1. What Do Islamic Texts Say About Knowledge
Adnan Merja, MARS Hartford Seminary, Connecticut, USA
Being notable with knowledge is an honour of knowledgeable and wise people, for they are guided by clear evidences. From this perspective, as the Holy Book, Qur’an emphasizes, people of knowledge, meanwhile, Muslim believers, are given high ranks in comparison with other believers who don’t specify with this peculiarity.
It is important to state that Islamic texts comprise a very rich argumentative content and communicates people a certain message without affliction of being a utopic complexity. For instance, the aforementioned text declares that since scholars will be amongst people by solving their problems not necessarily only from a religious profile, implies the idea that society develops forward only by knowledge. Promptly, knowledge can be obtained not only through theoretically readings, however, it can be also acquired by realizing interactions between people, by discussing and exchanging ideas to benefitting the integrated individual in society with his own identity and not in divide. Maybe, this is one of the reasons that human being is potentially regarded as “a civilized being by his nature”.
2. An analysis of Hafiz Ali Korça’s “Bolshevism is mankind’s destruction”
Msc. Denis Qosja, “H. Ali Korça” Madrasah, Kavaja
To Albanians, religion has occupied a very important place throughout history. Many Albanian Muslim scholars have contributed to the survival of the Islamic religion and they have also made their strong contributions to freedom and independence. This has been one of the reasons that among the individuals who have tried to achieve Albania’s independence, we find a considerable number of representatives of the Muslim religion. One of these 20th century representatives and scholars was also Hafiz Ali Korça. To mention the contribution he has made to his homeland, both in the religious as well as the cultural and patriotic aspect, would mean to analyse his entire works. However, this article only focuses on one of his works by analysing and highlighting his religious and patriotic thoughts. The book, which we will try to analyse, is a short work entitled “Bolshevism is mankind’s destruction”.
3. Man and Woman in monotheistic religions
Prof. Dr. Gjergj Sinani, University of Tirana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Philosophy
The place occupied by the man and the woman in monotheistic religions as well as religions in general, presents a diversity which has determined the various theological, philosophical and moral discussions. Furthermore, this topic cannot be isolated from the problem of human origin. With regard to the latter, considering the variety of discussions and controversies, it is difficult to determine a typology of myths about the birth of human beings.
A good knowledge of these themes should also serve the understanding of today’s political-religious debate over many phenomena, which not infrequently, are abusive to the scriptures, further exacerbating human existence.
It should be emphasized that understanding sacred texts also requires a hermeneutic viewpoint. Furthermore, not only hermeneutics of scriptures, but also philosophical hermeneutics is required.
“There is no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There is no peace among religions without dialogue among religions. There is no dialogue among religions without investigation of the foundations of religions”. Hans Küng
4. The Pen and the Flute
Fatos A. Kopliku, Washington DC, USA
The great spiritual figures of mankind like Moses, Lao Tze, Christ, and Muhammad did not take it upon themselves to establish art, science, or military academies. Their priority and responsibility was the transformation of souls from copper to gold, to use the language of alchemy, since the same way pure gold is attained after copper, so do the souls become “beautiful”, “perfected”, after polished. Then, whatever comes from such souls – be it art, architecture, crafts, science – is truly “in the likeness of Heaven” and it serves as a reminder of God. The Islamic Arts can be divided into two: those of the pen and those of the flute. The first awaken the longing of man towards the Plato’s World of Ideas, or the imaginary world (ʿalem el-khajāl) of the Islamic cosmology. The second are the reaction of man towards the disclosures that awaken his or her consciousness. The first are sparks of light, the second are glowing embers. An art of this kind reminds man of his true home he has left behind and where he will return, Paradise, and from its lands that time cannot touch brings a fragrance, easing thus the burden of exile. Art is true as long as it supports contemplation and helps the soul free itself from the discord that befell him since the time he was exiled to this world, and to accord to the primordial harmony, an echo of Paradise itself.
5. Translation of the Qur’an into Albanian
Azmir Jusufi, Prizren, Kosovo
Translation of the Qur’an and the interpretation of its noble messages is one of the most important Islamic disciplines. This area has always attracted the attention of many Muslim scholars, both in the past and today.
The messages of the Noble Qur’an were and as such, have remained the fundamental source for Muslim thinkers. There is hardly a world language into which the Qur’an has not been translated.
Given that most of the Albanian population belongs to the Islamic faith, some scholars have emerged among them, who have contributed to the translation of the Holy Qur’an into Albanian since the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to highlight the translation of the Noble Qur’an into Albanian; the need for its translation into other languages; the meaning and types of translation of the Qur’an, and finally some issues about the translations of the Qur’an into Albanian.
6. The first Muslim Albanian Congress (1923) – sanctioning the independence of the Islamic community in Albania and the foundation of its national and contemporary development
Prof. Dr. Gazmend Shpuza
The Muslim Albanian Congress represents a very important event not only for Albania’s religious and social life, but also for the national political life of our entire people. Nonetheless, in the past this event was only addressed fairly, mainly by foreign authors. Lack of appreciation in the past and recent disregard cannot be solely accounted for by the communist state’s attitude towards religious beliefs and their organisms.
Even after the commemoration of its 75th anniversary in 1998, the Muslim Congress of 1923 has attracted little public and scientific attention. This can be said even today when there is so much rumour about the danger of Islamic fundamentalism in our country. In fact, as evidenced by the (indifferent) attitude towards the decisions of this Congress, it is a rumour which has actually been artificially inflated considerably.
Prejudices against the Albanian Islamic community, considered totally backward, as well as prejudices against the Islamic faith, simply referred to as a legacy of the centuries-old Ottoman rule, have hampered the appreciation of the significance of the Muslim Albanian Congress of 1923. In spite of authentic documents recognised so far and a consistent activity in their spirit, these prejudices have prevented the reading and evaluation of its decisions, which can undoubtedly be considered historic. Consequently, it has not been possible to properly and adequately observe and demonstrate their profoundly national and progressive character, not only at religious but also at national level.
7. Ferid Pasha Vlora
Syrja Bey Vlora
During the first months of his post as Prime Minister (Grand Vizier), Ferid Pasha was sometimes on intimate terms with the Sultan and sometimes antagonistic towards him. However, Ferid Pasha gradually gained the Sultan’s confidence and they soon became like two souls in one body. During Sultan Abdul Hamid’s reign no one prime minister could hold his post without being stripped of their personality and satisfying the Sultan’s caprices and despotic desires. The prime minister was obliged to work based on the correspondence with the Palace and after the orders he received from there; and not as the country and time required or how he deemed appropriate. After the failed assassination attempt on Sultan Abdul Hamid, Ferid Pasha was granted permission that any communication from the Saray be made by the Sultan himself. Thus, Ferid Pasha had prevented many evils. However, these precautions angered the courtesans, and only Arab Izzet Pasha became a supporter of Ferid Pasha, while the state affairs returned to their previous condition. Ferid Pasha would meet with the Sultan once a week and was on very intimate terms with him. They would often talk about the ambassadors and their private lives, through which Ferid Pasha found a way to entertain the Sultan. Nonetheless, Ferid Pasha, like his predecessors was not independent in his actions; he could neither discuss any issue without the Sultan’s written or oral order nor insist on his own proposals.
8. Foreword and Aim The First Khutbah/Sermon (1923)
The Muslim community, which has recently been established for the first time, will publish the first issue of its Temporary, a goal which we had set ourselves since the proclamation of the Statute.
We, at the Temporary, will aim at trying to prevent the destruction and decadence observed in the Albanian Muslim element, giving it the opportunity to move towards progress and contemporary civilisation.
We have no doubt that every Muslim will support us materially and morally in this difficult path which we are starting to pursue. We hope that every religious community will rejoice that we have taken this step and will provide their support so that we reach the goal of elevating Islam to the peak state achieved in the Golden Age.
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