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Karguzari (Report) on Islam in Balkans

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 6th November 2013 14:05
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Asslamo Allaikum,

Detailed report has been lost so this will be from memory. We (5 of us) went to the Balkans during Ramadhan 1433 and travelled through various countries and here are some observations.

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 6th November 2013 14:12
Ok glued..
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 6th November 2013 14:23

Preamble:

  1. Please know that these are lands which were Governed by the Ottomans and have been Hanafi for hundreds of years and you need to know this in order to understand whats coming next.
  2. The Ottomans in Europe went out of there to advertise their conquest to the Christians. They made sure that Christian Europe knew of Ottomans so you will notice massive investments into the their (European) conquered cities:
    1. Roads are paved and well built
    2. Cities are well laid out or extensions well planned
    3. Mosques are always raised HIGHER then anything else
    4. All Roads lead to the main Mosque
    5. Bazar is set right outside Mosques

Point 2 is why we went into European (Ex-Ottoman) heartlands and you really need to observe it to believe it.

If I was into sarcasm I would say that the Ottomans deliberately wanted to SHOW OFF to the Christian Europe and this is precisely what the BBC documentary (on Ottomans) concludes...Everything Islamic is Grand and Gigantic!

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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 6th November 2013 16:13
This is very interesting. I look foreword to the report.
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 6th November 2013 17:13
(salam)

You personally went or you know someone who went ?

Looking forward to the report (insh)
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 6th November 2013 17:23

Jinn wrote:
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...حقیر, فقیر, پر تقصیر , ہیچ مندان , بندہ نادان

This:

  1. Lowly
  2. Destitude
  3. Worthless
  4. Unsellable (I don't know how to say this in English)
  5. Naive...

individual went himself.

P.S: Practising Tassawuff ... :p

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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 6th November 2013 19:02
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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Mash'Ala awesome akhii

When I read you're little extract above I thought I was reading something from the script of the bbc documentary 'the ottomans' :D I guess it's your style of writing.

Looking forward to further updates Insh'Ala, I have some questions but will ask them in the end if necesarry.






Blessed are those whom Allah has blessed to take part in the effort of Deen, a true blessing indeed. May Allah accept it.






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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 6th November 2013 19:47
MashaAllah... good thread. I know nothing about this topic, expecting more posts soon.
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 6th November 2013 20:18
Double post edit.
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 6th November 2013 20:18
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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Let me have a go, see how I fair :-)

1. Insignificant
2. Destitute
3. Wretched
4. Good for nothing
5. Immature

Don't think I did too badly.
Just trying to get into the essence of tassawuf :-)
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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 6th November 2013 23:17

Republic of Macedonia:

There were five (5) of us and between us we covered the following languages, some with fluency and others with working knowledge.

  1. English
  2. German
  3. French
  4. Urdu
  5. Punjabi
  6. Arabic
  7. Turkish

This trip was meticulously planned as we knew the trouble in the Balkans. We also knew that there aren’t too many Muslims who go to these regions so information was hard to come by. We also knew at some point we will get arrested or thrown in Jail or whatever.

There are several flights to the area but the best option for us was to fly into Republic of Macedonia and fly out from Croatia.

Republic of Macedonia has the most established Islam out of the entire region so we flew into Skopje. Little trouble at the Airport which didn't have many people so we got out fairly quickly.

We were fasting and the fast was opened during the flight but observing sunset with chocolates as we couldn't take anything else on the trip. Cheap flights and not much luggage is allowed, we also knew Halal food will be a problem so filled our bags with chocolates and glucose tablets (standard backpacking gear for calories to keep you going without food for days).

The Americans and their missionary churches have been making massive monetary investment into these “Muslim” lands to try to change the complexion and architecture of the land and return it back to its Christian roots. The first thing you notice on the streets is the Millennium Cross, visibly from everywhere across the city.

We found our hostel, put our bags and went for a walk to the Old Bazaar section of the town thinking that its too late and we won't find any Mosques or Muslims.

Mustafa Pasha Mosque built in 1492 (like typical Ottoman era Mosque) stands tall and visible so it is easy to get to the Masjid. The second typical feature of the Ottoman style Mosques in Wudhu facilities; fresh water from the mountains comes with a lot of pressure and you can really sit there and do Wudhu for the rest of your life (its so enjoyable)!

You also have Isa Bey Mosque

and Ishaq Bey Mosque [1439]

We got to the Bazaar and since it was Ramadhan and after Taraweeh, the markets were full of people having tea and snacks. The five (5) of us were clearly visible so we sat down at various palces and started chit-chatting with drinking tea with the locals. We ordered rounds of tea and snacks and tucked in with the locals. Even with multiple languages communication was diificult but tea speaks no language so we drank loads of tea or Turkish coffee or whatever the stuff was :p

A brother explained that he slaughters chicken himself at the Resturant and he had Sunnah so we bought some Chicken Kebabs and ate to our fill (Alhumdolillah). It was getting late so we asked for the Masjid and he said all of them will be open and busy. This was really puzzling as to why the Mosques will be busy so late at night? Don't worry, you will know why...soon : - )

By the time we got to Ishaq Bey Mosque it was late and we were thinking about praying Isha. We went for Wudhu and all of a sudden youngsters came and segregated the women area and hunderds of youngs girls and boys started coming to the Masjid. Tahajjud Jamaat is very popular in Skopje and I have NEVER SEEN so many youngsters praying Tahajjud in my life!

The typical cultural (Hanafi-Turkish) Muslims do their Taraweeh at 100 miles an hour and leave! Youngsters come in and worship all night and all Masjids in Skopje are like that during Ramadhan. Young boys and girls reading Qur'aan and praying Tahajjud.

One of the brothers with us with Jamaican and these Macedonians had never seen a Black Muslim before. So he instantly became a hit...they kept inviting him to different corners of the Masjid to sit with him saying, “Jamaican man...You sit with us...” “Jamaican man...you eat with us...”

Second interest was us Asians because again they had never interacted with Asian Muslims.

The white brother was left alone and not paid any attention.

After Tahajjud we had long conversations with the leaders of the young boys who were basically Hizbut-Tahrir folks. Youngsters said  our forefathers were Hanafees and they follow Turkish Ramadhan and Eid (Turks don’t sight the moon) and we want to follow the Sunnah so we discussed Wifaqul-Ulamah and pointed them to their website. This made them supremely happy that there are Muslims in UK who are working on reviving the Sunnah.

Peace TV does regular 2 hour program dubbed in local languages so everybody knew Dr Zakir Naik.

The conversation kept revolving around the fact that the Hanafi Madhab was the old Ottoman stuff and youngsters need to progress to Qur'aan and Sunnah and political Islam and be abreast of world affairs. There are a very clear Ikhwani and HT influence upon the youngsters.

When we leaving a poor perfume seller took us by the hand and said “Jamaican man! Take anything from my shop...anything...you are my brother”

The shopkeeper was very poor but he would have none of it so brother was forced to pick a perfume and he also asked me. For some reason I got known as some kind of hardcore Jihadi so they loved me as well.

We made sure that we paid a lot more then the gifts to the shopkeeper and left back to the Hotel. Almost the entire town walked us out of the Masjid. They insisted on us to stay until Suhoor but we politely declined and then asked us to come again the next day.

It was unbelievable to see this many youngsters so late in the night in the Masjid during a weekday in any western city!  While walking we just pondered as to what we had just witnessed.

 

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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 00:00
SubhanAllah, that is brilliant! What an experience it must have been for you all but for every single person you all interacted with as well. Masha'Allah!
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 00:27
Mash'Ala awesome akhii

The bit about 'Jamaican man you come sit with us ' had me cracking up :D

The Tahajjud bit I have heard before from a friend, it's nice to see that they have a Islamic spirits out there. How are things outside Ramadan ?

So how long were you in jamaat for ? Did you get tashkeeled from Dewsbury ?

Did you contemplate driving ? A lot of jamaat these days are going by road.

Did you stay in the mosques ?

Is there more to come in terms of karguzari ?

Jazakumulah for sharing
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 07:33
It's funny brother muadh how you mentioned the regular praying of tahajud, we have family living in Malaysia, they say in UK 5 regular prayers are an issue for some and many don't pray at all, whereas in Malaysia it's part and parcel of life to pray 5 daily salah and tahajud. (hamd)
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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 08:46
Quote:
The white brother was left alone and not paid any attention.


lol now HE knows how it feels...
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