The present day, in Russia as everywhere on the territory of the former USSR, Russian-language readers comprehend wisdom of Koran, owing to translation and commentaries to the Writings made by Valeriya Mikhailovna Porokhova. Isn’t it surprising that people seek for Valeriya Porokhova’s telephone numbers with a view to confess that they found out greatness of different religion and it is borne in wherefore Koran was sent.
High estimation of Muslim Holy Book and sincere gratitude to the author of the translation was expressed by authoritative scientists and politicians of Muslim East and Christian West, as evidenced by various publications and wide printing run of the indicated translation by governmental funds of Muslim countries (UAE, Iran, Syria, Malaysia, etc.)
We offer to Your attention exclusive interview with Iman Valeriya Porokhova, which has been taken recently in Moscow by Assel Gabbasova, correspondent to the magazine “Sal Nur”.
Iman Valeriya Porokhova – graduated from Moscow Linguistic University, academician of Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS). She worked as a teacher in Moscow Engineering-Physical Institute and in the meantime got diploma in the Faculty of Philosophy in MSU.
In 1975 married Muhammad Said Al-Roshd, citizen of Syria, graduate of Shariat Faculty of Damascus University. In 1985 moved to Damascus, where she accepted Islam and started translation of Koran under careful supervision of her husband and indisputable authority of Muslim theology Doctor Zukhaily who is the author of 16-volume exegesis to Koran. The translation was completed in 1991 and given to Scientific-Research Academy Al-Azkhar (Cairo), where during six years they carried out analysis for accuracy transmission of the meaning. In 1997 V.Porokhova was selected as a member of Eurasian Informatization Academy Board attached to UNO, and in 1999 – full-fledged member of RANS. In 2002 RANS Presidium awards her with honor – “Order of Merit for Country”, and later on she is entitled Laureat of RANS “To the Glory and Profit of Motherland”.
Valeriya Mikhailovna is a happy mother with two sons and brings up a grandson by this time.
- Valeriya Mikhailovna, what are your wishes on account of the issuance of the first magazine in Kazakhstan for Moslem women?
- I am very pleased with the event as issuance and publication of the first magazine for women, as long as the aim of the magazine is enlightenment of Kazakhstani people in matters of Islam. There are words in Koran sounding in refrain: for knowing, for cogitative, for thinking. I am looking forward with hope that “SalNur” magazine will make contribution to strengthen knowledge about Islam, will help to feel more deeply all the beauty and wisdom of our religion.
I have very warm and kind impressions about Kazakhstan in general, and about Astana, and Almaty in particular, as about well-educated and friendly people. I am sure that “SalNur” magazine will own hearts of all Kazakhstanis’. It must be content-rich, consistent in its estimations, adhering to principles of experts’ remarks, elegant and beautiful. In Arabic world they publish a lot of magazines for women, where one can find out varied information about mode of dressing, house holding, family relationship. A lot of attention is given to women’s health; there are various advices to look after yourself, and about cosmetics use.
- How do you value the role of magazines similar to ours in Muslim women’s life?
- Very highly. It is very important that such magazines have clear thematic direction. In the magazine there must be concerned questions of Godhead comprehension as fundamental basis, exclusive in all world religions, profits’ missions, questions of what is allowable and forbidden, id est, those questions which concern many enlightened people. In my opinion, each magazine issue by one third should consist of thematic material, as for example: “Position of woman in Islam, her rights and responsibilities, woman-mother, woman – as a social unit who contributes in life of civil society, topic of porce in Islam, allowance of polygamy upon exceptional circumstances (as postwar population demography in a country, illnesses, psychological or sexual incompatibility and so on.). It is efficient to quote ayats from Koran and Profit’s khadises (s.a.s. Let Allahtagala bless and salaam him!).
- What is your vision of modern Muslim woman?
- First of all Muslim woman must be wise, honest wife and exemplary mother as it is dictated by Koran, and education will help her to gain the qualities listed above. She must share her husband’s destiny and show the highest respect to his interests. It goes without saying, that a woman must take care of her appearance and clothing, motivated by khadis words “Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty”, and by Koran’s ayat: “Adorn yourself with fineries and the most dressy look garments when you go to the place of prayer (Mosque)”. I am on for woman to study. But if a woman has got a lot of children or if she does not want to study, Alhamdulillah. This is her own decision. Nevertheless, she must be interesting for her husband. Spouses ought to have common interests. If they don’t have ones, then they have to look for other things in common. So, I found such common thing in Koran in reply to my husband’s words, who is a civil engineer, graduate of MCEI: “Lerochka, I do not put any pressure on you, but I am Muslim, and if you respect me – your husband, then read Koran please”, and I granted his wish.
Woman in Islam is fully legitimate in comparison with other traditional religions. Islam, as no other religion in the world, protects woman. And I would like to clarify my words. Starting from the first decision to contract marriage, she receives premarital gift, which I conditionally call “insurance policy”. This gift is estimated either in monetary, or in golden, or in real estate calculation. Besides, during presentation of the gift, attendance of two witnesses is compulsory for exact evaluation of “gifts”.
If a man cannot present anything at the moment to his bride, he signs a contract under the term that after some time he will give her this amount of money. I make it clear once more: premarital gift is executed either in golden or monetary calculation, which may include real estate and transport (a flat, a country house, a car). I turned out to be a witness of such situation once, when a girl was getting married to a man of Arabic origin. He owned up that he was studying at Medical University, but in three years he undertakes the responsibility to give his wife 10 thousand US dollars. And he kept his word. I was really pleased that he managed to do his promise and presented her the gift. It is customary so in Islam.
Married Muslim woman is an absolute hostess in her house. It is impossible to take any decision regarding organization of a house behind her back. Husband agrees with her regarding all issues of arrangements about the house. If a wife is inexperienced and cannot give any reasonable advice, he produces his reasons, explains her why it needs to be so, but not in another way. Some are mistaken that if a woman gets married, she must not work. This is absolutely wrong. She can work and work as much as she would like. But with one very strongly marked term: home needs to be provided with sufficient woman’s attention. It is necessary that she prepares breakfast, lunch and dinner. Home must be clean and tidy. Arabs pathologically look after tidiness. Women wash and clean something about the house all the day. We should give our credit to Arab women; they keep their houses in ideal cleanness. Doing the shopping for fruit, vegetables, meat is husband’s responsibilities.
I would like to remind, if a woman provides inmates with three times nourishment, does well about tidiness, she may well go to work. Moreover, she has very big privilege – to hold her earnings herself, since family budget is planned from husband’s income. I lived for a long time in Muslim world, only in Syria for 10 years. So, I am familiar with a full authority of Muslim women. There is khadis that, Paradise lays under mothers’ legs.
It is important to understand that a Muslim will never leave his wife without adequate consideration. He certainly maintains her with all necessities, which comply with her status. In authentic khadis (sahih) there is said that “the best of you is that who treats his wife best of all”. Muslim woman as a rule is well-tended.
Some people wrongfully ties to Islam hijab, yashmak, etc. This is purely national tradition, formed in view of geographical conditions and unregulated temperament of Southern people. But it is not dictated anyhow by Shariat or Koran Writings. Both yashmak and hijab are materialized protection from unbearable heat of the given geographical area, and also from lustful eyes, who do not know Koran dictate in this connection. (Koran S. 24:30) “Tell husbands who acknowledged God to throw their eyes to the ground, keeping themselves from lust of body… Allah indeed knows what they do” (S:24:33) “And those who cannot see the ways to marry, must live in abstinence until Allah blesses them with His largess”. If a woman is dresses with elegance, looks after her toilet, she is smiling, gentle, therewith intelligent and good-minded; this all is enough for a man.
- Could you please explain your position regarding generally accepted prohibits, for example, not to go away to get education abroad, not to listen to music, not to put on make-up, not to look after yourself (for example, pluck the eyebrows), to dress modestly, even strictly?
- I do not like in your question the words “generally accepted prohibits”. What is “generally accepted”? Generally accepted by whom? “Who prohibited those gorgeous gifts, which I gave to you?” – Supreme Allah in Koran (look commentary 5b to Surah 2). And what concerns cloths, here is only one prohibition: it is strongly forbidden to wear clothes made from see-through, form-fitting garments and different types of bare necked models. All sexual attractions must be covered, so that they are not valued as invitation to adultery. Cosmetics are considered as the element of platonic beauty and are widely used in Islamic countries.
- Do You have any role-model among Muslim women?
- Yes, a woman’s name who became Muslim woman etalon is Dr. Um Ahmed Braidy, Minister of Higher Education in Syria. She was Muslim to the backbone. Her two sons studied in Moscow in the institute where my mother used to work. Once I had a chance to get acquainted with my mother’s students, and then I introduced with their parents in Syria. Um Ahmed Braidy was one the most well-educated person. She fluently spoke Spanish and English languages. She was an ideal for me, - always smiling, glistening with her deep knowledge and light sense of humor.
- What do you advise to Muslim women who work, and have to take off their shawls because of so called “dress-code”, when you have to come to work only in strict business suits and without a shawl? Is wearing hats or berets way to solution?
- You can cover your heads with a beautiful headdress to cover top chakras. This is not Islamic dictate, but of all world religions. This also was in Jewish studies and in Christianity 700 years ahead Islam. None empress used to go out without a headdress in Russia. Just have a look, not a one Queen presents herself to the World without a hat. If talking of Christians, in the times of Ancient Rus, people used to wear kokoshniks garments which covered their heads, and there was expression “make a fool of oneself”, it means she shamelessly took off her headdress. Kokoshniks were embroidered with pearls, golden threads, precious stones, turquoise, corals!
Koran reads: “And every soul is a hostage of its deeds”. At present almost all scientist of the world came to no unique conclusion: there is the certain Absolute, conventionally coded by the word “God”, being inaccessible for our still scanty knowledge. Absolute in particular is the Creator of everything that exists. And by His expression of will there was constructed the program, which functioned faultlessly on the principle of evolutionary development and started to fail exceptionally after powerful invasion of human factor. Koran: “And do not do rowdiness on the Earth where your God established strict order.” “I will eliminate from My grace all those who neglected my order.” Indisputably, we all see this perfect program in operation. So is it possible that we may remain “blind, deaf and dumb to its Creator?”
I was always astonished at human being’s improperly vulgar wish to claim for knowledge and materialization of Godhead. Why so? Uncommonly tight visible spectrum, weak ear hertz or nonetheless by ten per cent (!!!) of cells used by brains?! Not without reason almost all Writings prohibit human invasion into sacrament of knowledge about God.
It is very important to understand the following. It is necessary to clearly differentiate Koran Writing and Profit’s khadises (Let Allahtagala bless and salaam him!) But there aren’t a lot of authentic khadises, different insinuations attack leaves its hints by virtue of national traditions. And at this point there may be specially dangerous product and disgusting occurrences, which are out and away in Islam such as extremism, absence of any degree of tolerance related to other religions, insertion of traditional punishments for sins, initiating distemper on the border of one and the same Islamic state, when a muslim kills his coreligionist because of supposedly another comprehension of Islam.
- You are a wife, a mother and a grandmother, what can you advise regarding issues of bringing up children? Should a man work hard on children’s religious education?
- Upbringing starts from the moment when a child realizes that he lives in a family.
The most curious moment. When repast starts and my husband pronounces: “Bismillyahi rahmanir rahim” and my son exactly to a T repeats his words. Apparently, upbringing starts from such kind of unobservable, habitual everyday things.
- What do you think of Shamil Alyautdinov’s statement that a man must get secular education at first and only after it a religious one?
- I respect very much Sheikh Shamil Hazrat. But I do not agree with him regarding this question. Both my sons graduated from secular universities and this by no means prevents them from being Muslims. A man can be highly pious, decent citizen of his country and herewith strictly keep to forbidden codex of his religion, and if questions appear, to refer to authoritative Muslim leaders of his community. Butseculareducationisveryimportant.
- Do you know that many Russian-language Muslem women consider you as a role-model, etalon of well-educated modern Muslem woman? What is your relation to this?
пророк Мухаммад (с.а.с), сказал: «Облегчайте, а не создавайте затруднения, возвещайте благое, а не внушайте отвращение (к Исламу)».
Sacred Khadisses say: “A child is comfort and wealth of this world and radiance of the other world. Child’s fragrance is fragrance of paradise. When a girl comes to the earth, be also happy; do not assimilate to unbelieving ones!”
Regarding the social standing among women of the East, the Kazakh women differ from those of other eastern people. They obtain the special status in the public hierarchy because the Kazakh nation confer on them a special status as preserver of family & home values. They are worthy colleagues of men. In fact they have a special intellectuality; therefore many of them have become famous, as brave warriors.