Islamic Revival in Bosnia

1400-04-01 20:22:17

Osmanli state

The Osmanli state was organized according to the principle of organic unity of religious and political authority in which the Islamic religious institutions were part of the state administration. Bosnia was part of the global Muslim community known as the ummah and adhered to the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence and to the Maturdi School of Creed (Karcic, 522). There was dramatic political change in Bosnia in 1878 when the state allowed the Austo-Hungarian empire to occupy Bosnia.

1400-04-01 20:22:17

Start of Islam in Bosnia

Islam was introduced in Bosnia with the arrival of the Ottomans under Sultan Mehmed Fatih. Over the next century Sufi orders helped to spread the religion. the most influential orders were the Naqshbandi, Halveti, Bektashi, Halveti, Qadiri, Mawlawi, Tabani, and Rifa'iyah orders.

1462-04-04 20:22:17

Naqshbandi tariqah

The Naqshbandi tariqah was first established in Sarajevo in 1462. Although there is no functioning tekke of this tariqah but there are members that gather and practice dhikr.

1463-04-16 20:22:17

First Sufis in Bosnia

The first Sufi who came to Bosnia was Sari Saltuk a member of the Bektashi tariqa. His grave is located near the Buna tekkie in Blagaj (1466).

1500-04-04 20:22:17

Halveti tariqah

In the early 16th century, several branches of the Halveti appeared in Bosnia. They established around 100 tekke through Gazi Husrev-bey and Sheikh Ibrahim Bistrigiya.

1903-04-02 20:22:17

Death of Kallay

After Kallay death, the situation in Bosnia was liberalized. The national movements in Bosnia were transformed into political parties. Muslims founded the Muslim National Organization (MNO) in 1906, Serbs formed the Serbian National Organization (SNO) in 1907, and the Croats formed the Croat National Union (HDZ) in 1908.

1908-04-02 20:22:17

Austria-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia

After the Ottoman withdraw and through the Congress of Berlin in 1878 Bosnia became occupied by the Autrian-Hungarian empire but was still ruled by the Ottomans. In 1908, Austria-Hungary provoked the Bosnian crisis by annexing the country.

1919-04-03 20:22:17

Sufi orders in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire

Once the occupation of Bosnia began, Sufi orders had to start to define their religious status within a Christian empire. Many Muslims chose to leave the region and move to Turkey, despite the fact that there was official recognition of their right to worship freely and establish new institutions. [For further information](

1945-01-04 00:00:00

Islam in communist Yugoslavia

Women started to wear headscarves until they were banned in 1950. Shari'a marriages were abolished in 1946. The Socialist government nationalized all the remaining religious property which stripped the power of the Islamic Religious Community (Karcic, 522).

1945-04-05 00:00:00

Formation of Yugoslavia

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the Balkan states of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro became part of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia.

1946-04-12 20:22:17

Sufi institutions under communist rule

The dismantling of Sufi institutions accelerated under the rule of the communist Yugoslavian government. The law on the Abolition of Shari'ah Courts, which followed the Law prohibiting the wearing of the veil in 1950.

1950-04-06 20:22:17

Sufi Orders during communism

In 1952 the IC put a ban on the activities of tariqas in Bosnia and confiscated their property. it the 1980's the situation changed after a new president in the IC.

1970-04-01 20:22:17

Public manifestation of Islam

The most visible signs of Islamic revival is that of the use of Islamic social symbols such as headscarves, long-sleeves, and long-skirts for women and long beards for men.

1980-04-02 20:22:17

Death of Tito

After the death of longtime Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito in 1980, growing nationalism among the different Yugoslav republics threatened to split their union apart. This process intensified after the mid-1980s with the rise of the Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who helped foment discontent between Serbians in Bosnia and Croatia and their Croatian, Bosniak and Albanian neighbors.

1980-04-02 20:22:17

Islam prior to Bosnian independence

All Yugoslava Muslims were under one organization, the Islamic Religious Community (Islamska Vjerska Zajednica). The organization was in charge of all the affairs that are associated with a Muslims way of life. The Islamic Religious Community was the sole organization responsible for issuing fatwas (legal rulings), they also managed waqfs (religious endowments), maintained mosques, provided religious education in maktebs (weekend classes for children), and collected zakat (religious tax) and distributed it among the needy (Karcic).

1990-04-10 20:22:17

Agents of Revival

There are four major agents of Islamic revival that can be seen in Bosnia. 1. The imams of the Islamic Community that were responsible for spreading the message of Islam to the masses which help to increase the numbers of people practicing Islam. 2. Students of Islamic studies. Both students of local Islamic institutions as well as Bosnian students that went to study abroad. 3. Islamic Community's organs and institutions such as education and media. 4. Foreign factors such as Islamic humanitarian agencies which came during and immediately after the war into effect. Saudi Arabia help came in the form of money, humanitarian aid, food and medicine while Iran helped with weapons as well as humanitarian efforts (Karcic). One example of this would be foreign fighters.

1991-04-05 20:22:17


Religious Education was introduced in a number of public schools in Sarajevo. As well teaching Islam to Bosnian children in Mektebs which were held in mosques by the local imam or muallima. As well as the establishment of non-religous colleges and schools that are run by foreign parties such as Iran and Turkey.

1992-03-03 20:22:17

Bosnian independence

On March 3, 1992, after a referendum vote President Izetbegovic proclaimed Bosnia’s independence.

1992-04-01 00:00:00

The destruction of Bosnian Muslims

With the collapse of communism by the 20th century and the rise of Balkan nationalism, the Bosnian Serb politicians started on a plan that was to create their own para-state on the territory of Bosnia. The idea was to connect all towns and villages in Eastern and Northern Bosnia. This was to be created through "ethnically cleansing" a mini-state which would then join a 'Greater Serbia'.

1992-04-01 20:22:17

Aid agencies and Mujahideen

Freedom for Islamic activates were unlimited in the territories under the control of the Bosnian Army. The Muslim aid workers and the freedom fighter (mujahidun) came from all over the world came to help in the defense of the Muslims. This also gave them a chance for free proselytizing and spreading their understanding of Islam.

1992-04-02 00:00:00

The war and its effects on Islamic Revival

The war had a drastic impact on the re-awaking of Bosnian Muslims masses. Since the war was over territory with the intentional killing of Bosnian Muslims, and acts such as forced baptizing or carving out crosses.

1995-01-13 00:00:00

Destruction of mosques

During the period of the war the killings of people were followed by the destruction of mosques and other Islamic symbols.

1995-01-13 00:00:00

Saudi and Iranian Influence through aid relief

The influence of the Salafis and Wahhabis in Bosnia has been clear. They are refer to as a revivalist group that tends to ignore the existing schools of legal thought and calls upon the return to early Islam as it was practiced by the Prophet. Saudi Arabia was perhaps the first Muslim country to react to the suffering of the Bosnian Muslims. They helped through financial and humanitarian efforts as well as sending volunteer fighters. The U.S. has estimated that they have spent more than $600 million on reconstruction of mosques, schools, and orphanages.

1995-04-06 20:22:17


The United Nations declared Srebrenica a safe haven and under their protection. Srebrenica was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces under General Ratko Mladic. Thousands of Bosnian Muslim men and boys were separated from families and massacred, despite of the presence of the UN troops.

1995-04-21 20:22:17

New legislation adopted in the country during the post-war period

This new legislation that is adopted by Bosnia was abled to secure greater religious freedoms and able to secure greater manifestation and practice of religion.

1997-04-01 20:22:17

Islamic Community according to constitution

ti states that the IC is the sole and united community of Muslims in Bosnia in which their organization and activities are based on the Qur'an and that their goal is to guide the population to live in conformity to Islamic norms.

1997-04-02 20:22:17

Sufi Orders in the Constitution of the IC

The Constitution of the IC of 1997 under its institutions mentions Sufi orders, which are to be established in accordance with the Shari'ah and Tariqa.

1999-04-01 20:22:17

Active Islamic Youth

The AIY was an organization that was established by former members of the El-Mujaheed military unit after the war with the aim to continue the call (dawa) after the war. It was funded by Saudi High Committee. Even though they simply state the they are Muslims in their form of practicing Islam but it is widely known that they are perceived to be Salafi Islam.

2014-04-01 20:22:17

Sufi orders today

Today there are a few thousand sufis in Bosnia following mainly Naqshibandiyyah and Qadiriyyah orders. Historically Sufi orders played an important role in the islamization of Bosnia, the Osmanli military, and revolts against the Osmanli state. Sufis were also leaders of several reformist and protest movements. Like in other places Sufis were successful propagators of Islam due to their accommodation of some local customs and practices. Sufi orders are unevenly spread in Bosnia. They main concentration is in central Bosnia (Travnik, Fojnica, Kiseljak, Visoko, Zenica, Sarajevo) and the valley of Neretva river (Mostar, Blagaj). The number of sufi lodges (tekke) today is about 20.

Islamic Revival in Bosnia

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