1. The Quran at the present time
Dr. Enes Kariç
Faculty of Islamic Studies, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
It was impossible that the traditional method of commentary and interpretation of the Qur’anic thought could have a permanent value. It has been defined and conditioned by the circumstances of the specific time it was first revealed. The initial stages of elaborating, commenting, and applying Qur’anic thought – even if they were the most adequate possible – would have to account for the nature and level of the society at that period. Who would dare to assert that the Qur’anic thought – which is important for every time, place and situation although it is a divine word – regards to all times? Such a claim would be completely nonsense. Every historical moment takes from the Word of God as much as it needs at a given moment, according to the degree of social development.
Every generation must give its contribution to the elaboration of Qur’anic thought as long as they wish to live according its spirit and also seek from it to resolve the challenges that life – which is very dynamic – displays and consequently, facing in this permanent spirit the new problems and cluttered dilemmas encountered during the lifetime.
2. The need for the re-vitalization of intellectual-spiritual heritage
MA. Ervis Jangulli
Modern and postmodern era have been built over some concepts, paradigms and worldviews. The modern era provides various challenges and problems in its structure. Even the Muslim society – if we are supposed to imagine it as a separate body – is facing many challenges. In the face of many contemporary problems, Muslim society must offer the cure and provide solutions for problems within the limits of the Islamic heritage. The illness of this century is the preponderance of a scientific-technological development based on the materialistic and egocentric worldview, and at the same time, alienated from ethics and spirituality. The Muslim society is in an inferior position due to the lack of intellectually-spiritual heritage of Islamic tradition. Intellectual-spiritual heritage is an urgent need for Muslim societies in order to turn it into an important actor in providing solutions to the life’s challenges.
This inheritance can be named as “passage of traditional Islam”, that is, of the primary sources of religion and the wealth of elaboration of these resources by thinkers, theologians, mystics, philosophers and wizards throughout the centuries. This not only prevents further downfall in the forts creates by radical or modern Muslims, but it also recalls a vision in Muslim societies to deal with the time challenges and ultimately acquire the true meaning of life in each individual. The ultimate goal of Islamic tradition is to achieve spiritual excellence to the individual.
Key words: modernism, science, revival, heritage, Islamic legacy.
3. The Concept of Reform in Islam
Haki Sahitaj, Bedër University
Islam is a religion that has already turned into an important part of a wider society, and Muslims altogether bestowed to the entire world a great civilization, at a delightful speed and quality. From religious sciences to empirical ones, from art, music, literature, philosophy and methodology to architecture, Islam challenged all civilizations and time achievements. But today, Muslims have turned into a society that is regarded by all as backward, regressive, spiritually eroded and morally corrupted. Far from the great scientific achievements, Muslims are stuck in the theological self-criticism, in the enclosure of ijtihad; politically dependent and economically feasible. Since Islam as a religion was not born as a result of social factors, nor was it urged as an incentive for a culture, but it manifested in itself only an effort to live the new proclamation that was revealed during the time of Prophet Muhammad, this makes it (Islam) – with its own worldview – overcome time and space. And precisely due to this fact, Islam is not regarded anymore as a historical factor and its achievements are undermined; it is considered as a religion which had emerged long time ago and now is approaching its end, and which must accept other cultures, ideas and practices. Islam remains the law of God that is intended to be lived until the end, and it is precisely this worldview that has urged Muslim intellectuals to invoke reforms in Islam. But this divine word has sparked debates and crashes amongst many Muslims, as some even rejected it as such. The calls for reform in Islam are not lacking even by non-Muslim groups, such as orientalists, cognizers and critics of Islam who come from different academic circles. But this concept today – as well as many other concepts – lies within a terminological fog, such that it is difficult to decide what discourse about “reform” is involved.
4. Mawlana Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
Symbol of Love (I)
MA. Dorian Demetja, Muslim Community of Albania
Although nearly eight centuries have passed since his time, Mawlana’s messages never get old, still keeping their original freshness and vitality within us. Designed to convince people that they can do miracles through love, Mawlana has been studied for centuries by many universities and renowned researchers around the world. According to him, the divine love implies a mutual love: God’s love for humans and humans love for Him. Such mutual love, between God and humans has a common nature, it is a light that shines everywhere and always, it represents the sincere light of existence and the invitation to existence in reality. According Mawlana, the paths that lead to the Creator are open to all who strive hard enough. The only thing to do is throwing away the treasures of this world in order to be enriched by the Lord’s love. As he always emphasized, “Man needs two things: love and teared eyes”.
5. An analysis of the works of Hodja Hasan Tahsin
Burbuqe Meta, Bedër University
Hodja Hasan Tahsin is regarded as one of the most prominent personalities of the Albanian world. He was the most knowledgeable and educated who helped a lot in spreading the knowledge, in the defense of the homeland and in the national affair. Hodja Tahsin is a personality that comes back through research and re-discovery. Indeed, he has never been forgotten, despite his name was merely mentioned as a wise man by his 19th-century contemporaries. He was the winner of many awards and hold many titles as well. Hodja Hasan Tahsin had two types of lives: his simple and almost ascetic life as a human between his birth and his physical death, and the life of his books and his intellectual work, which disregards the times and is in no way time-limited. The first life is the human temporality, the second life is his immortality. Hodja Tahsin is not a scholar of form but a scholar of content. He was a mature scholar, convinced that knowledge and science are, in substance, universally. This universality gives also a meaning to the today’s term of globalization. Nobody among Albanians and his contemporaries, did not know the exact sciences like Hodja Tahsin. He is the greatest estimator of the exact sciences such as mathematics, physics and chemistry. The exact sciences constitute his true love and attribute – are exactly these sciences that comprise the “mental constitution” of his entire activity.
6. Analysis of Salih Vuçiterni’s articles in the “Zani i Naltë” magazine
Zamira Islami, Bedër University
Albania has a very bright and exemplary past in terms of both intellectuals and imams domestic personalities. Many of them, in many respects, are today a source of inspiration. They were people who were formed in the schools of or country and abroad as well, and later their skills and energy poured over the Albanian society, where they became the promoters of many positive developments in this country.
Salih Vuciterni, was one of these outstanding personalities of our society. Through the intellectual background, vision and the knowledge he possessed, Salih Vuciterni played a very important role in the institution of the Muslim Community of Albania.
Key words: Religion, reform, institution, Islam.
7. History of the Albanian personalities from Vilayet of Ioannina (1859-1909)
Syrja bej Vlora
The book of Syrja bej Vlora “The story of the Albanian personalities from Vilayet of Ioannina (1859-1909)” is an encyclopedic work of an indisputable value for the Albanian historiography. This because firstly, it was the first attempt made on this issue, at a time when our scientific institutions were not established yet; and secondly, the information provided in it regarding some historical personalities constitutes a novelty.
In a footnote of the preface of the manuscript in Albanian regarding these biographies, the translator Jonuz Tafilaj writes that they were prepared as an annex to the work of Syrja bey Vlora previously translated by Ali Asllani. However, based on their volume, these biographies constitute a separate book. Therefore, given that they have not previously been integrated into any version of the already published book of Syrja bey Vlora, we are bringing it for publication for the first time in the scientific journal “Zani i Naltë”.
This script is written in the Ottoman language and, together with the translation into Albanian, is found in the Central State Archive of Tirana. He has in total 78 pages in Ottoman and 120 pages in Albanian, translated by the renowned Orientalist Jonuz Tafilaj. In the inventory compiled by the head of the Ottoman manuscript sector in the historical archive, the orientalist Haki Sharofi, it is writen the date of receipt of this translation (June 26, 1963). 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 (Gheg) dialect and contains a considerable amount of errors, we have tried to intervene only where it was indispensably necessary. This, because the dialects, in addition to the translations done in a given period, are a tremendous asset and bear the stamp of the time.
The book provides information on the most prominent personalities of Southern Albania, who, from an administrative point of view, were included in Vilayet of Janina at that time. Here is briefly written, and sometimes even longer, about the formation, role and contribution of the famous personalities of the Albanian world. Furthermore, in this book one can find a lot of details, which, given that they are written as an integral part of a memorial book, cannot be found in any other book. This enriches and makes it more beautiful to the reader, but also more valuable as a historiographical source for scholars.
Despite the level of translation and mistakes, we think that publishing this part of the book at the “Zani i Naltë” magazine, is necessary. This is a homage to the forgotten and unjustly anathemaed author, to the honored translator, orientalist Jonuz Tafilaj and, finally, to Albanian historiography and memorialistics.
Dr. Hasan Bello
08- As-Sarahsi, Shamsul-aimmah (Sun of the scholars) (D. 483 h./1090)
Dr. Osman Taştan
Shamsul-aimmah As-Sarahsi was born around 400 h./1010 in a family of merchants, probably in Sarahs, a town between Mashhad and Marwi (in present-day Turkmenistan, near the Iranian border).
Sarahsi’s writings include: al-Mabsut, al-Usul, Sharh as-Sierul-kabir, an-Nukat: Sharh Zijadatiz-zijadat, Sharkh Muhtesar at-Tahawi, and Ashratus-sa’a. Most of these are systematic commentaries on Hanafi’s earlier writings.
According to his biographers, As-Sarahsi dictated to his students the memories of Mabsut, Usul, and a large part of Sharkh as-Sieril-kabir, while he was imprisoned and without access to references. However, Schacht doubts this point, claiming that it is inconceivable that As-Sarahsi could have dictated his works to the others during the fourteen years of his imprisonment. For this reason, Schacht suggests that As-Sarahsi should have received substantial assistance from his students, including access to resources. This is possible, as we know that his students have collaborated with him in composing his works.
Sarahsi worked simultaneously, writing several works at the same time. He wrote several pieces of Mabsut before and some others after his work Sharkh as-Sierul-kabir. The fact that he often refers to the Mabsut chapters in his work “Usul” is an indicator that he wrote Usul after completing Mabsut. With the actual information we have, it is quite impossible for us to prove an exact chronology of his works.
09- Sheikh Ibrahim Karbunara (1879 – 1947)
A cleric, patriot and politician fucilated by the communist regime
Sheikh Ibrahim Karbunara was born in Karbunara village near Lushnja in 1879, at a noble family with patriotic background. He received the secondary education at Berati’s madrassa, where he was noted as an excellent student. Then went to the high school of theological studies in Istanbul where he received a full-time, high-level education degree as a clergyman, also knowing five foreign languages: Arabic, Ottoman, Persian, English and French, and equipped with a vast contemporary culture.
10- New Initiatives for Cooperation between Religions
Since universal friendship (fellowship, brotherhood) is a desirable goal, people of faith must guide their forces towards the development of this companionship and summarize its accomplishment with seriousness and full confidence. This seriousness must address the religious consciousness – for which we have discussed to – and benefit from the powerful influence that this awareness has to the spirit of the faithful and from the legacy of its purpose as well as by the instinct that skins the nature of the human beings soul. It is necessary to start from here the development of a universal fellowship.
The accomplishing of this great goal for the universal brotherhood and its development can be done through the religious awareness of all religions as well as through the practical virtue and good social principles found in each religion.
In all religions there are many divine principles that serve the good and the benefit of mankind and therefore, every religious should be a useful social organ.
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