Sarajevo 22 November 2019
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings on His Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, his family and his companions.
Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters,
I am honored that you have joined us here in this festive program on the occasion of the beginning of my new seven-year term in the honorable duty of the Raisu-l-Ulama, the leader and Grand Mufti of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I perceive this term, just as the one that came before it, primarily as a great responsibility and a great honor, before God, before history and posterity, before the Islamic Community and its members, before people and society and before all of you as my witnesses here today. I perceive your presence here as readiness to support me and to help me in my calling and in my great mission to justify the trust that has been placed in me.
This feeling that I hope for your support and feel I have a certain right to it is founded in the religious, moral, spiritual, social, historical and for our future together, immensely important, meaning and significance of the institution of Raisu-l-Ulama. The institution of Raisu-l-Ulama is not only an institutional expression for the highest religious authority of the Islamic Communiy which represents the unity of the deen and the ummah, the faith and the community. Raisu-l-Ulama is responsible for a proper understanding of Islam, for living the values of Islam, for passing on the legacy of Islam and for achieving the aim of the Islamic Community which is for all its members to live in accordance with Islamic norms, and which is achieved through enjoining good and forbidding evil.
The institution of the Rasiu-l-Ulama is not only about planning, guiding, directing and overseeing the religious life in the Islamic Community.
On the one hand, the institution of the Raisu-l-Ulama is a vital and epoch-making expression of our modern Islamic institutional self-awareness, autonomy and identity. The institution of Raisu-l-ulama has been and continues to be an expression of our responsibility before Bosnian, European and global challenges of modern history.
On the other hand, the unique importance and gravity of the position of the Raisu-l-Ulama in our entire modern history and the present day is based in the dogma of Islamic teachings, in democratic, representative legitimacy, and in the feeling our people have that in all their trials and tribulations, amidst all the suffering and uncertainty, the Islamic Community and Raisu-l-Ulama are a safe haven, those who will represent them, those who will be the most legitimate and trustworthy advocates of their right to live their Islamic identity in this land and in this part of the world, devoted to freedom, peace, dialogue and solidarity.
This is how I have perceived and strived to fulfill my duty as Raisu-l-Ulama in my previous term. In addition to fulfilling my duties, as defined by the constitution of the Islamic Community, I have strived to never lose sight of the fact that our people see the Islamic community as a source of comfort and hope.
Ladies and gentlemen, sisters and brothers, on this occasion today , I would like to emphasize that it is still our greatest mission and responsibility to justify the trust our people have in the Islamic Community. We are a small nation, but thanks to Islam and the Islamic community, we are a nation that meets five times a day in two thousand places in our homeland only. We meet five times a day in our homeland countries and the diaspora as well. The trust Muslims place in their mosques and their local Islamic communities is not only the greatest, but perhaps the only strength the Islamic Community has.
We will try to justify that trust by acting in accordance with our holy faith, by enjoining good, in accordance with our tradition, by being socially responsible, active and open to dialogue and cooperation with other religious communities. We will observe those who hold the highest political and social functions in our society with a critical eye and demand more of them – better results, higher standards, a more humane treatment of our citizens.
In a world that defies any stability, in a world that relies on the superficial, in a world where all hierarchical and values-based systems have been uprooted, the Islamic Community will continue to strive to preserve tradition – the ways of our elders. The Islamic Community will give its members the spiritual, ethical, psychological and social protection that will help them become stable and steadfast. At the same time, in a world where political, economic, civilizational, technological and other circumstances are constantly and rapidly changing, the Islamic Community in the coming period must be able to constantly change its organization and adapt to changes and new challenges set before it.
Through dialogue, cooperation and solidarity, the Islamic Community will develop its global mission of promoting human rights and freedoms, developing culture, and promoting moral, humanitarian, environmental and peacemaking activism. On the other hand, the Islamic Community will continue to work to preserve our unique Bosniak and Bosnian Islamic and cultural characteristics. In the following period, the Islamic Community will continue to adapt its work to the European legal, social, political, cultural and economic context. This is due to two reasons: Firstly, a significant number of the members of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosniaks and other, live in Western Europe. Secondly, in terms of its cultural history, Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to Europe, and in terms of its political ambitions, our country is hoping to join the EU. The Islamic Community as a European community of Muslims will strive to develop its educational and developmental capacities in order to make a meaningful contribution to the future of a multireligious, plural, open and democratic Europe.
In our immediate BH society, in its internal mission, the Islamic community will continue to preserve religious and spiritual values, and on the level of society as a whole, it will continue to promote its moral, educational and social mission.
I expect your help on this path and in these efforts and I express my heartfelt gratitude to you and ask God Almighty to grant us all wisdom, patience, mercy and every blessing.