1. Sufism and Quranic Ethics
Prof. Assoc. Atif Khalil, Lethbridge University, Canada
The Qur’ān lies at the heart of Muslim spirituality, and provides the fount and wellspring for its doctrines and practices. To the extent that classical Islam as a whole was animated both in form and spirit by its central Scripture, all the way from law and ritual to theology and the arts, it would only be natural to find its reverberations running throughout its mysticism as awell. Indeed, some of the most influential literary expressions of Sufism, ranging from Ghazālī’s Iḥyā’ ‘ūlum al-dīn (Reviving the Religious Sciences) to Rūmī’s Mathnawī-i ma‘nawī (Couplets of Inner Meaning), took on the form of commentaries of the holy text, albeit in a different key, not unlike medieval Jewish works that were often analogously rooted in the Torah. “Everything of which we speak in our meetings and in our writings,” Ibn ‘Arabī would write, “comes from the Qur’ān and its treasures.” And when Abū Ṭālib al-Makkī declared in his Qūt al-qulūb (Nourishment of Hearts) drawing on an early saying, sometimes ascribed to the Prophet, that “the people of the Qur’ān are the people of God, and His elect,” he was expressing a firmly held view in the fledging tradition for which he was giving voice. The polyvocality of Muslim scripture would itself generate many of the debates that would animate the intellectual culture of Sufism, and beyond that, the various competing theologies of Islam.
2. Ahead of the census of population and housing, a review of ‘Census 2011’ review
Ilir Akshija, M.D., M.Sc., University Hospital Center, “Mother Teresa”, Statistics Department, Tirana, Albania
Year 2020 was chosen from the National Institute of Statistics of Albania (INSTAT) to execute the next population and housing census, already postponed for a later moment. The draft questionnaire includes a question on religious affiliation and places it to the non-core topics. The draft, however, contains the problematic question of categorization into the ‘Muslim’ and ‘Bektashi’ affiliation, while the Bektashi are Muslim, which leads to some overlap that may also lead to hesitation in response or non-response at all. This technical problem has nothing to do with the relationship between religious communities in Albania, a relationship that can be cleverly summarized by the words of H. Hafiz Sabri Koçi: ” Why do you need to know about percentages?”, when asked about the number of religious affiliates according to their beliefs in the country, as much as the task of a professional counting with benefits especially in planning and allocating human and other resources. A review of the 2011 census and its issues related to this topic provides valuable recommendations for the following population counting.
Keywords: H. Hafiz Sabri Koçi, census, Albania, religious affiliation, bektashi, emigration
3. Coping with chronic and spiritual pain, seen from the perspective of science and religion
Mehmet Disha, Muslim Community of Albania
Pain is a complex phenomenon that involves a waterfall of behaviors about responses, thoughts, and emotions. Emotional stress, such as anxiety and depression, play a major role in the experience of pain. In recent studies, people living with chronic pain may report more severe pain and related disability if they have depression, anxiety, or both. In addition, the fear of pain can cause more disability than the pain itself. It is important to note that the religious and spiritual factors have a positive effect on coping with all forms of pain and difficulties that life confronts.
Both religious and spiritual beliefs help some people to accept their illness and to be able to explain it to others, so that they can express it and not grieve the pain inside, thus not disturbing mental health. Spiritual beliefs often help people plan for the future. Religion can also help people live a deeper life, as well as strengthen or comfort other people during suffering and in preparing for an imminent death. By giving meaning to life and death, religion can provide the client, family, and health professionals with a sense of strength, security, and confidence over a period of time in need.
Key words: religion, pain, spiritual coping, prayers.
Prof. asoc. dr. Zija Abdullahu, The Faculty of Islamic Studies, Pristina, Kosovo
The social structure resembles the structures of other living things, which need the provision of immunity to continue their life, an immunity that will protect them from any internal destruction or external attack. In the same way, it is necessary for the social structure to have immunity to protect itself.
Society needs such immunity at any time and place. Therefore, this immunity should be of the highest possible level. The factors are part of this immunity, are too many; such as, political, economic, health and scientific. Among these factors, the family, plays an important role, to which Islam has paid special attention, because the family, as we know, is the cell and nucleus of society, and the healthier the family, the higher the immunity of its and vice versa.
In order to increase social immunity, through the family, Islam regulated the relations within the individuals of the family, assigning to each his role, duties, responsibilities and rights. In fact, Islam ordered to show care for the family, before it is formed, through the rules it has established in choosing each other’s spouses, which should be based on the highest virtues, and not on the material aspect or any transient interest.
Islam colored this bond with holiness based on the mercy of God, which instills in their hearts feeling respect for one another. This continued with the responsibilities and the respect that family members should have among themselves, such as the responsibilities of parents to their children, and vice versa, expanding the family circle with responsibilities and relationships with relatives. By establishing these norms and responsibilities, Islam assigned the family a key role in raising social immunity and protecting it from falling, raising it to the highest possible level.
Key words: Society, immunity, family, education, mindset, connectivity.
5. A family built as a model on Islamic values
Ma. Dorian Demetja, Directorate of Culture, Muslim Community of Albania
We know very well that the development of mankind is designed and takes place only on the family structure, because this is one of the laws of God. Therefore, this is about the model of family construction and functioning and not about its concept. Almost all sociologists, despite the currents of philosophical thought, are unified in the necessity of the family unit. This is sanctioned by international consensus both in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the Family Codes, which apply to the legal systems of all countries in the world. The ideological debate takes place in the prism of the construction, functioning and efficiency of alternative models, which provide social developments at different times.
Dr. Ana Uka, Department of Educational Sciences, Bedër University College, Tirana
To investigate how parenting programs may influence children’s developmental outcomes such as emotional, academic, and behavioral ones, a review was conducted targeting a developing country like Albania. Parenting programs are interventions designed to enhance or change parental role performance through training, support or education, and their main goal is to influence the well-being of the children especially among low-income countries. Parenting programs have shown to be effective in reducing substantially risk factors such as ineffective parenting or parenting stress and enhancing the development of stable family relationships and parenting competences and support to prevent developmental challenges of children. Therefore, research shows that the effects of parenting programs in improving children’s development are positive in most outcomes. The objective of this study was to review the literature on parenting programs with a focus on developing countries to be able to identify the benefits, difficulties, and directions for future research. Given the fact that parenting programs produce positive effects in a wide range of parent and child related outcomes, the implementation of such programs as a mean to improve family and child well-being is very limited in Albania.
Keywords: parenting programs, children, developmental outcomes, Albania
7. Psychology and Religion: Two Approaches to Positive Mental Health, Intellectual Discourse
Amber Haque PhD, School of Psychology & Social Work, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Qatar
Historically speaking, psychology and religion have worked separately toward the goal of improving mental health among the people. Can psychology and religion work together and reap better results for the client? How important is religion for the people and how important are religious values for psychologists? What is the relationship between religion and mental health? How today’s schools of psychology deal with the religious client? How is religion integrated in psychotherapy? These and other related issues are addressed in this paper. It is concluded that psychologists are obligated to work within the value system of the client and that this approach would achieve a more positive therapeutic outcome.
Reflections on the monographic study of Prof. Rahim Ombashi Historical of the Albanian periodical press (Essay on a historical poetics)
Dr. Agron Tufa
Reading the manuscript of this monographic study by Professor Rahim Ombashi, entitled Essay on a historical poetics, strengthened my opinion on the extraordinary leading role that magazines and periodicals have played in the spiritual, political and social life of the Albanian world.
The history of magazines starts counting from 1665, from the moment of the publication of the Journal des scavans, which has become customarily called the first magazine in the world. Then the magazines have preserved the function of spreading ideas (in the form of scientific knowledge, literary creativity, contemporary views fixed in memoirs, diaries, letters and reflections), thus paving the perspective, as a projection of the future, completely in tune with the meaning of the French origin of the word journal, meaning “diary, daily”.
Prof. Frank Griffel, Yale University, USA
This chapter observes a critical stage in the early engagement of Muslim theologians with the Avicennian system, which began with al-Ghazālī (d. 505/1111). Al-Ghazālī was the first Muslim theologian we know to have clearly engaged with the Avicennian philosophical system, discussing it extensively and trying to criticize some of its elements. Al-Ghazālī’s early connection with philosophy is difficult to establish. His recent adaptations of philosophical ideas aroused much criticism, and this made him deny any early attraction that may have existed to the teachings of Ibn Sīnā and other philosophers (philosophers). However, in his works there are formulations, which can be read as an admission, that he has long studied the books of Ibn Sīnā, perhaps under the guidance of al-Juwaynī, and that they have fascinated him from the beginning. Modern scholars suggest that in al-Ghazālī’s early career there was a period when he himself was a follower of Ibn Sīnā. If so, his seemingly neutral reporting of the teachings of Ibn Sīnā, The Doctrines of the Philosophers (mekasid al-felasife), may come from that period and was later adapted as an introduction for his students, who may be prepared to fully understand al-Ghazālī’s critique of Ibn Sīnā. However, there is no clear evidence that al-Ghazālī went through such an Avicennian period early in his career. Neither the biographers nor his opponents mention him, although the latter express resentment against him, saying that al-Ghazālī studied philosophy before he became thoroughly acquainted with the religious sciences.
Dr. Ilirjana Kaceli, Bedër University College, Tirana
Dervish Hatidje lived in Tirana in the XVIII century. During this period, Tırana was facing cholera epidemic, a dangerous disease, which brought many human losses in the city population. Dervish Hatidje tried to cure and took care of people affected by this disease. In order to respect her contribution and good work, people in Tirana called her “Dervish Hatidje”. This title was not usually given to women, but taking into consideration her care, work and love people called her saint or dervish.
Today, a street in Tirana is called Dervish Hatidje. Around the corner of that street, you can find the Tekke of Dervish Hatidje – a sacred place dedicated to her. This Tekke has been carefully preserved by her family generations and is frequently visited by people of different ages.
In this study there is given information about Dervish Hatidje, but also about her past and the current position of her figure as a devoted Islamic believer. Her role and contribution is assessed through literature research conclusions.
Keywords: Dervish Hatidje, Tirana, Tekke
The child is the trust in the hands of the parents, his pure heart is a noble essence, without any form or adornment; but that capable to take any form that is submitted; if you are shown and taught the good, if you train with the good it is formed with the good; gains praise and admiration; spends a happy life. His parents, teachers and educators gain praise and enjoy their work. ”
On the contrary, if the child is left behind and on his own head, he will follow in the footsteps of the bad and he will become bad himself. The responsibility of this guilt also belongs to the parents, tutors and guardians. Therefore, it is the duty of the father to protect the children from vices and to give them a good education.
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