Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rabbi Becomes Muslim

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Rabbi Becomes Muslim

    Salaam,

    I received this from a friend. I'm afraid it's a tad long, but nevertheless a most interesting read.

    -----------------------------

    RABBI OF MAKHACHKALA SYNAGOGUE EMBRACED ISLAM.

    Rabbi of Makhachkala
    synagogue embraced Islam Every person has a different way of coming to
    the
    Truth. For Moisha Krivitsky this way led through a faculty of law, a
    synagogue and a prison. The lawyer-to-be becomes a Rabbi, then he
    converts
    into Islam and finds himself in prison. Today Musa (this is the name he
    has
    adopted when he became a Muslim) lives in a small mosque in
    Al-Burikent, a
    mountain area of Makhachkala in the region of Daghestan of Russia, and
    works
    as a watchman in the Central Juma mosque. Musa, before we began
    talking, you
    asked what we were going to talk about. I said: ‘About you.’ ‘What’s so
    interesting about me?’ you wondered. ‘I live in the mosque’. How did
    you
    come to live in the mosque? Well, I just dropped in... and stayed. Did
    you
    find the way easily? With great difficulty. It was hard then, and it
    isn’t
    much easier now. When you go deeply into Islam’s inner meaning, you
    understand that this religion is very simple, but the way that leads to
    it
    may be extremely difficult. Often, people don’t understand how a person
    could be converted into Islam ‘from the other side’, as it were. But
    there
    are no ‘sides’ here: Islam is everything there is, both what we imagine
    and
    what we don’t imagine. Musa, as a matter of fact, we were given this
    fact as
    a certain sensation: a Rabbi has turned Muslim. Well, it has been no
    sensation for quite a long while already - it’s more than a year that I
    did
    this. It was strange for me at first, too. But it wasn’t an
    off-the-cuff
    decision. When I came into Islam, I had read books about it, I had been
    interested. Did you finish any high school before coming to the
    synagogue?
    Yes, I finished a clerical high school. After graduation, I came to
    Makhachkala, and became the local Rabbi. And where did you come from?
    Oh,
    from far away. But I’ve already become a true Daghestani, I’ve got a
    lot of
    friends here - both among Muslims and people who are far from Islam.
    Let’s
    return to your work in the synagogue. It was quite a paradoxical
    situation:
    there was a mosque near my synagogue, the town mosque. Sometimes my
    fiends
    who were its parishioners would come to me - just to chat. I sometimes
    would
    come to the mosque myself, to see how the services were carried out. I
    was
    very interested. So we lived like good neighbours. And once, during
    Ramadan,
    a woman came to me - as I now understand, she belonged to a people that
    was
    historically Muslim - and she asked me to comment the Russian
    translation of
    the Qur'an made by Krachkovsky. She brought the Qur'an to you - a
    Rabbi?!
    Yes, and she asked me to give her the Torah to read in return. So I
    tried to
    read the Qur'an - about ten times. It was really hard, but gradually I
    began
    to understand, and to get a basic notion of Islam. (Here, Musa looked
    at my
    friend’s son, the six-year old Ahmed, who had fallen asleep in the
    mosque
    courtyard. “Should we probably take him inside the mosque?”, asked
    Musa.)
    And that woman had brought back the Torah. It turned out to be very
    difficult for her to read and understand it, because religious
    literature
    requires extreme concentration and attention. Musa, and when you were
    reading the translation, you must have begun to compare it with the
    Torah? I
    had found answers to many questions in the Qur'an. Not to all of them,
    of
    course, because it wasn’t the Arabic original, but the translation. But
    I
    had begun to understand things. Does it mean that you couldn’t find
    some
    answers in Judaism? I don’t know, there’s Allah’s will in everything.
    Apparently, those Jews who became Muslims in the times of the Prophet
    (let
    Allah bless and greet him), couldn’t find some answers in Judaism, but
    found
    them in Islam. Perhaps, they were attracted by the personality of the
    Prophet (let Allah bless him!), his behaviour, his way of communicating
    with
    people. It’s an important topic. And what exactly were the questions
    that
    you couldn’t find answers to in Judaism? Before I came into contact
    with
    Islam, there were questions which I had never even tried to find
    answers to.
    Probably, an important part here had been played by a book written by
    Ahmad
    Didat, a South African scholar, comparing the Qur'an and the Bible.
    There is
    a key phrase, well-known to those who are familiar with religious
    issues:
    “Follow the Prophet who is yet to come”. And when I studied Islam, I
    understood that the Prophet Muhammad (let Allah bless him!) is the very
    Prophet to be followed. Both the Bible and the Torah tell us to do it.
    I
    haven’t invented anything here. And what does the Torah say about the
    Prophet (let Allah bless him!)? We won’t be able to find this name in
    the
    Torah. But we can figure it out using a special key. For example, we
    can
    understand what god this or that particular person in history worships.
    The
    formula describing the last Prophet (let Allah bless and greet him) is
    that
    he would worship One God, the Sole Creator of the world. The Prophet
    Muhammad (let Allah bless him!) matches this description exactly. When
    I
    read this, I got very interested. I hadn’t known anything about Islam
    before
    that. Then I decided to look deeper into the matter and see whether
    there
    were any miracles and signs connected with the name of the Prophet (let
    Allah bless him!). The Bible tells us that the Lord sends miracles to
    the
    prophets to confirm their special mission in people’s eyes. I asked the
    alims about this, and they said: “Here’s a collection of true hadiths
    which
    describe the miracles connected with the Prophet (let Allah bless
    him!)”.
    Then I read that the Prophet (let Allah bless him) had always said that
    there had been prophets and messengers before him (let Allah be content
    with
    them). We can find their names both in the Torah and in the Bible. When
    I
    was only starting to get interested, it sounded somewhat strange for
    me. And
    then... Well, my own actions led to what happened to me. Sometimes I
    get to
    thinking: why did I read all this? Perhaps, I should say the tauba (a
    prayer
    of repenting) right now for having thoughts like that. Should I
    understand
    you, Musa, that you now feel a great responsibility for becoming a
    Muslim,
    or do you have some other feelings? Yes, responsibility, but something
    else
    as well. I can’t put my finger on it now. When a person knows Islam
    well,
    he’s got both his feet firmly on the ground. Islam helps a person I
    would be
    insincere if I said that the all the Daghestani are such ‘knowing’
    Muslims.
    We sometimes talk about it in the mosque and I like to say that there
    are
    not so many real Muslims in Daghestan - only the ustaths (learned
    theologians) and their students, and the rest of us are just
    candidates. I
    can’t say that we do what the sunna requires, we’re only trying to. And
    when
    we don’t do what we should, we’re trying to invent some clever excuses.
    These efforts should have better been applied to doing our duty. It’s
    hard
    for me to watch this. Sometimes, I’m distracted by what is happening
    around
    me, as well. I haven’t got strength enough to fight this, and the
    weakness
    of my nature shows clearly here. I can’t say I’m totally helpless, but
    I
    have no right to say that I’ve achieved anything in Islam. I’ve only
    got
    torments. When I understood that I had to become a Muslim, I thought
    that
    Islam was a single whole - one common road, or a huge indivisible
    ocean.
    Then I saw that there were a lot of trends in Islam, and new questions
    appeared. All these trends are like whirlpools, they whirl and whirl...
    it’s
    very hard! If a person tells you: “Look, we fulfil all the hadiths,
    only we
    understand åðó Qur'an correctly”, then you follow this person, because
    you
    think that he speaks true things, and because you want to please Allah.
    But
    then, after a couple of months, you understand that these claims were
    false.
    Allah controls us. And you think: if this way is the right way, then
    why is
    there something that goes the wrong way?.. Musa, and what brought you
    into
    the prison? A good question, this, isn’t it? Who welcomed you there? If
    there’s Allah’s will to everything, then this was His will as well.
    Regarding life from behind the barbed wire, going through all of this,
    that
    was a certain school for me. How did it happen? I’ve recently seen a
    programme on the TV, and a representative of the Chechen republic in
    Moscow
    - I forget his name now, I believe he had some beautiful,
    French-sounding
    name, something like Binaud - he said that if the authorities were
    going to
    carry on like they had done before - barging into homes, planting drugs
    and
    weapons on people - then the people would be out in the streets
    protesting.
    This has happened to many here. So there was something planted on me.
    Then
    they came and took me away at night. Before that, I had had a certain
    notion
    about he forces of the law here... well, I couldn’t think they would
    use
    such, well, not very polite methods. Islam doesn’t let me use a
    stronger
    word. Allah estimates what every man does, and those people will have
    to
    answer for what they have done. But the three months I spent in prison,
    they
    probably helped me to make my faith stronger. I saw how people behaved
    under
    the extreme circumstances, both Muslims and non-Muslims, how I behaved.
    It
    would be good, of course, if the people in power would pay their
    attention
    to this problem. They shouldn’t be trying to eradicate Islam with such
    unsavoury methods. Musa, why were the authorities frightened by you? No
    idea. Even children aren’t afraid of me. At this moment, our
    conversation
    was interrupted by a stunningly beautiful azan. Is there a muezzin in
    your
    mosque? Yes, his name is Muamat Tarif, it was him that we’ve just
    heard. And
    there’s only you and him who works in this mosque? Well, as a matter of
    fact, only he works. He allows me... I still can’t get used to things
    after
    prison. He allows me to live here. It’s hard to recall this. I had a
    certain
    trouble with the people whose flat I was living in, the understanding
    between us somehow failed. I started perceiving them in a different
    way. But
    it’s probably bad to be looking for other people’s drawbacks, I’ve
    probably
    got more. People started arriving to the mosque. We rose and hastened
    for
    the prayer, too. After the prayer, we tarried a little, but I thought
    as I
    was walking towards this bench we’re sitting on: “It’s all right, Musa
    seems
    to have a lot of spare time”. Is that right? Well, it depends on what
    we
    mean by time. As for every Muslim, my time is divided into certain
    stretches, between the prayers. The time to do something. And what do
    you do
    here in this mosque? I just live here after some very unpleasant things
    that
    happened to me. Before that, I had lived here, an Al-burikent, at a
    flat. I
    don’t even want to think about it now. I remember being taken out of
    bed at
    one or two in the morning, feeling a hand grenade in my bed and cuffs
    on my
    wrists: “What do you need Islam for, you Jew?” Well... Then they tried
    to
    shoot me, then I was beaten. At first a friend helped me with my
    ablutions,
    because I couldn’t walk. But then I recovered, alhamdulillah, in about
    two
    months.It’s a bit funny, because it reminds of a doctor who prescribes
    guillotine for headache. They say: there are a lot of problems in
    Daghestan,
    in Islam. That’s a mistake. The problems are in the people. And what
    was the
    crime you were accused of, and why has your conviction not been
    stricken off
    your record? Well, there’s been an amnesty recently, they’ve cut me a
    little
    slack. But the police and the Ministry of internal affairs still
    control us,
    it’s their job. The main thing is to make them see what Islam really
    is, and
    that’s what we’re trying to explain to them. The seventy years building
    of
    Communism hasn’t left Daghestan unchanged. Although it still remains
    the
    stronghold of Islam in Russia, we have the Islamic traditions well
    preserved. But sometimes when I walk the streets of the town, I get to
    thinking that the people don’t quite understand what Islam is. Some,
    so-called, ethnic Muslims... words fail me. Did you avoid the question
    on
    the nature of your crime on purpose? No, it was illegal weapon keeping.
    I’ve
    forgiven those people, of course, although I used to be very angry with
    them. What matters is the Islam, and the things that are good for it.
    Everyone’s been somehow shaken up by all this. Those who were not
    interested
    in Islam, became interested. Those who were only fake Muslims, moved
    away. I
    know many examples, I’ve often met people like this, sometimes these
    people
    were close to me. They would sometimes use the word Wahhabism, or would
    claim that they had a fundamental knowledge of the Qur'an and the
    Sunna. But
    it turned out to be a tree that is rotten. I would advise people to
    read the
    sifats (signs) of hypocrites before they go to bed every night, like
    fairy-tales. I used to be interested in this issue too. It’s really
    strange,
    when you think of it. Say, among the Duma deputies there are people who
    came
    to the Chechen village of Karamakhi, brought medicines to the people.
    The
    Karamaknians are still using those medicines. No one would tear them
    out of
    their beds at night or try to ‘educate’ them in non-traditional
    methods. And
    still, the way that most of the people perceive Islam... This, in fact,
    is
    the problem of Islam. I thought: you become a Muslim and all the
    problems go
    away. I hoped they would. I hoped to find Paradise. As the Qur'an says:
    “Allah calls into the peaceful abode, and those He loves He guides on
    the
    straight way”. I thought I would find this peaceful abode. And I’ve
    been
    searching ever since I came into Islam, both here, in Daghestan, and in
    the
    neighbouring Chechnya, through the so-called Sharia enclaves. They say,
    for
    example: “The law of this or that place is Sharia in the shortened
    form”.
    Sometimes it’s just a slogan. Here, in Russia, we’re used to slogan
    thinking. For example, our neighbours had a slogan: “Sharia rules
    here!” But
    this wasn’t the case. Musa, and what kind of secular education did you
    have?
    Various, I could say. Well, I can read and write. I don’t know what
    else to
    say. I studied at a prestigious institute. I don’t think it was
    actually
    very useful in any way. But then yes, it was. It had something to do
    with
    law. One teacher had a joke: “Sincere confession relieves one’s
    feelings and
    lengthens the time one does one’s term”. A law paradox. What is the
    most
    difficult thing for you now? Endurance. Sabr. Sometimes I feel so
    desperate
    I could jump into the Caspian sea. And the desperation comes from the
    fact
    that you want to see the “peaceful abode” around you, but find
    something
    completely different instead? Yes. There’s much misunderstanding. I see
    the
    noble and high principles if Islam, and I see the abyss we’re in. We
    try to
    get out of it, each one the way he can. But unfortunately, we don’t
    often
    see our ustathes, it’s not always we can reach them. Well, but they’re
    always there to meet you. Are they? Then my way to them must be very
    long.
    Apparently, just pronouncing the shahada (the confession of faith,
    which,
    when said by a person, signifies their belonging to Islam) is not
    enough. In
    fact, you should always confirm your being Muslim, every day. At least
    five
    times a day. Sometimes it’s hard, when you argue with someone, or
    someone
    hurts you, or you see something that’s going wrong. And you have to
    force
    yourself to be a true Muslim. Where are you, the “peaceful abode”?
    Where
    should I look for you? In the self, probably? The self is to be sorted
    out
    as well. Don’t forget that I came into Islam from a parallel world, and
    I
    still can’t forget it. Sometimes I’m reminded of it. It’s hard to
    educate
    such people. The Qur'an tells us: not everyone believes. We have to
    face
    that it’s predestined and we can do nothing about it. What we have to
    do is
    tell the truth about Islam, to show it by our own example.
    Unfortunately,
    I’m not always an example. I’m still looking for my way. I don’t know
    if
    it’s to the point, but I’d like to adduce the hadith of the Prophet
    (let
    Allah bless him) which tells us that the Jews will be divided into 71
    group,
    the Christians - into 72, the Muslims - into 73 groups. The Qur'an
    tells us:
    “Be with those who tell the truth and act according to the truth”. But
    the
    truth is very hard to find. Daghestan is simmering. For me, a person
    from
    the outside trying to become part of it, it’s really hard. I follow
    these
    people, then those people. All the painful lessons I’ve learned were
    not in
    vain. Allah was teaching me. As the Qur'an says: “If you think this
    evil,
    this is truly good. And that which is good for you, may turn out to be
    evil”. Now that I’m past the nervous stage, I analyse things and say:
    everything’s for the better. It would be good if our ustathes would
    communicate with us, or appear on the TV. We would feel they are there.
    I
    live here in Al-burikent, like on an island. Sometimes they broadcast
    programmes on Islam on the radio. But it would be better if the call to
    Islam would always be there. I wish that we were constantly told: Islam
    is
    good for the people, it’s profitable. This sounds awful - very mean and
    ugly, but in actual fact, Islam is profitable. What state can give you
    common brotherhood, mutual assistance, social guarantees, a minimal tax
    of
    2,5 per cent? Islam gives all that, it prescribes all that. It
    prescribes
    the correct way of life, the one which is necessary for a man. I wish
    there
    were more talk about that. What we hear instead is that if a Muslim is
    wearing a beard, he’s a Wahhabi. I have such tags attached to all I’m
    wearing. It’s ridiculous. Each religion has its extreme forms. Even the
    heathens, who are far from the faith in the Sole God, have such
    extremities.
    I think that an institute should be established for studying Islam,
    helping
    it develop. That was the question I wanted to ask when I was searching,
    and
    following different people: where are you, the ones who can show me the
    way
    to become a true Muslim? I think that what happens to me is right. And
    what
    I want now is to come to people who don’t understand me, to tell them
    about
    my ideas, to explain what Islam is. We’re all in the same boat, anyway.
    Especially here in Daghestan: we know everything about one another. Why
    then
    should we be trying to find enemies in one another? Life is going by,
    and
    finally, we’ll all have to answer for what we’re doing. And to round
    up,
    Musa: what would you wish to the people who are probably in the same
    position now as you were two years ago? I’ll try to recall the 155 ayat
    of
    the second sura: “Allah will try thee with fear, with loss of thy fee,
    with
    loss of thy closest ones, with loss of the fruit of thy labours. But
    tell
    thee the good news to them who are patient and enduring: their reward
    will
    be great”. Patience and endurance are the basis of faith which is the
    basis
    of Islam. Insha Allah, everything’s going to be alright. Interview
    taken by
    Laila Husyainov

    --------------------
    "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."

    #2
    Jazak'Allah khair for sharing. Had some interesting points. *smile*

    ------------------
    Learn to love yourself, then learn to love one-another

    This is not my Paradise
    "O man! What has seduced thee from thy Lord Most Beneficent?" - Quran 82:6

    Sponsor and choose an orphan at alyateem dot com

    Comment

    Working...
    X