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    Is it easy to be young?
    Main page » Nomination

    Aibatova Elvira (Salavat, Bashkortostan)

    If you see an evil, stop it with your hand;

     If you cannot stop it with your hand,

    Stop it with a word;

     If you can’t stop that with a word,

    Stop it with your heart”

    (From the Koran)


    Recently I began to reflect upon the problem of spirituality in a present-day society. I wanted to know something about moral in a religion context. Nowadays the humanity undergoes a lot of changes, and not all of them are positive. We are worried about interpersonal relations, spiritual and physical health of the nation, acts of terrorism, the economical crisis, and many other problems. They are so serious and global that bring consequences which influence people’s lives. But in all the events, both hardly visible and prominent, we, people, can see a divine earmarking. History teaches that humanity develops when it executes God’s injunctions. When people neglect them, the state gets vice, moral degradation, economical depression, stagnation processes in science. I think, a divine injunction is spirituality which accumulates in a person’s soul during his life. It is an important teaching for any healthy and full fledged person. Teaching is so different! It may be Christianity, Buddhism; it may also be science and education. Spirituality means an estrangement from mean interests; it is striving for perfection in a person’s lifestyle and culture. Spirituality is man’s careful attitude to himself and to those around him. As an Islam campaigner, I understand this concept as moral values, traditions, conscience and piety of an individual. I am also sure that spirituality and religion are interrelated. For example, in the fundamentals of Islam people can feel an inexhaustible source of spirituality, national consensus, philanthropy. And that is especially important for the young generation of any nation. I remember a very actual expression of the prophet’s companion Umar: "If you want to know about the future of a society, look at its youth”. These wise words make me reflect on the Islam culture of my country and republic. Can I say that we, the youth, are spiritual enough?

          Islam is a widespread religion in the Russian Federation. There are about twenty million devout Muslims in our state. Most of them take part in annual Muslim forums, which propagate different social ideas and thoughts. Recently, on the national celebration "Sabantuy” (which means "Feast of Plough” from the Bashkir language), the Moscow Volunteers of the Social-Charity and the Spiritual-Enlightenment Mufti’s Council organized a research which concerned questions of faith and spirituality. The activists interviewed a lot of representatives of the younger generation and found out that 62% of the respondents respected religion, 33% of the young people were religious, and 4% of the youths were said honestly that they were far from religion. However, 90% of the people interviewed answered that they were interested in religion in a passive or active way. The respondents who were proud of this country’s spirituality made up 7 %. Finally, all the people agreed that it is very important to develop moral in Russia. Summing up all the results, I concluded that with time the interest to religion is increasing in our country.

            I know that in Russia the situation with the spiritual development of young people is satisfactory, and it brings positive results: we see changes in the social life, education, people’s interrelation and culture. As for the cultural aspect of such changes, I think it is a very positive fact that every year Kazan Youth Forum holds The Week of Muslim Fashion, which takes place in Naberezhnye Chelny, a small town of Tatarstan. My group-mate Elvira took part in this event two years ago, and she says  that it was a grandiose cultural event the participants of which shared their spiritual knowledge with each other. I think that it is an essential contribution to our culture. And I know that on the international level, Saudi Arabia organizes the contest "Miss Morality”, and it is also a good event! I think it would be great if a similar contest would be organized in Bashkortostan or Russia too.

    In the sphere of education, I can mention such positive methods of spiritual development as teaching Arabic  at some schools of our town Salavat. Children will be able to read the Koran which was written in this language. Reading the sacred book, they will know better about Allah’s spiritual injunctions. I would also like our schoolchildren to have more classes where they could study native culture, history and aspects of moral. As a result, children would respect, value and be proud of their families, friends and birthplaces.

             Prophet Umar said, ”All people are brethren in a great human family…”. And, in fact, every year, like a big family, all Muslims  of our republic meet in  mosques to celebrate great religious holidays Uraza Bairam and Kurban Bairam. They listen to mullahs reading the Koran ayats and give a treat to the poor. Such public events for believers help them to remember history and enrich them spiritually. Our town mosque is also a good place to develop one’s spirituality. I like to read its monthly newspaper, and it has the same name as a Kazan TV program "Muslims”, which preaches Muslim culture and opens our cultural heritage to people.

           I think that the problem of moral self education is an individual choice for everyone. As for me, I have chosen the way of respect for my religion and culture, because Islam forms in a person such notions as conscience, honor and discipline. it also teaches to respect other people’s world views, which is so important in our multinational country! Unfortunately, some people misuse Islam and its laws, and that often leads to terror and international conflicts. I wish all believers would use the teaching of Islam in the right way, so that people could not doubt the humaneness of Islam. In the past fifteen years the society suffers from the influence of  different factors harmful for spiritual health of a person, such as: violation of prohibitions in advertising campaign, mass culture, display of drugs and alcohol on TV. It is also a change of values in school programs, another attitude to a birthplace, family and work. Today’s youth differ from the older generation in many aspects, and it is quite natural, but I think that we ought to keep some eternal human values, which are indispensable to become an integrated personality. In the formation of a person the most important role belongs to parents, their moral foundations. A person learns all life, getting something an every day, but it is in his childhood that he gets the basis of education. A little child is pure by nature; his soul is just beginning to understand and know the world. And it is so vital that  school, parents and friends should inculcate true concepts of the good and the evil in him.

             Once I asked my mother, "Mom, what should I do that all people in our planet might understand each other? I wish there were no evil in the world.” Her answer was: ” If you see an evil, stop it with your hand; if you cannot stop it with your hand, stop it with a word; if you can’t stop that with a word, stop it with your heart!” Now I know that she cited the words from the Koran, and reflecting on them I come to the conclusion that this wise saying exactly determines the need for spiritual development of the society, which will help to mould values of young generation
    Nomination: Essay | Add: DimE (22.03.2010)
    Reads: 4664 | Comments: 7 | Rating: 3.3/3
    In all comments: 7
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    2 ellie  
    I really enjoyed reading your essay about the problem of spirituality in a present-day society . Alot of the information you had in your paper was very interesting, I must say that I agree with everything you said, but with one thing I don't agree.
    Unfortunately, some people misuse Islam and its laws, and that often leads to terror and international conflicts.
    First of all I whant to say that the words terrorist and a Muslim is an oxymoron. The word "Muslim" means one who is submissive God. The word "terrorist" means one who spreads terror. So, how could one who submissive God, spread terror? It is nonsense.

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    1 ellie  

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