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Islamic History of the Balkans

This course has finished

In 1463, upon conquering the Bosnia, the great Ottoman Sultan, Fatih Mehmed IIissued the following edict, which still to this day, summarises the spirit of the Muslims of this region:

Addressed to : Angjeo Zvizdovic of the Franciscan Catholic Monastery in Fojnica, Bosnia

“I, the Sultan Khan the Conqueror, hereby declare the whole world that, The Bosnian Franciscans granted with this sultanate firman are under my protection. And I command that: No one shall disturb or give harm to these people and their churches! They shall live in peace in my state. These people who have become emigrants, shall have security and liberty. They may return to their monasteries which are located inthe borders of my state. No one from my empire notable, viziers, clerks or my maids will break their honour or give any harm to them! No one shall insult, put in danger orattack these lives, properties, and churches of these people! Also, what and those these people have brought from their own countries have the same rights… By declaring this firman, I swear on my sword by the holy name of Allah who has created the ground and sky, Allah’s Prophet Mohammed, and 124,000 former prophets that; no one from my citizens will react or behave the opposite of this firman!” (May 28, 1463)

The original edict is still kept in the Franciscan Catholic Monastery in Fojnica and is one of the oldest documents on religious freedom. Mehmed II’s oath was entered into force in the Ottoman Empire on. In 1971, the United Nations published a translation of the document in all the official U.N. languages.

A one day introductory course focusing on Islam in the Balkans. Being part of Europe and only two and a half hours by plane, the history, traditions and experiences of this region are important for helping us better understand the oldest indigenous Muslim communities in Europe and the future of Muslims on this continent in general.

This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in Islamic History, Muslimsin Europe, and related subjects. Topics to be covered include:

  • Introduction to the Geography and Peoples of the Balkans
  • The Balkans before the Arrival of Islam
  • Muslim Communities in the Balkans (Bosnia, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia)
  • Expansion of the Ottoman Empire into Europeï Islamic Leadership Structure
  • Trade, Military and Political Relations
  • Daëwah and Migrationï Architecture and Cultural Aspects
  • Recent Conflicts in Bosnia (1992-1995) and Kosova (1998-2000)
  • Islam Resurgence since the 1990s

Ustadh Senad Biber

Ustadah Sehija Dedovic

Dr Dûevada äuöko

Ustadah Dermna Seta


Ustadah Sehija Dedovic is a founder and director of Centre for Education and ResearchÑNahla? established 12 years ago. Today ÑNahla? is one of the biggest and very well organised NGOs in BiH. She has a degree in Islamic theology and is a Master’s degree candidate at International University of Sarajevo. She also Studied Islamic Studies in Jordan with traditional Islamic Scholars.

Dr Dûevada äuöko is a senior researcher at the (IUS) International University of Sarajevo where she teaches International Relations in particular EU and Balkan states and her expertiseis on the issue of loyalty: “Bosnian Muslims in post-Ottoman times and stability in South-eastern Europe. She has contributed to many conferences such as the recent “The Future of Faith in the era of Globalization and Ottoman legacy and Balkan Muslim Communities today” in Sarajevo. And has written many publications relating to the subject. A polyglot speaking German, Bosnian French, Italian, Spanish and Arabic.

Ustadah Dermna Seta, completed her MA in Religious Studies, at the University of Sarajevo and currently works at the Nahla Centre in Bonsia.

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