1. 30 years since the re-establishment of Muslim Community of Albania (MCA)
Msc. Dorian Demetja
Directorate of Culture, Muslim Community of Albania
The dictatorship, with all its ferocity, removed the teaching of faith from the school, closed all the schools for the preparation of the religious staff, suspended the religious press and publications, seized all personal libraries with religious literature, banned the operation of religious sites, hindered the development of religious rites, turned mosques into warehouses and stables, and of course destroyed and razed most of them. Out of 1127 mosques that were in 1967, the year when Albania was declared the first atheist country in the world, in 1990 only a few were counted. The most prominent imams were imprisoned and shot, and some of them were expelled from the city, left without jobs, pressured to remove their religious garb and deny their views, in short, tried by all means not to leave nothing from the religion and the feelings of the people about it.
Yet it was the Islamic past of this people, which mitigated the total disintegration of our society from the communist storm, and many believers preserved their identity, even performing part of the rites secretly. Carefully, regardless of the serious personal and family consequences that resulted from their discovery, they observed Ramadan, they prayed and did charity and kept alive in their souls the love for God, the Prophet and the religion of Islam, they believed in the mercy and help of God, hoping for better days.
2. A sociological view of the family in Islam
Dr. Genti Kruja, Department of Islamic Sciences, Bedër University
Msc. Mehmet Disha, Directorate of Culture, Muslim Community of Albania
The family is the nucleus of society. The education of an individual, and especially of a woman, brings about the building of a healthy family institution, which constitutes the ideal society. But is there an ideal society? According to Islam yes. In addition, this is already being proven by scientific studies, which have recently shown that families that are bred by Islamic faith have a minimal level of family problems and especially family conflict, parent-child relations, relationship between sister and brothers, or less clash of generations.
From the day man begins to exist, as a still small being, it constantly develops as a burden on the shoulders of parents. In this regard, it is quite impossible to determine and assess the depth of the parent’s compassion towards the child, the limit of the concerns they lift.
Thus, the excellence of a nation and society begins with the family, the family nest raised by the spouses. Started from this, education should start from the family. Unless the family is raised on educational principles, neither can the society be thought to be polite.
3. Challenges of Muslims in terms of social integration in Western cultures and Islamic axiology refering to this process
Hasije Erduran (Uka), Tirana
The main challenges that Muslims are currently facing in Western countries stem from the misinterpretation of Islam, especially its values, which are claimed to be incompatible with Western ones. Indeed Islamic culture is an invaluable asset to the West. But unfortunately, the diversity of cultures seems, at first glance, to be a factor of social conflict for some. Misinterpretation and misinformation has caused the current chaotic situation, where Islam is seen as the main actor.
These challenges, faced by Muslims, mainly in Western countries, are in fact the product of misinterpretation of Islam for various purposes. Despite the fact that religious beliefs, ideologies and symbols do not constitute a unit of measurement of integration, because integration is not measured on these aspects, the West sees on the one hand a “misuse of religion” and on the other a “religious discrimination”, blaming Islam as the main culprit of the “non-integration” of Muslims in their countries. Misinterpretation of Islamic texts is the biggest cause of the current situation, where Muslims feel prejudiced, alienated, socially excluded, marginalized and deprived of many rights, with the justification that their religious ideology is the fundamental obstacle to “Integration”.
There is clear evidence that, contrary to popular belief, people who have withdrawn from violent extremism are likely to be those who do not have a good foundation in religion, and that highly religious Muslims are in fact more resistant to radicalization.
It is claimed that there is a gap between Islamic and Western values, but the core values of Islam are no different from European values. This is an imaginary fracture which has been intensified by the speeches of some politicians and the media. Islamic traditions and values are not only compatible with today’s secular public space, but some of the more progressive dynamics were in fact integral parts of the model of community governance established by the Prophet Muhammad in Medina.
4. Islamic Religious Education in Albania
Dr. Adil Kutlu, Ireland
It can be talked about a historical period, through which today’s societies have passed in the formation of national and spiritual values that they possess today, such as: language, religion, culture and education. Societies try to pass on to the younger generations the common cultures through the path of education where on the one hand they teach them their language, religion, customs and literature and on the other hand they try to educate them also in the physical aspect, spiritual, social and professional. Educational institutions have consistently played an important role in accomplishing this task.
Madrassas as educational institutions, whose origins date back to 1000 years ago, have begun to open in Albanian lands in parallel with the spread of Islam in the latter. In these madrasas were formed cadres who met the needs of society and government in the field of religion, judiciary, organization, knowledge, etc.
This paper deals with madrassas in Albania and the form of application of Islamic religious education throughout history. The topic is addressed in three different chapters. First, “Islamic religious institutions in Albania and religious education in the time of the Ottoman Empire” are treated, followed by “Islamic religious education in Albania during the years 1912-1964”, and “Islamic religious education in Albania after the 1990s”.
The materials used in the paper were obtained through the examination of various books and writings related to the topic. In addition, information about the official status of madrasas was collected through interviews with officials of the Muslim Community of Albania.
This paper contributes to the information about Islamic religious education in Albania and the obtained data will shed light on the current topicality on the topic “Religious education in public schools”.
5. Forgotten Heart – The Mosque of Suleyman Pasha in Tirana
Fatos Kopliku M.S.
Washington D.C., SHBA
The priorities and the values of a society can be understood by looking at the tallest buildings of its cities. The city is an image of the builders, who build according to the worldview they have. If there are cathedrals in a city like New York, still they remain under the shade of the skyscrapers, the modern cathedrals of business, because the priority of the people living in such cities is business, not the Divine. In certain cities, like Carcassonne in France, Fes in Morocco, Safranbolu in Turkey, or Berat in Albania, the urban planning and the architecture has been well-preserved, but these remain exceptions. Today, the urban planning, the architecture, and the spread of most cities, including centuries-old historic ones, has been changed and continues to be transformed according to principles that are radically alien to the ones of their founders. In this article we will discuss this worldview shift and how it has been reflected in the cities where we live, taking as an example the city of Tirana and the Mosque of Suleyman Pasha as the center of its foundation.
6. If you want the glory of Albania, look in every library in the world
“Lumo Skendo” Albanological Institute, the splendor of his patriotism
Mit’hat Frashëri (1880-1949), son of Abdyl, nephew of Naim and Shemsedin Sami Frashëri, was elected chairman of the Congress of Manastir for drafting the alphabet, chairman of the Commission was in Gjergj Fishta. In the government of Ismail Qemali and the appointment of the ministry in Botores, in the government of Prince Vid is assisted in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; obligatory head of the Plenipotentiary Minister of the Republic of Albania in Athens from 1923-1925. In 1927 he published again in Tirana, the magazine “Diturija”, founded in Thessaloniki in 1909 and later in Bucharest during his stay there. The exploitation of the Communist Party of Albania remained. In November 1944 he left Albania. After 5 years in Italy, he went to the US. In 1949, a few months after arriving on a trip to New York, at 9.25 a.m., he died at the hotel in Winthrop as a result of a heart attack. At 14.00 the funeral ceremony began. The prayers were made by Imam Vehbi Ismaili, who came from Detroit. It had been entrusted to the eminent frashli. His coffin was covered with the national flag. Today it rests in the homeland, until recently it happened in Ferncliff Cemetery in New York, among prominent figures like Nikola Tesla, etc. His remains were returned to the week of commemoration of the 110th anniversary of the Congress of Bitola, November 14-22, 2018, by decision of the Albanian government.
7. The Albanian Family Crisis in the Years of the Communist Regime: Divorces in the 1960s
Dr. Hasan Bello
Institute of History, Center for Albanological Studies
The establishment of the communist regime in November 1945 will be accompanied by radical changes not only in the socio-economic and political spheres, but also in the changing family structure of Albanian society. The Communist state’s efforts to emancipate women educate them, Marxism-Leninism ideological indoctrination and engage them in the process of industrializing the country will be accompanied by a progressive increase in the number of divorces.
This situation was due to several objective factors. Thus, once the Albanian Communist Party came to power, it set itself the goal of combating “backward customs” and a series of traditions that had a positive impact on the preservation of the family values of Albanian society. In the first place came those traditions that were sourced from religious beliefs: Islam and Christianity, which played a positive role in the social stability of the family and society.
In the 1960s, anti-religious propaganda will intensify, culminating in 1967 with the banning of religious beliefs. This was a factor that further influenced the moral and family crisis of Albanian society.
The moral erosion that society suffered from the indoctrination policies of the communist regime were reflected in the hit the family received and the rapid increase in the number of divorces compared to the preceding periods. Therefore, the study of this phenomenon by historians and sociologists constitutes an area of interest and not yet properly studied until this day.
8. “Alaudin” Madrasa of Prishtina and its contribution to the formation of Islamic religious intelligence
H. Resul Rexhepi, Kosovo
One of the most essential features of the Madrasa has been the fact that in the banks of this kindergarten of culture and education, during the decades of its activity, have been included students from Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Presevo Valley and Sandzak. Only two students from Bosnia and Herzegovina have graduated from the Madrasa. It should also be mentioned the fact that after the last war in Kosovo, in the bosom of this Madrasa there was an admirable number of students from the Republic of Albania.
Therefore, it is not at all surprising that even today it is the students of this Madrasa who bear the main burden and responsibility of the Islamic religious organization in the countries mentioned above.
9. Treaty of San Stefano and its consequences for Albanians
Prof. Asoc. Dr. Alban Dobruna
“Ali Hadri” Institute of History, Prishtinë, Kosovo
In the course of the Eastern Crisis (1875-1881) in the Ottoman Empire, in the context of the changes that the Great Powers made then on the political map in the Balkan Peninsula, respectively the consequences of these changes in Albanian territories was the Russo-Ottoman War and the signing of peace treaty in San Stefano, March 3, 1878. The main purpose of this research is to reflect the consequences of this pan-Slavic expansionist and hegemonic policy pursued by Tsarist Russia to the detriment of Albanian lands. In this paper we will express the situation created in the Balkans, which was used by the Balkan states such as: Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and later Greece, whose ruling elite aimed at invading Albanian lands. Since this treaty violated the interests of the Albanian people, it was faced by a strong objections from Albanians as they organized a strong resistance against its implementation. The Albanians made moves on a sound basis, supported by a well-formed political opinion, as shown by the Albanian memoranda to the Great Powers, the views expressed by the ideologues who then founded the Albanian League of Prizren, a unifying and leading national organization, which became a factor of organization and political, military and cultural development of Albanians.
10. Protection of life according to the Islamic legal family
Prof. Asoc. Engjëll Likmeta
The Absolute legislator has sanctioned the supremacy of man over every other creature as he has dedicated to him the sanctity of life.
The purpose of this paper is to highlight how the Islamic legal family, by its norms by nature juridical-criminal, appreciates the importance of the right to life, as a fundamental human right, but also to explain the universal right of the absolute unity of the glorified Creator, as the giver or the first and only recipient of it.
In the interest of the study will be the legal regulations provided in the Albanian domestic and international legislation, as well as in Islamic law regarding the right to life.
During the treatment of this paper, the authors will try not only to submit but also to give the deserved answer to the questions what are the legal provisions on which the protection of the right to life is based according to Islamic law? What is the general meaning of crimes? How does Islamic law qualify crimes against life? What are the conditions for the emergence of criminal responsibility for this group of criminal offenses according to this legal family of law?
The purpose of this paper is to address the types of crimes against the person in Islamic criminal law, punitive measures against their perpetrators. More specifically, it aims to provide a clear picture of the types of criminal offenses that endanger human life, such as premeditated murder, manslaughter, or suicide, or grievous bodily harm resulting in death.
11. Review on the book “Crown on a humble head” written by Mr. Fatos Kopliku,
Prof. Asoc. Rahim Ombashi, Faculty of Humanities and Law, Bedër University
Meditation on the study text “Crown on the humble head: meditation on religion, folklore and science”, which advises everyone to love the truth as the greatest priority.
The author clarifies in the introduction of the book that time cannot be stopped by arguing in detail that the opposite of ennobling humility is murderous skepticism, which is gradually relativizing everywhere and also little by little it is horizontalizing the vertical aspiration for paradise, leaving only earthly goals, so they do not arrive to receive the crown. He searches without stopping deeper and finds the cause in education and upbringing, which are necessary, if not necessary, for the inhabitant living in the modern world.
According to the Abrahamic lexicon, man has seen himself as a divine image, but has also thought and acted within this framework, which the present inhabitant has set aside because he has surrendered to materialism as a worldview and philosophy, where religion is seen more or less as a ritual. It is widely accepted that the religious tradition in the Balkans and our nation comes from the Abrahamic monotheistic family, so the author has chosen to bring examples from the two faiths that are practiced in Albania: Christianity and Islam.
12. Hafiz Esat Myftia (1911-1975)
Esat Myftia has been a prominent educational, religious, charitable and cultural leader on a national scale, has had many merits and with his comprehensive activity has provided valuable and effective assistance in these areas.
He was a worthy successor of the well-known and mentioned family of Këlliçëve of Tabakëve and Mufti of Shkodra, which is closely related to the glorious historical events of this city of Albania, to the patriotic activity of the League of Prizren, to the wide civic gatherings for national and human rights and the humanitarian commission for the assistance of Ulcinj refugees. It was related to the educational and cultural development of Shkodra and beyond through the madrasa of the high function of the mufti of the North vilayet of the country and in other cities as a traditional family of imams for several generations. Among them stood out Jusuf Tabaku, as the most prominent representative of this family.
Hafiz Esat’s activity extends in four main directions: educational, religious, humanitarian and cultural.
13. God and Evolution
Simple atheism, which denies God, is a rare phenomenon and has always been so. But atheism of that kind, which leaves God out of its misery for the world, is much more common. There are many theories about the universe that exclude God. Now I talk about atheism and its theory of the universe, I have to say that kind of atheism, which in the way of its atheism leaves out and does not know a supreme perfect (complete) Being, which is without limit and knowledge , holy and good; that kind of atheism, which does not know anything about a self-knowing personal God, who is above all, through all and in all, but who remembers something (God) that is not even arbitrary, bloodthirsty evil, nor indifferent to the best of His creations; but that he loves all the good and the bad; the saints and the guilty; the wise and the foolish
Let us admit for the sake of argument, that in the universe there is a mysterious power or powers, hidden in the land, that have caused the development of hot gas in an inhabited world. These powers must always have existed; that if there was a time when there was no such power in the land, since there was no power to create it, it must have created itself, which is impossible. But it has not always existed, that development, if it continued forever, would finally produce an infinite and complete Being, that is, a God, which is contrary to the atheist hypothesis. Now the Atheist is bound by this dilemma, that is, does he need to deny that this active principle (thread) of development is found within the material universe; or begging to admit that qi has always existed in it. If he says he has always been, he must in infinite time have developed an infinite and perfect being. He must therefore abandon the theory of evolution and accept the existence of God.
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