Open main menu

Muslim Community of Albania

The Muslim Community of Albania (KMSH; Albanian: Komuniteti Mysliman i Shqipërisë) is an independent religious organisation of Muslims in Albania existing since February 24, 1923. The headquarters of the community are located in Tirana and the current Grand Mufti (Albanian: Kryemyftiu) is Bujar Spahiu.[1]

Muslim Community of Albania
Komuniteti Mysliman i Shqipërisë
Komuniteti Mysliman i Shqipërisë.svg
Formation24 February 1923; 96 years ago (1923-02-24)
TypeReligious organization
HeadquartersTirana, Albania
Official language
Bujar Spahiu


Organized Islamic religious life in Albania has existed since the time the Ottoman Empire started administering this region. All Muslims who lived in the Ottoman Empire were part of the Muslim community headed by the Sultan, who replaced the role of the caliph. During the reign of the Sultan Murad II the competencies of the caliph were transferred to the grand mufti. Since then, the grand mufti was titled Sheykhul-Islam and was considered the highest religious authority within the Ottoman Empire. However, every region inhabited by Muslims had its own Mufti, who was in a lower position than the Sheykhul-Islam. After the independence of Albania in 1912 the Islamic Community of Albania continued to be under the authority of the Sheykhul-Islam in Constantinople until 1923. In 1923, following the government program, the Albanian Muslim congress convened at Tirana decided to break with the Caliphate (Sheykhul-Islam), and created the Muslim Community of Albania.[2]

During the period from 1941 to 1944 the Islamic Community of Kosova was under the authority of the Muslim Community of Albania. The community would be active until 1967, when the communist regime of Enver Hoxha declared Albania the only non-religious country in the world, banning all forms of religious practice in public. After the Fall of Communism, on November 16, 1990, the Muslim Community of Albania was re-established under the Grand Mufti Hafiz Sabri Koçi.[3]

With the beginning of the War on Terror by George W. Bush, most Arab NGOs funding the institutions of the KMSH were driven out of the country or had to reduce their activity. Since then, Turkish organisations - mainly those that are close to the spiritual preacher Fethullah Gülen based in the United States - took control over it. The Gülen movement controls five out of seven Madrasas in the country.[4] The election of Skënder Bruçaj to head the KMSH was marred by controversy.[5] Some imams and other Muslim clerics viewed it as illegal that contravened the rules of KMSH and regarded his elevation to the position as a coup by the Gülen movement.[5]

On 26 November 2019, an earthquake struck Albania. The Muslim Community of Albania has organised nationwide fundraising for monetary, food and material supplies and opened its mosques and madrasas as a place of shelter for earthquake victims.[6]

Grand Muftis (1923–present)Edit

No. Name
Term served
1 Haxhi Vehbi Dibra 12 March 1923 1929
2 Behxhet Shapati 1929 1942
3 Hafiz Sherif Langu 1942 1945
4 Hafiz Musa H. Ali Basha 1945 1954
5 Hafiz Sulejman Myrta 1954 1966
6 Esat Myftija 1966 1967
Vacant during Communist Era (1967–1990)
7 Haxhi Hafiz Sabri Koçi 6 November 1990 2003
8 Haxhi Selim Muça 17 March 2004 8 March 2014
9 Skënder Bruçaj 8 March 2014 2 March 2019
9 Bujar Spahiu 2 March 2019 Incumbent

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ Bujar Spahiu zgjidhet në krye të KMSH-së: Luftë ekstremizmit, forcim dialogut ndërfetar
  2. ^ Zani i Naltë – 90 vjet Komunitet Mysliman Shqiptar
  3. ^ Hafiz Sabri Koçi, pishtar i lirisë së besimit
  4. ^ Olsi Jazexhi, Oliver Scharbrodt, Samim Akgönül, Ahmet Alibašić, Jørgen Nielsen, Egdunas Raciuss (2014). "Yearbook of Muslims in Europe" (6th ed.). Leiden, Boston: Brill. p. 24. Retrieved 2016-03-12.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ a b Oliver Scharbrodt, Samim Akgönül, Ahmet Alibašić, Jørgen Nielsen, Egdunas Raciuss (2015). "Yearbook of Muslims in Europe" (7th ed.). Leiden, Boston: Brill. p. 19. Retrieved 2016-03-12.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Komuniteti Mysliman i Shqipërisë aksion për grumbullimin e ndihmave për familjet e prekura nga tërmeti, ja se si mund të ndihmoni" (in Albanian). 26 November 2019. Retrieved 29 November 2019.

External linksEdit