Msc. Veton Tulla & Msc. Hysni Skura, Bedër University College, Department of Islamic Sciences
Islam views humans as the most honorable creatures, which are endowed with conscience and will, and it considers the freedom of belief as an undeniable right. The Islamic religion tries to eliminate the obstacles that lie between God and the human intellect, conscience and will as fundamental principles. Of course, this objective is achieved through a multidimensional education and intellectual background on religious principles and provisions. It needs to be emphasized the fact that when Islam is properly understood, everybody can follow the path called “representation and communication”- the line of Islamic practice and communication in the best possible way, which would consequently lead to a harmonic and peaceful living with anyone around us.
It is a professional and moral responsibility for any Islamic preacher (mufti, imam, waiz, muezzin, etc.) to explain the religion to the people in the best possible way without being distracted from the two main sources – the Qur’an and Prophetic Tradition – and, of course, combining their sermons with a methodology appropriate to their audience.
2. On the attributions (“Sifaa’-s”) of God (صفات الله)
Azmir Jusufi (PHDc), Prizren, Kosovo
It is known that – and far from it – God neither has a body, nor occupies a space; we cannot say if He is moving or not, and He cannot be characterized by exterior and interior feelings like humans. He does not resemble to anything. However, in order to fulfill human’s will and to help them, the Magnificent Lord, in the last revelation in the Qur’an, has mentioned the attributes belonging to His Almighty (but) so that God to remain unmatched, as in fact He is.
If people – the philosophers – would have stopped on what the logic itself enables about the recognition of supernatural power (God), it would have been enough. However, what caused the dialogue, annoyed them and tired them unnecessarily is the fact that they entered into research and study about something that was not so urgent.
3. Contribution of “Alauddin” madrassa on the religious education and the national issue during the years 1985 – 1995
Prof. Dr. Qazim Qazimi, Kosovo
The “Alauddin” Madrassa with its very successful religious education activity, as well as its overall activities in all possible forms, made an unimaginable and unparalleled contribution in line with the comprehensive development of the Albanian education in Kosovo.
This madrasa has since contributed to the religious education in preparing cadres for all Albanian lands but also abroad. Through its educational and educative activities, as well as with its comprehensive activities, has also made an uncontested contribution to the national issue.
It must be acknowledged that the fate of “Alauddin” madrassa was and still continues to be closely related to the fate of the Albanian people in general and that of Kosovo in particular.
4. The project “Well…Penetrate!”
Blerim Lazimi, Dibër
The first flights, the launch of satellites, the human arrival on the moon, the direct study of Mars, the study of our solar system and beyond, are all proofs that humanity – willingly or not – has walked on the scheduled path, just like the universe. This shows the accuracy of the Qur’an, each sentence of which is an argument on its own. Surely the Quran is the word of God. Otherwise, how could the products of the human mind of the seventh century (e.s.) be such accurate and clear projects of science development, so progressive application methods, so precise predictions about the future of mankind ?! How can the Qur’an be considered a human word, when it is in all respects far from the prevailing legends of that time?! Surely, the project was only published by the One, Who designed the universe, created the mankind and everything that is in the heavens and the earth; the One Who is the Lord of Knowledge. Only under His inspiration practice that leads to the discovery of Truth is applied. Allah knows the past, the present, and the future of the cosmos and mankind.
5. The 95-th anniversary of the State Gymnasium
Prof. dr. Njazi Kazazi, University of Shkodra “Luigj Gurakuqi”, Department of Linguistics
Due to the official propaganda, “the old feudal-bourgeois school of pre-liberation was severely oppugned both in content and in methodology” when the party led by Enver Hoxha, defined the path of revolutionary development of education in Albania “… according the war proclaimed to the old school.” In these conditions of such totalitarianism and extreme politicization “… the author was allowed the freedom of thought in dealing with history, but within the allowed bounds such that to not contradict some hardened Marxist-Leninist postulates.”
Researchers in these fields emphasized that this kind of school had “religious and clerical, reactionary and anti-nationalist spirit in the service of foreign patrons …” and it was “… an anti-democratic school and above all, with a frenzied and aggressive anticommunist spirit “and furthermore, they reiterate “a true castle of cultural and ideological reaction in the service of foreigners …. not only anti-populist, but – as we have said – anti-nationalist.”
6. An Historical view on the book “History of Albanian Pashaliks in the Ottoman Empire” of Syrja bej Vlora Part II
Dr. Hasan Bello, Institute of History, Center of Albanological Studies
The book “History of Albanian Pashaliks in the Ottoman Empire” of Syrja bej Vlora is a modest attempt to shed light on a number of personalities who have lived, worked and contributed for an imperial state, part of which were also Albanians during five centuries.
In this book, data of general character are given, which for the sake of truth can now be considered as outdated from those scholars who want to deal with a profound research of the Ottoman period. As for passionate readers of history, they are a valuable contribution, with little or no previously known information. The author discloses interesting data for familiar and unknown names from Albanian historiography, perhaps for the fact that for these personalities, prejudice instead of sound reasoning did prevail.
This book in manuscript was written in the Ottoman language and now it can be found at the State Central Archive of Tirana together with the translation into Albanian. It has in total 144 pages in Ottoman and 52 pages in Albanian translated by the orientalist Jonuz Tafilaj. In the inventory compiled by the orientalist Haki Sharofi, the manager of the Turkish manuscript section in the historical archive, the date of receipt of this translation June 26, 1963 appears. As for the time when it was written by Syrja bey Vlora, we still have no data.
Although this manuscript translation is in the northern dialect and contains a considerable amount of errors, we have intervened only where it was indispensably necessary. This because dialects along with translations made in a given period are a tremendous asset and bear the stamp of the time.
But on the other hand, in order to help the readers, we converted the years of lunar calendar to the solar calendar by placing them in parenthesis without changing the original text. In the sections in which an Ottoman historical term appears we tried to explain it with the sign (*) in the subtext. As for some personalities – whose birthdays, the year of death and the time they served as prime ministers is shown – we have placed them in brackets.
7. Et’hem Bey Mosque at Tirana – a splendor of Islamic architecture in Albania
Msc. Brunilda Basha, KAED, IIUM, Malaysia
Inscriptions and buildings have a great historical significance. In some cases they reflect previously unknown information, or a colorful picture of human activity. In other cases, they revitalize the story, bringing tangible facts to the younger generation and convey an atmosphere of culture that is really absent nowadays.
At the time when the Ottoman Empire reached its peak – during the 15th and 16th centuries – the Ottoman art in Albania was very similar to that in Skopje or Edirne. Meanwhile, during the 17th century, the influence of the Ottoman central government began to fade, so the contribution of local masters to Islamic buildings in Albania began to grow. At the end of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the mix of Ottoman elements with other innovative elements reached its peak due to the emergence of a special Albanian-Islamic style. Such a style constituted a synthesis of religious and secular elements – both Ottoman and the indigenous, and Western as well.
The combination of these seemingly homogeneous features actually reflects the history and nature of Albania as a crossroads between the East and the West. These recent works – as Machiel Kiel (2011) called them – are regarded as the product of the “golden age of Islamic culture in Albania”. In this case it is about the “golden age” in the sense of development in the field of architecture.
This paper aims to analyze how Islam was propagated into Albanian lands and how buildings, shrines, embody the Islamic elements in harmony with the local architecture and its elements. For this purpose, literature on Islam in Albania and on Islamic architecture has been studied. Thereafter, Et’hem Bey Mosque in Tirana was taken as a case study to reveal the facts of a relationship between the local and European Islamic architecture. Also, in this paper, a detailed description of the mosque in question is presented from the historical and architectural point of view. The paper also aims to promote the improvement of Islamic architecture in Albania and its importance in the development of Albanian architecture. At the same time, it is hoped to turn into a reference source for future research and studies in any field.
8. Flag Day celebrations by Muslim Community in Albania in 1924
From the browsing archive materials and the literature related to the celebration of Flag Day by the Muslim Community of Fier at that time, we can conclude that the community and its leaders, assisted by the state organs of the time, had a respectful approach to this day. Flag Day was not a common day like the other; rather, it was a source of a real mobilization by the Community members. This was a state-run holiday and for its celebration, the competent authorities sent the letter a few days before it, so that the community could begin its preparations for such an important day.
After receiving a letter from the state authorities, the headquarters of the Muslim Community in Tirana sent a message to the Muftis of all districts and after the end of the manifestation, muftiates sent a detailed report to the Community headquarters in Tirana. One of the reports is this one which we presented above, sent by the Muftiate of Fier district.
Although political circumstances were unfavorable to celebrate this holiday, the Muslim Community was mobilized with all its capacity to make this celebration as magnificent as possible. What is noticeable about this organization, is that people without religious differences, function and social status, went to church and to the mosque to celebrate the Flag Day. Perhaps, these forms of organization for certain national holidays must still be a model for our political and religious leaders.
9. Contribution of “Dituria Islame” magazine in the Islamic sermon – hutba as an example
Dr. Sedat Islami, Kosovo
The magazine “Dituria Islame” has a special and historic significance in the field of Islamic preaching in Kosovo and beyond. This importance is best evidenced by its contribution, focusing – among other things – in the professional preparation of preachers – imams and the permanent assistance with religious subjects (sermons and hutba-s) provided to them. The historical background to this contribution is provided by its presentation at a time of inappropriate political circumstances in Kosovo and not only. In Albania, where religious journals had been firstly published, their publication was banned by the communist regime. While in Kosovo, despite the existence of communist ruling system, the freedom of the religious press somewhat existed, although the Albanian religious literature was delayed. Thus, the publication of “Dituria Islame” magazine, along with “Edukata Islame”, – a quarterly magazine -would greatly contribute in raising the Islamic religious awareness in general and to the formation of religious preachers in particular. This paper seeks to shed light on such a role of professional growth of imams and religious lecturers, with reference to sermons from the professional (as a preacher) and artistic aspect (as content and interpretation). My work is divided into two main parts: in the first part I have dealt with the materials for the theoretical frame for the sermon, while in the second part I discussed their practical aspect, respectively the content aspect and the technical and artistic arrangement of the sermons. At the end, I summarized the results of this paper and the recommendations drawn from it.
10. Hafiz Sabri Bey Bushati – an admirable and inspiring personality of Shkodra
Prof. dr. Sadije Bushati, “L. Gurakuqi” Universitety, Faculty of Economics, Shkodër
The rare moral qualities of this hafiz, his full religious and social devotion, his general culture and professional preparation, his patriotism and political integrity, his seriousity and responsible duties – such as the duty of imam, muderriz, vaiz and the dignified mufti – without leaving aside his commitment to the role of such historical responsibility in the consolidation of the Albanian state, the preservation of the territorial integrity and the development of democracy, as a participant of the Lushnja Congress and as a Senate member, all these made his friendly ties extended even outside the circle of imams, thus creating an “ensemble” of goodwill, with respectable intellectuals as: Hamit Gjylbegaj, Hamdi Bushati, Riza Drini etc., or with representatives of old tradition families: Selim Reci, Oso Kopliku, Muho Kazazi, Junuz Boric, Nuto Podgorica , Elez Muka, Ymer Lutfia, Caf Reci, Elez Sokoli, Et’hem Koplik, Riza Kaduku.
11. The True Civilization and the Mastery Civilization
The civilization is of two types: true civilization and mastery (technical) civilization. If we consider the mastery civilization, then we can say that Europe and America have reached the highest rank of such a civilization and the other nations live like the people of two or three centuries ago, but if we have a look at the eastern nations, we find they have a true civilization as good-willing and pure-heart people.
From the West we can take only the mastery civilization and keep the true civilization together with some kind habits which we have inherited from our ancestors. If we behave as orangutans and take from them dancing, cabarets, drinks and other morality problems and leaving aside our divine traditions, then we will overthrow our nation with our hands.
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