1. Tradition of Mawlud to the Muslims
Prof. Dr. Qazim Qazimi, Kosovo
It is an undeniable reality that Mawlud celebration – the Prophet (AS) birthday – did not happen during Prophet (AS) lifetime. In fact, such a celebration has neither occurred during the period of the Companions, nor during that of the Tabi’un, or Tabi-Tabiun. Therefore, Mawlud celebration in the past was never made in the format we now see and today’s Muslims throughout the world practice.
Muslim scholars are of the opinion that: On this night it is pleasing that God be glorified, prayers be chanted, alms be given, good deeds be done etc. If all these works are done for the sake of Allah, then the reward is great.
The message of this celebration regarding the Memorial of Last Prophet’s – Muhammad (PBUH) – birth would be: “Return to your religion, its basic sources, the Qur’an, the hadith of Muhammad (PBUH), but also have a glance at our glorious tradition, as long as it is not in a substantial conflict with Islamic principles, because there is our salvation; there is the future for this people, and there is the happiness.
2. Meditation – the illuminating path of faith in God
Dorian Demetja, Muslim Community of Albania
Meditation on God’s creatures is a ritual that removes worries and concerns, for after this process one feels that this world – with all its troubles – is very small compared to the universe; he feels that all problems and sufferings are too small compared to the grandeur of the universe and the Creator.
In his inner world, man is a creature that needs to be excited every day, nay several times a day. From this perspective, our task in this regard is not avoiding the good friends, for a good friend – at any time – with his useful advice and instructions may awaken emotions and excite our hearts.
At any time, our prayer – by which we turn to God – must be made in order to protect us from the evil of his own self and the devil, in order to enable us continuing our life in an atmosphere of the divine grace. At the same time we pray Allah (SWT) – through meditation – to better understand and comprehend in a multidimensional view the messages of Islam and by representing them in a dignified manner, to gain the pleasure of our Creator.
3. The crown on the humbled head
Fatos A. Kopliku, MS/MA Washington, DC
In this article we will make an essential comparison between Islam and Christianity, the religion which more than anything has shaped, if not created, the West. The comparison is between Saint Mary and Prophet Muhammad and it is our belief that will help the mutual understanding between the two religions since it is of an essential character, and as such it avoids the danger of dwelling on the superficial, a natural consequence of emphasis on formal comparisons. In Islam the Qur’an, the Word of God, comes as a book, while in Christianity the Word of God is Christ who “was made flesh and dwelt among us”. From this point of view it follows naturally the comparison between Prophet Muhammad and the Saint Mary as the recipients of the Divine Word. We point here that the comparison is not in the role of the Prophet as legislator, statesman, or military strategist, roles these of outer nature – not inner – similar to those of the prophets of the Old Testament, or the avatar Krishna in Hinduism.
4. Christians! Reflection of a Muslim in troubled times!
Ilir Akshija, M.D., M.Sc.
University Hospital Center, “Mother Teresa”, Statistics Department
My neighbor Christian! This expression may have been something unusual to the greatest part of Muslims for centuries. Homogeneity within the provinces has been common, even within the so-called neighborhoods in Ottoman millet system, while the geographical lines of separation between Islam and Christianity has been dynamic and very often it has been used as a real war front. In such a situation, the interaction at the individual level of Muslims with Christians has been – to some extent – limited. The increase in communication opportunities and traffic speed along with several decades of relative peace after the Second World War, has brought ease in overcoming long distances and increasing the number of contacts between the people of the whole planet. Muslims and Christians living and working together in the same environment and cyberspace – this phenomenon is unprecedented in human history. Differences in the choice of religious affiliation in a civilized environment are impossible to overlook while global situations are not very peaceful. The mutual respect for each-other beliefs requires a minimum of mutual recognition and therefore one should also know some limits to be respected and surely, many other limits that are a subject of ongoing discussion. Interfaith discussions are somehow necessary, because the closure itself and parallel existence without communication can lead to misunderstandings, which would be resolved immediately through the recognition of the others. This discussion is very present in the global, religious leaders and definitely at individual level in our daily lives.
5. Extremism between prejudice and stigmatization
Doc. Dr. Faredin Ebibi
Dean of the Faculty of Islamic Sciences – Skopje, Macedonia
Extremism as a phenomenon has accompanied humans throughout all periods. As a phenomenon it has can be found everywhere in the pores of life, in the political sphere, as well as in the economic, ideological, religious, sports areas and elsewhere.
As a result of global changes, the most questionable of them – on which many debates have arisen – is the so-called violent religious extremism with a large extent of the tendency of attributing this phenomenon, to a certain religion – Islam to be precise – as if all the other ideologies, religions or other structures are immune from this phenomenon.
Keywords: extremism, Islam, ideology, prejudice, stigmatization, the Qur’an, Sunnah, trend, regulation, standard.
Language and literature
6. Some topics and dilemmas about the translation of the Quran in Albanian language
Mr. Elez Ismaili
“Isa Bey” Madrasa, Skopje
It is an undeniable fact that the issue of the Quran translation has involved most of the prominent scholars of Islamic provenience, and all of them have given their opinion regarding it. By analyzing their statements, we can conclude that interpreters of all time have been categorical in their opinion that the Qur’an should not be translated, but they agreed that this divine treasure be offered to the peoples of the whole world. And finally we have to agree with the following two statements that can be used as a motto. The first is that of Imam Vehbi Dibra, drawn from his speech on the occasion of the publication of some Quran excerpts in Turkish and Albanian. He says: “Since the Qur’an it the glorious word of the Creator of universe, it therefore must be translated magnificently, and this is not work to be done by the torpid pen of parochial people.” Whereas for errors in translations he says: “Reading such books full of noticeable errors in translation may distort the belief, therefore we advise not giving them importance and furthermore, nor reading them at all.” Another finding is that of Enes Kariqi, who says: “The Quran is not possible to be fully translated, but it absolutely must be translated.”
7. The relationship between press and government in Albania:
The approval of the Ottoman press law in 1922
Dr. Hasan Bello, Institute of History, QSA
Studying the relationship between the press and government is an interesting aspect in the history of the Albanian journalism. It is a clear indication of the path the battle for freedom of speech has followed. Therefore, to illustrate this issue we have chosen only a short segment of history, but which contains in itself a complete mosaic.
This article addresses the debate on the press and freedom of speech in 1922 and the discussions that took place in this period regarding the approval of the Ottoman press law.
The draft of this press law – taking as model the Ottoman legislation, – was not welcomed by some intellectual circles. In the vanguard of the struggle in defense of press freedom was Faik Konica with his newspaper “Dielli”. He called the decision a “pseudo-canon”, according to which, henceforth, in Albania could circulate only newspapers sold to the police.
According to him, those who do not like the press freedom don’t like the light too and therefore, they jeopardize the national security. This, because Faik Konica considered the press as a necessary tool in benefit of a society, exactly like a discharge valve (“safety valve”). Restricting the press freedom – according to him – comprises a source of tyranny and generates violence.
This law did not create any legal or factual impediment to the press of that time. Rather, journalists and intellectuals published articles, criticism, controversy and pamphlets on various aspects of social and political life. This is also observed in the extraordinary publicistic legacy, which is an indicator of a high professional level. Over the years press legislation evolved in compliance to the internal development of the Albanian state and the new circumstances that were created within the country.
8. Religious supervision to parents or Ihtisab – the rules and ethics
Dr. Sedat Islami, Kosovo
‘Commanding the good and forbidding the evil’ is one of the most important religious institutions. It ensures the implementation of the law of God in society and the preservation of the latter by any negative phenomena. Because of this importance it has, it is described in the Qur’an (9:71) as an obligation that derives from religious brotherhood. Because of having such a status, it is regulated as an institution with the relevant rules and ethics in order to prevent any case of its wrong manifestation, which may have ramifications. Commanding the good and forbidding the evil continued as a state and social organ for centuries. Over time, deficient perceptions in this respect, as an institution, philosophy and worldview, have led to its erroneous application. There have been made errors – inter alia – in relation to parents. This paper aims to represent the aspects where it was wrongly applied regarding the parents and what are the religiously adopted forms for its application in relation to them.
9. For religion and homeland: Muslim clergy arguments in the debate on the modernization of Albania in 20-30 the years of the past century
Dr. Enis Sulstarova, Tirana University
During the years 20-30 of last century Albania was officially a secular country, but in practice the State, acting as an agent of national unity, aimed to put under its control the organization of the religious sphere and activities. The country’s political elite in the name of modernization and Occidentalism sought especially to reform the organization and practices of the Muslim community, as the largest in the country. Even some secular intellectuals labeled Islam as an “Oriental” religion which was alien to the Albanian soul and modern European civilization. Muslim clerics, generally accepting the need of reforming the organization and some of their religious practices, yet reacted to those arguments that they considered as unfair and wrong. Through reference to certain texts of the main Muslim clerics of the time, this paper will present some aspects provided by them on the compatibility of Islam with modern national state. These aspects were: (1) Muslim clergy has contributed to the national movement; (2) Islam is not against the nation and national unity; (3) Islam is not against modern civilization and science; and (4) Islam protects Albanian nation against disruptive effects of communism. In the XXI century – although the context has changed – some of the abovementioned argumental aspects tend to reverse in the Albanian public debate, in response to considering Islam as “the other” of the West and as alienated to the Albanian national identity.
10. Sheuqet Muka (1887-1967)
Sheuqet Muka was an ardent patriot and for him, homeland was above everything. The political line he was preaching was for unity and brotherhood – as a single body – for we primarily are all Albanians of the same blood and language.
He neither had a formal religious education, nor performed clerical functional tasks; he didn’t serve at institutions of worship and hadn’t any religious garment, however, it was formed as a Muslim intellectual, tireless missionary of Islam.
His contribution to the benefit of Islam in those conditions and circumstances is rare, big, efficient and versatile, because he was a source of Islamic knowledge and education, instruction and culture.
In all his activity in benefit of religion, he kept always in mind the interfaith cooperation, education for coexistence, peace, harmony and friendship among believers of the three religions. In all his writings, lectures and conversations of different thematic Sheuqet Muka always had in mind a combination of religious and patriotic aspects and vice versa.
11. Why the knowledge researchers form the majority of those who doubt and hesitate in religious matters?
The idea of the abovementioned phrase causes a disturbance in the pure faith of some smart people. In fact, in the largest part of those who study knowledge one can find people who are suspicious and reluctant in religious matters and who insult the religion or furthermore, a part that openly declare their own atheism and who mocks religious people. These kinds of people are mostly found among school students, especially among those who study in Europe. Attacking of this category has gone so far as to attack the sacred objects of their parents to disseminate doubts. The effect of this situation – except elite which knows to appreciate the value of science and knowledge – has led to a belief in the public that science and knowledge allegedly corrupt religion, propagate atheism and turn people into atheists.
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