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Why did Leo Tolstoy really want to convert to Islam 

“The ultimate authority of any reasonable person is Islam” – this phrase can be found on the web under the authorship of the writer Leo Tolstoy . She to some extent prompted the appearance of the version that he was a Muslim. True, most supporters of this opinion are Muslims themselves, so it can be assumed that they thus “strengthen” their religion with the authority of a world-famous author. Moreover, the authorship of Tolstoy is not confirmed.
At the same time, it must be admitted that the phrase to the writer is not entirely wrong. Lev Nikolaevich did have a special relationship with Islam, and there was more personal contact with Muslims than, probably, any other Russian classic. This may explain the version that Tolstoy accepted or, at least, wanted to convert to Islam.
Muslim Relationship
At the age of 13, Tolstoy moved with his sister and brothers to his aunt in Kazan, where his personal contacts with Muslims began. A few years later, he chose to study the Department of Oriental Languages ​​at a local university, although he later moved to the Faculty of Law. During his studies, he became more closely acquainted with the Muslim culture, and also began to study Turkic and Arabic.
In the middle of the 19th century, Tolstoy and his brother went to the Caucasus and lived in a Cossack village for about 3 years. At that time, he not only took part in hostilities, but also studied the characters of Caucasian Muslims and watched their way of life and customs. Here he met with Imam Shamil and Hadji Murad. Then these impressions will be displayed in his story “The Cossacks”, later he will write the story “Hadji Murad”. The book by Henri Troyat, “Leo Tolstoy,” describes how a famous writer with children traveled to Tula to visit Turkish prisoners of war during the Russian-Turkish war. As the author writes, Tolstoy was struck by the fact that every prisoner had a Koran. It should be noted that Lev Nikolaevich remembered some of his Muslim friends all his life. For example, he liked to recall the Chechen Sado Miserbiev, who saved him from the debt trap:
Attitude towards Islam
Vladimir Tolstoy , the great-great-great-great-grandson of the great writer, to the question of whether his legendary ancestor wanted to become a Muslim, replied: “I will allow myself to doubt that Tolstoy wanted to convert to Islam. But the fact that he was very interested in all world religions is a fact. And Islam attracted him as a young, strong religion. ” At the same time, it is necessary to recognize that Lev Nikolayevich was not only interested in Islam, but also closely communicated with Muslims, both adherents of the traditional religion and reformers. With one of the last, Muhammad Abdo, he actively corresponded. Being the mufti of Egypt, he wrote to Tolstoy that in his country many ideas of the writer have a strong influence on people.
Tolstoy was always distinguished by extraordinary thinking and original views, which were alien to the Russian society of his time. He wrote: “The world instituted its own life, in everything contrary to the teachings of Christ, and the church came up with allegories, according to which it happened that people, living contrary to the law of Christ, live in accordance with it.” It is not surprising that such judgments ended for him with excommunication from the church and the loss of support from relatives and friends. Perhaps this is precisely the reason why the writer began to look for an “alternative” to Orthodox dogma and found solace in another religion. Interestingly, when Tolstoy was written by a Russian woman who was married to a Muslim and asked for advice about the fact that her sons intend to convert to Islam, he replied:
“… oddly enough, to say this, for me, putting higher Christian ideals and Christian teachings in its true sense, for me there can be no doubt that Mohammedanism in its external forms is incomparably higher than church Orthodoxy …”
Despite such thoughts, Tolstoy did not openly accept Islam, so to say that he professed Mohammedanism is pointless. Yusuf Tunchbilek in his article “Was Tolstoy Muslim?” Notes: “Even if we assume that he did not have any sympathy for our religion, in his thoughts and way of life like the Sufi, there is much that Muslims could have to learn. “

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