The 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, and works as a watchman in the Central Juma mosque.
Interviewer: Musa, before
we began talking, you asked what we were going to talk about.† I said: About
Musa: Whatís so
interesting about me? †If you wondered.† Then I live in the mosque..
Interviewer: How did you
come to live in the mosque?
Musa: Well, I just
dropped in... and stayed.
Interviewer: Did you find
the way easily?
Musa: With great
difficulty.† It was hard then, and it isnít much easier now.† When you go
deeply into Islam its inner meaning, you understand that this religion is very
simple, but the way that leads to it may be extremely difficult.† Often, people
donít understand how a person could be converted into Islam from the other
side, as it were.
But there are no other sides here.† Islam is everything
there is, both what we imagine and what we donít imagine.
Interviewer: Musa, as a
matter of fact, we were given this fact as a certain sensation: a Rabbi has
Musa: Well, it has been
no sensation for quite a long while already - itís more than a year that I did
this.† It was strange for me at first, too.† But it wasnít an off-the-cuff
decision.† When I came into Islam, I had read books about it, I had been
Interviewer: Did you
finish any high school before coming to the synagogue?
Musa: Yes, I finished a
clerical high school.† After graduation, I came to Makhachkala, and became the
Interviewer: And where
did you come from?
Musa: Oh, from far away.†
But I have already become a true Daghestani, I have got a lot of friends here -
both among Muslims and people who are far from Islam.
Interviewer: Letís return
to your work in the synagogue.
Musa: 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 neighbors.† 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 Quran made by Krachkovsky.
Interviewer: She brought
the Quran to you - a Rabbi?!
Musa: Yes, and she asked
me to give her the Torah to read in return.† So I tried to read the Quran -
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 friends son, the
six-year old Ahmed, who had fallen asleep in the mosque courtyard.† ďShould we
probably take him inside the mosque?Ē †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
Interviewer: Musa, and
when you were reading the translation, you must have begun to compare it with
Musa: I had found answers
to many questions in the Quran.† Not to all of them, of course, because it wasnít
the Arabic original, but the translation.
But I had begun to understand things.
Interviewer: Does it mean
that you couldnít find some answers in Judaism?
Musa: I donít know, thereís
Allahís will in everything.
Apparently, those Jews who became Muslims in the times
of the Prophet, couldnít find some answers in Judaism, but found them in Islam.
Perhaps, they were attracted by the personality of the
Prophet, his behavior, his way of communicating with people.† Its an important topic.
Interviewer: And what
exactly were the questions that you couldnít find answers to in Judaism?
Musa: 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 Deedat, a South African scholar, comparing the Quran and the Bible.
There is a key phrase, well-known to those who are
familiar with religious issues: e g Follow the Prophet who is yet to cometh.† And
when I studied Islam, I understood that the Prophet Muhammad is the very
Prophet to be followed.† Both the Bible and the Torah tell us to do it.
I havenít invented anything here.
Interviewer: And what
does the Torah say about the Prophet?
Musa: We wont 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 [may the mercy and blessings
of God be upon him] is that he would worship One God, the Sole Creator of the
world.† The Prophet Muhammad matches this description exactly.
When I read this, I got very interested.† I hadnít 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.
The Bible tells us that the Lord sends miracles to the
prophets to confirm their special mission in peoples eyes.
I asked the alims (scholars)about this, and they
said: Hereís a collection of true hadeeths which describe the miracles
connected with the Prophet.† Then I read that the Prophet had always said that
there had been prophets and messengers before him.
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.