"This war is sacred for Ukrainian Muslims," - Head of the military chaplaincy of Muslims of Ukraine
This was stated by Haji Murad Putilin, head of the Department of Military Chaplaincy of Muslims of Ukraine, who fought in a volunteer unit in the Kharkiv region from February to May. In an interview with V-variant, he spoke about why this war is sacred for Ukrainian Muslims.
"The Koran does not say anything about wars of conquest. A Muslim should fight only for justice if his home is attacked. If we look at the Chechens, Dagestanis or Kalmyks who are fighting for Russia and professing Islam, they came to oppress others, and this is a sin. These people must be destroyed regardless of their religion," the chaplain says.
As for religious duties, such as fasting or prayer, war allows you to deviate a little from them, but believers, even at the front, try not to skip prayer and keep fasting, for example, during Ramadan.
"I constantly go to the guys, and many of them keep a fast. If you look at the greatest battles in the history of Islam, they all took place in the month of Ramadan. It's hard, but at the same time, there is a big reward for it. Of course, if there is a combat exit, task or battle, the post is interrupted, but it is still held. For Muslims, this is not something difficult," explains Putilin and emphasizes:
"This war is the restoration of Justice," says the chaplain, " but it is necessary to win back this justice not only according to the laws of war but also according to the laws of Islam. The Qur'an has clear answers about how a warrior should behave, so Muslim soldiers almost do not face moral dilemmas about how to deal with the enemy. The enemy is evil, and evil must be destroyed."
Islam says that it is necessary to fight, but you can not violate the boundaries of what is allowed. Everything is based on several norms: the Qur'an and the life of the Prophet Mohamed.
"Those who are attacked are allowed to fight to protect themselves from violence. A Muslim should only fight against the military. And the Qur'an says, " fight those who fight against you but do not go beyond what is permitted. Allah does not love those who cross the line." So are the norms of humanity. The Prophet Muhammad said to fight in the way of God, to fight those who oppose you. Do not be embittered, do not be unreliable, do not maim, do not kill children, do not kill people that are in monasteries," says the chaplain.
According to him, Muslims in the Ukrainian army profess the same human principles as representatives of other religions. Therefore, it is not necessary to say that Muslims are somehow different from Christians or Jews because, in the army, everyone is fighting for a common victory.
"I don't see the difference whether it's Muslim or not. When we arrive at positions, everyone turns to me. Someone needs to discuss spiritual issues, someone just needs to get support, and someone can tell you what they are planning or have already converted to Islam," says Haji Murad.
According to the chaplain, cases of adoption of Islam at the front are not isolated. The main thing is that the desire to accept the faith is sincere. The number of Muslims fighting for Ukraine has also increased. If earlier there could have been several people professing Islam in the unit, now there are even Islamic battalions, the chaplain says.
"It is difficult to say exactly how many Muslims are currently fighting because statistics on the religion of the military are not kept. I can only note that now it has become much larger than in 2015 and other years when the war was only in the Donbas. Now there are entire battalions where only Muslims fight. These are not only Crimean Tatars but also Chechens, Adjarian Georgians, and so on. There are also those who joined the Ukrainian army to fight a common enemy — Russia. If this enemy is destroyed, their peoples will gain independence," says Putilin.
According to Haji Murad, now it is not so important in which God the military believes because the main faith is faith in victory.