Muslim Wire

Russian Muslim intent on making it to every terawih prayer

Posted in Politics, Society by muslimwire on October 24, 2009

Seray Kalashnikov, a Russian who converted to Islam around two-and-a-half years ago, says he has not missed a single terawih prayer (an extra night prayer specific to Ramadan) since becoming a Muslim.

Kalashnikov said he decided to pay a visit to Turkey after seeing pictures of famous Turkish mosques on the Internet. “I visited all the mosques in İstanbul. I was impressed particularly by the architecture of the Sultanahmet and Süleymaniye mosques. The recitation of the ezan [call to prayer] and people praying in mosques throughout the day made my heart incline toward Islam. Then I met the imam of the Kağıthane Mosque, Ragıp Hoca. He taught me about Islam,” he noted.

Kalashnikov then moved to Alanya and started working there. He settled in the house of Hüseyin and Selma Öztürk and learned more about Islam from the couple. When he felt that he was ready to convert to Islam, he visited the Alanya mufti’s office and became a Muslim. The mufti renamed him Yunus.

“Since the day I became a Muslim, I have been praying and observing the Ramadan fast. I have not missed a single terawih prayer, and I read the Russian translation of the Holy Quran,” he said. Kalashnikov said he would also like to go on the pilgrimage to Mecca after Ramadan.

Hüseyin Öztürk, who has been hosting Kalashnikov in his house for the past one-and-a-half years, said he was very happy to have played a role in helping a non-Muslim convert to Islam. “After becoming a Muslim, the first thing Kalashnikov did was come home and pray,” Öztürk said.

Alanya Mufti Ahmet Hamdi Başpınar expressed his office’s determination to introduce Islam to more foreigners in the district. “Foreigners are curious about our religion. They learn about our religion when they visit our mosques during the holy month of Ramadan. If we manage to increase the interest of foreigners in our religion, more people will convert to Islam,” he said.

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