18 Jan 2008
It is the year 1574. Islam has been here for over 500 years and is now the dominant religion among the tribes living in the land we call Bashkortostan. The word “Islam”, when translated, means “peace and submission” … but this new religion did not stop the wars, the killing and the plundering among the peoples of this area.
It was a desperate situation for the tribal elders. Needing help, they chose to make the difficult 700-mile journey to Moscow to meet with Ivan the Terrible, Tsar of Russia. They requested … and received … support from Ivan’s army. A friendship alliance was put into place between Moscow and the tribal elders of Bashkortostan. It was Orthodox Christians and Muslims working together for peace.
This opened the door for significant migration of the Russians to the tribal area.
Today, the descendents of the Russian immigrants makeup about one-third of the population and are Russian Orthodox. Over one-half of the population follows Sunni Islam most of whom are descendants of the indigenous population.
Although most of the people are Muslim, it is rare to observe the distinct attire. Even on these occasions, they appear as part of the crowd. Some display a small emblem. Surprisingly, a wedding at the main mosque appears little different from that of non-Muslim weddings.
The assistant to the Grand Mufti of Bashkortostan explains the working relationship between Christians and Muslims as well as community involvement.
It’s because we have an understanding of each other. We meet often. We fulfill our ministry and they fulfill theirs. We don’t interfere in their activities and they don’t meddle in ours. We find common language with Buddhists and Catholics. There aren’t any places in the Koran, the Bible, or in any other holy book about forcing someone to believe or murdering them. Both the Koran and the Bible speak of Jesus’ immaculate conception and that he will return and unite us in peace and agreement. We are Sunni Muslims—we are moderate, peaceful Muslims.
Of course, we are against drug abuse and alcoholism. In our sermons we always talk about the bad influence of drugs and alcohol. We explain that the Koran forbids everything that hurts our health.
There are several mosques in the country with a diversity of styles and sizes. However, the largest is the Tulip Mosque in Ufa, so called because of the shape of its minarets. Visitors are welcome here but respect for their customs must be shown including the removal of your shoes before entering. Often, an Imam gives prayers for individual requests.
Scroll with names and translations along with song.
Allah The Greatest Name
Ar-Rahman The All-Compassionate
Ar-Raltim The All-Merciful
Al-Malik The Absolute Ruler
Al-Quddus The Pure One
As-Salam The Source of Peace
Al-Mu'min The Inspirer of Faith
Al-Muhaymin The Guardian
Al-'Aziz The Victorious
Al-Jabbar The Compeller
Al-Mutakabbir The Greatest
Jesus said: “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” … Mark 1:15
will respond to the TRUTH found in
Salavat Yulaev sol-uh-VAHT you-LIE-ev
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