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Karguzari (Report) on Islam in Balkans

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#16 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 10:18

Mushwara = decision making process commanded by Allah (SWT) and the Sunnah of Sayyidina Rasul-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) and the final decision is taken by the Ameer

Chinese Parliament session = Million people speak and everybody moans and groans and in the end they do their own thing!


When he got back to the hotel we contemplated the goings of the day and walking through markets and town centre, we realised that these people (Non-Muslims) are not used to Blacks and Asians so we decided that the white brother will do all the public dealing and the Jamaican brother will stay behind. This will told the brother is the natural order of things and his people are being discriminated for 400 years so shouldn’t be a problem taking it. :-) :-) :-)

He moaned about the plight of the Black man but agreed that under the circumstances we had to cross a lot of borders and being discriminated is better than being in Jail. :-) :-) :-)

Then the issue of fasting for the next day came up and everybody revealed that they had never missed fasting in Ramadhan in their entire life but missing fasts while travelling is also the way of the Sahaba (RA) so what should be done? They wanted the Ameer to decide but I said that this is a matter in which Allah (SWT) has left the matter to individuals so a special session of Chinese parliament convened over fasting during travelling. Pros and cons of both fasting and not fasting were discussed at the same time and as usual in the morning everybody did their own thing...some of us fasted while others didn’t.

We woke around 10 and decided to travel around skopje and look at the town during the day. Again the mark of Ottomans is clearly visible throughout the city and every high place has a Masjid standing tall and the new investment is desperately trying to catch up with building churches and buildings. A devastating Earthquake hit Skopje in 1963 and majority of the city was destoryed, nevertheless the old Mosques still stand to this do undamaged!

The stone bridge was founded by the Romans and but built and enhanced by the Ottoman Khalifah Mehmud II (RA). He is the same Khalifah who conquered Istanbul (Constantinople) and received glad tidings from Sayyidina Rasul-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam).

Alexander the Great ws Macedonian so in his honour there is a monument in the city called "Warrior on a horse" . Skopje has not a lot to do with him but this is just to attract Tourists to the city and to show off to the Greece!

Mother Teresa was also Macedonian and the church where she was baptised 1 day after Birth has been turned into a memorial for her.

Skopje fortress sits on the outskirts of the city and depicted on the city flag. Built by the Romans and the wall is meant to fortify the entire city of Skopje, well the walls and fortress couldn't stop Islam and fell to the Muslims like many other cities around the world!

While travelling we did Dhohar Salah in Skopje and again we saw a lot of people during Salah. After Salah we went back to the old Mosque (from the night before) and met some of the brothers. You guys may not find it interested but the Ottoman era Mosques have 4 distinct features which I love:

  1. The areas around the Mosque are grassy and luch green
  2. Toilet areas are usually far away from the Mosque
  3. Wudhu areas are away from the Mosque and fresh water is supplied from the mountains. Wudhu is really refreshing experience and fresh
  4. Mosques have really high roofs (dome) so it has plenty of natural light and air

Unlike UK these Mosques stay open and have stayed open for hunderds of years and they are built so strongly that not a lot gets them damaged!

We went to sleep in the Mosque and then woke up for Asar Salah.

After Salah we went out shopping and a brother wanted to some Hijabs for his wife but Hijabs are cheaper in UK. We gave him advice to buy it from UK and just give it to her and she won’t know any better but he admitted to having problems with his stomach and won’t be able to hold the secret in for too long and will eventually spill the beans! Chinese parliament convened and eventually a half way compromise was found where he bought whatever he could afford.

We also discovered that we had spent too much money for the day and needed to drastically cut down our expenses. Our next stop was Kosovo so we went to the bus stop to catch a bus. A Macedonian Muslim by the name of Yaqoob had an old private car and gave us a good deal to drive us to Kosovo. It would be 6 of us in his old VW polo!

After Mushwara we decided that we will take Yaqoob on his offer and since its illegal to have 6 people in the car, the white brother would get off ½ kilometre before the border checkpoint and pretend to be walking the Balkans and we would pick him up ½ kilometre after the border crossing. This was our car.

While driving Yaqoob wanted to play music and we didn’t let him and instead we kept him busy by singing Nasheeds, doing stupid Accents (Arab, Turkish,Russian, Yugoslavian) discussing about women etc until we got to Kosovo.

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#17 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 10:27
MashaAllah good stuff. The youngsters eager to pray Tahajjud in Mosques was striking. Here People are very much detached with the Mosques.
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#18 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 15:18

The Kosovan war (1998-1999) was fought between Kosovo Albanian (primarily Muslims) and Serbians who are primarily orthodox Christians but in reality the conflict is along ethnic lines i.e.

Albanians vs Serbs; and not a lot to do with religion.

It just so happens that the two are Muslims and Christians but neither really practise religion that much.

On our way to Pristina we had received the text message from UK that moon wasn't sighted in UK or South Africa so we weren't going to celeberate Eid but it was Eid there. Americans, NATO and EU have carved out the Republic of Kosovo which Serbia bitterly opposes.

There is ongoing war and UN Peace keeping forces are permanently stationed at the border. There are regular problems at the border and you will know what happened to us in the next episode...

Americans have invested massively into Pristina and everything is brand new and shiny! There is a dedicated boulevard in the city to pay gratitude to the Americans and a statue to mark his intervention and providing assisance to Kosovo. This is the Bill Clinton Boulevard

[image removed]

Before we proceed you need to understand that Pristina is 98% Muslim! and YET:

  1. It is the ONLY EU country which Islam cannot be taught at Schools EU keeps pumping millions in building Churches and Christian symobols all over the land
  2. The entire country, its infrastructure is brand new; Thanks to the Americans and EU funding but nearly all the Mosques and Islamic heritage sites are still old and unreapired. NOT ONE Ottoman era Mosque is repaired by the Americans or EU funding for a city with roughly 98% Muslims.

This causes huge resentment to Serbia which is bitterly poor and backward!

The Americans wanted to build a Secular society but the population is going through a serious Islamic revival and they are not taking the changes laying down. Americans and NATO have installed their puppet leaders but people at the bottom are not happy.

We arrived at the Fatih Mosque (1461) again built by Ottoman Khalifah Mehmud II (RA) around 10 in the morning and sat at the court yard which you see in this picture.

There were preparations and not because of Eid but because one of the members of parliament had called in city wide demonstration and called the world Media to the Mosque. He discussed with us (in broken English) and stated they wanted to put to highlight two things to the wold:

  1. EU regulations mean that education policy should be set by the state so if in a city of 98% Muslims children cannot study Islam?
  2. Americans were pumping millions into building a Cathedral in Pristina. Why does a city with 98% Muslims needs a Cathedral? Why aren’t the Mosques being repaired? Why do 2% Christians need such a massive project?

The politician and the people at the Mosque believed that their Islam is being hijacked for Dollars which have been thrown their way in US & EU aid and they refused to take this money if it meant their Islamic identity will be usurped! Due to a massive resurgence in Islam in the city, Mosques were running short and people had to pray on the Roads in snow and city was reluctant to build Mosques but gave permission to build a Cathedral. They wanted to portray to the media that we (Muslims of Britain) also concerned about this development and we agree with their cause (which we did) and that’s what was conveyed to the Media.

After a fiery press conference we sat down with local Muslims and we were asked as to why the British Muslims don’t come to Kosovo and help them with Islam? Dr Zakir Naik has a show very day for 2 hours on TV (dubbed in local language) to which we didn’t have an answer.

Actually we did and the answer is, “Ask the Deobandees in UK with 7+ Darul-ulooms and 750 mosques as to why they don’t do anything and write to the Hazrats (to never get a reply)” but we didn’t tell them that!

It was Eid day and everything was closed (due to Eid) but we visited the Saudi Mosque and saw hundreds of books donated and distributed locally.

Pristina is a small city and our time was taken up by taking to locals and some of the brothers took us around everywhere until it was time to catch the last bus to Bosnia. There is only one bus which crosses into Serbia through Mitrovica and Serbians regularly deny access to travel if you get stamps from Kosova because they don't recognise the country. You are supposed to ask for Kosovans not to stamp the passport so there is no dispute. We paid 10 Euros bribe not to get our passport stamped and got onto the last and only bus to cross into Serbia.

In order to get to Sarajevo we had to get through Novi Pazar (Serbia) another predominantly Muslim city but this time in enemy territory.

One bus and no other choice!

Our problems had just begun!

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#19 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 16:24

(salam)

Masha Allah.. Fascinating chronicles.. colonel sahab..

Macedonia.. ive had some patients from there.. normally break into conversations with people from alien lands .. inquiring of thier cultures & social norms..
seems they have a problem with flesh trade .. like other eastern european countries..

how do the muslims fare financially.. what kind of occupations are they engaged in..?

wa Assalam..
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#20 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 16:31
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Coming next...

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#21 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 17:45

Drugs & Prostitution:

Many of the Muslims in Macedonia and Kosovo are ethnically Albanians. This means that the regular problem with prostitution and drugs throughout Europe are prevalent in these lands as well, primarily controlled by Albanian Mafia. From London to Pristina you have Albanian (Muslim) & Bosnian (Muslim) girls being pimped around as prostitutes by criminal gangs.

Needless to say wherever we went we were offered prostitutes fairly openly and the begging women swore scarves and started saying “Allah, Allah” as soon as they saw us.

No different to London.

In UAE and elsewhere the high class (top-end) prostitues are also from these regions, other poor countries from Eastern Europe and from Ukraine .The demand for these girls is very high amongst the Arabs because of their white skin. Shaykh Ibn Baz (RA) asked for a lot of these Sisters to be brought into Saudia during Bosnian war and many of them were married rapidly (as told by the institute) where I studied in Saudia.

Homosexuality and Prostitution is rife in Sarajevo where we will be getting to pretty soon...in fact Sarajeco now is known in Europe for its nightlife...

 

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#22 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 18:11
This is a very sad reality of humanity the world over. In the case of our Muslim brothers and sisters though, insha'Allah it seems that at least the coming generations might be able to pull away from this violent destruction insha'Allah, insha'Allah, insha'Allah.
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#23 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 18:49
The region was Christian before Islam came into the area so... did you see any churches that pre-date the Ottoman mosques?

How strong was Islam in the region before the downfall of the Ottoman Empire?

There are reports of Saudi money flooding into the region and brining whabbism along with it. Who is shaping the Islamic understanding of the people of this region? In your previous post, you mentioned some interesting points... who is funding it? Who are the scholars the people in the region are looking up to?

Eventhough Ottoman presence was physically present and 'larger than life' in the structures of the time, dwarfing Christian structures, was it more than show - show of might, show of presence (though perhaps the mosques were mostly empty at the time (I don't know, just wondering), show of wealth to the region...? But... how much Islam did the Ottomans actually bring to the region? If there are counter-attempts to now dwarf Islamic structures by building Christian ones, will it be just for show too? Or, will people be drawn to the beautiful new structures and slowly into Christianity just because of a building or two? By the way, there were plans for brand-new mosques to be built in the region too (in addition to the Churches mentioned in the post) but these plans were delayed and people became frustrated.

With the people of the region now known the world-over for some of the nastiest mafia around, and high-end/in-demand prostitutes, is it any wonder that missions are trying to reach the people - be it Christian missions or Muslim missions? Christian missionaries may look at it as a place devoid of morality, a place calling for help and perhaps they figure: "Muslims have failed the people they conquered so perhaps we can conquer back their hearts" ironically, wasn't this the claim we've held on to? Both sincere efforts may be trying to bring morality back to the region.

Looking forward to reading and learning more insha'Allah!


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#24 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 19:04
I'm going to guess what happened while trying to cross the border into Serbia: the visible minorities, all packed like sardines in a bright red tin, were arrested at the border since their pictures were flashed across screens and newspapers from the recent press-conference and since their passports had not been properly stamped. The 'white' man who no-one took particular notice of at the Mosque, also attracted little to no attention at the border walking alone, claiming to be back-packing, but found himself unintentionally abandoned on the road, without a ride, without his companions, and no word on what had happened.

[oops, they were on a bus this time, no walking man, no tin of sardines.]
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#25 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 21:14
This thread just got interesting, looking forward to reading the updates.
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#26 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 22:55

Prologue:

Kosova was a Jewel in the Serbian Empire which first clashed with the Ottomans under the leadership of Sultan Murad I (RA). The crumbling Serbian empire fought gallantly against a powerful Ottoman army and many on these sides perished without a decisive winner. The Battle of Kosovo (1389) is a SYMBOL of Serbian patriotism and heritage where many of their warriors fought bravely and checked the Ottoman advance.

By 1455 the Ottomans had ceased control of Kosovo and Europe was never the same again. It is of vital important for the Serbians to gain Kosovo back at any cost and their hatred towards Ottomans (thereby Muslims) saw full vengeance and brutality during the Bosnian conflict.

They don’t accept (independent) Kosovo and they have intense hatred for Ottomans, Muslims and Islam. If your passport has a Kosovan stamp you are sure to be turned back at the border, we paid bribe not to get our passports stamped.

Story:

Our bus started from Pristina and onwards towards Novi Pazar (Serbia) late and we reached the Serbian border crossing after sunset.

All five (5) of us were immediately pulled ouf of the bus by Serbian Army and bus told to procced. We were told that there is no VISA, no checkpoint and walk back to Kosova by the Serbian Army. We were also told that if we try to cross the border elsewhere we will be SHOT without warning! There are mountains so it is possible to smuggle through the mountains.

We were told to march back 1 click (kilometer) back to UN checkpost. Somehow you don't ask too many questions when a Zastava M70 is nearby! It works better then Aapa Taalibah's warning of obeying rules!

The incident that five (5) people were deported were sent to the UN checkpost which was manned by the French Army. French Army troops met us halfway down the straight road. Speaking french wasn't a problem and they told us that its normal and we need to march back 40 clicks (kilometers) back through the mountains to Kosovo and cross the border at another crossing.

When I told them that I was part of US military, they radio'ed in a US Army Captain and he told us that the nearest village is actually 38 clicks (kilometers) away through a mountain pass. He couldn't take us on his UN jeep!

 

38 clicks (kilometers) isn't a lot and the weather was good so we started walking through pitch darkness. We had limited supplies of flashlights so we had to walk in a straightline (because there are deep ditches on both sides) and keep talking; so we had nothing to guide us but our voices.

A newlywed brother started talking about a Bayan on sexual positions in Islam by a Tableeghi Maulana and a session of Chinese parliament conveyed while walking. When he was explained that Maulana was wrong, he was saddened by all the missed opportunities and also angry with Tableeghi Jamaat. We kept walking and the Chinese parliament session continued on various subjects from women to solving world water crisis to Kashmir to Darul-uloom Bury!

After about 10 clicks (kilometers) we saw a car approaching from Serbian border, we waved and they stopped.

I have no idea what the hell the thing was but it was welcome! May have been a Yugo coral with 2 people inside so the five (5) of us with our luggage were invited to fit in the back, which we did!

The serbians drove like maniacs through the mountains at breakneck speed and dropped us at some point which was unknown to us! We paid them 10 Euros and they were happy!

By this time it was 02:10 (I remember because we hadn’t prayed Esha) so we made Wudhu prayed with Jamaat and kept walking until we found a Hotel.

We knocked at the doors (front and back) nobody opened so we were contemplating what to do when Kosovan police force turned up from nowhere in 2 brand spanking new jeeps! Because someone in the quiet neighbourhood must have reported us

When questioning started an idea came into my head! When they asked me what happened I turned on the Serbians and said they kicked us out because we are Muslims and they didn’t like Kosovo. The young Kosovan girl immediately jumped to our defence and agreed that Serbians are nasty and we shouldn’t worry and that they will help us.

They called the UN peacekeeping force who sent in a jeep to take us to her superiors.

The Kosovan Captain at the station was woken up in the middle of the night for us but surprisingly he was a Jolly fellow who asked us, “What the hell are you boys doing at this time? Don’t you know its Eid today?” You want me to do paperwork on Eid today for you loosers who got deported on Eid day?

Actually I forgot earlier, we hadn’t done Esha because we were arrested during Wudhu so we asked him that we need to do Esha and he just looked at us in utter astonishment because we were under arrest, transported and we were worried about Esha but he opened his whole office (container) for us and let us pray.

He checked our paperwork and said there is nothing wrong with us and if we have had enjoyed any girls which he hadn’t.

He said that because we had caused an alert he would have to send us to the Police headquarters. Back came the UN jeep and off we went.

This time again the story of the Serbians was enthusiastically received by a short, fat, chain smoking Kosovan (Muslim) woman. She had our luggage checked for drugs and ordered one of our officers to take us to the nearest Hotel.

The UN jeep took us to a Hotel, the police officer knocked at the Hotel and told him to give us rooms and make sure that we are on the 06:00 bus out of Kosova.

We were charged very little because we were “Government Guests”. We had maybe 2 hours to sleep before catching the next bus out of Kosovo! We had studied this possibility peviously and his was our plan B but getting arrested wasn't part of the plan and we had lost a day!

How do we make up time so we don't lose our flight back to UK?

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#27 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 23:07
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Mashallah beautiful story brother maudh. Majority of the Muslims who live in macadonia are albanian so I guess you were around Albanians most of the time?
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#28 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 23:08
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Mostly but also Bosniaks and some ethnic Turks.
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#29 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 23:20
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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Did you happen to visit Montenegro?
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#30 [Permalink] Posted on 7th November 2013 23:21
brooklynyte4ever wrote:
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Coming up next... :p
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