today"

El Sabi, Ukrainian, refugee from Gaza: There is no Life either in Gaza, or in Ukraine (Newspaper 24)

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