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Books, Sarajevo, Bosnia

Jim Lommasson
Jim Lommasson / What We Carried

Imam Abdulah Polovina:

This is the photo of an old collection of Mawlid poems and recitations. The term Mawlid is part of the daily vocabulary of the Muslim population  in Bosnia and Herzegovina and surrounding countries. It is a term with a meaning of great importance due to the fact that it symbolizes the identity of a people who are followers of Islam in Bosnia and Herzegovina and surrounding countries. In a religious way it is a remembrance of the beloved prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

This collection of Mawlid is in an old script called “Arebica”. Arebica is a Bosniak variant of the Persio-Arabic script used to write the Bosnian language. It was used mainly between the 15th and 19th centuries and it is frequently categorized as part of Aljamiado literature. Apart from the literature, Arebica was used in religious schools and administration, though it was in much less use than other scripts.

I brought this Mawlid collection with me from Bosnia and Herzegovina to remind me about the rich history of one thousand-year-old Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the important part of Islamic history there.