THE STRUCTURAL ORGANISATION OF THE ISLAMIC COMMUNITY
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CouncilThe Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina constitutes the following organizational units:
- the jamaat,
- the majlis,
- the mufti,
- the Riyasat,
- the Rais-ul-Ulama,
- the Council of the Islamic Community,
- the Constitutional Court of the Islamic Community.
The jamaat is the basic organizational unit of an Islamic Community. Through the jamaat, Muslims can exercise their basic religious rights and take part in different activities.
The Jamaat normally constitutes a minimum of one hundred Muslim households, who reside in one area and are connected in the performing of common Muslim duties.
A jamaat has a mosque or a masjid. As a rule, a jamaat is coordinated by a single imam, who leads the jamaat's religious activities, and is responsible for regilious education and upbringing.
A jamaat also has an assembly and a jamaat council. Presiding over the jamaat council is a president or a muteveli. Imams are members of the jamaat council by virtue of their position.
The imam overlooks all matters of religion in the jamaat, keeps the jamaat's books of record, and represents the jamaat in religious matters. Furthermore, the President of the Jamaat Council represents the jamaat in administrative and proprietary actions.
The majlis is the local organizational unit of the Islamic Community, and normally encompasses at least seven jamaats that constitute one territory. The boundaries of a majlis usually coincide with the administrative boundaries of a relevant municipality.
The administrative bodies of the majlis are the Assembly and the Board of Executives.
The Board of Executives of a majlis executes the decisions and implements the directives of higher authorities of the Islamic Community, monitors the conditions and needs of religious life within the relevant majlis, supervises the activities of the jamaat's committees and issues instructions, as well as looks after the property of the Islamic Community. The head imam of a majlis is, by virtue of his appointment, also a member of the Board of Executives.
The President of the Board of Executives of a majlis presides over the Council of the majlis, manages the activities of the Board, and represents the majlis in administrative and proprietary matters.
The main imam deals with religious life on the territory of the majlis and is responsible for the activities of the imam, hatibs and muallims. The main imam represents his majlis in all religious matters.
The mufti is the principal religious authority on the area on a mufti unit. The boundaries of a mufti unit, as well as the seat of the mufti, are determined by the Council of the Islamic Community, which, upon recommendation from the Rais-ul-ulama, appoints, transfers and relieves muftis of their duties. Muftis have their own offices. They are also aided by a council composed of head imams and the director of the madrasa in the domain of the said mufti.
The Council of the Islamic Community confirms the appointments of the muftis every three years, upon the recommendation of the reis-ul-ulama. Appointed muftis take an oath before Rais-ul-ulama, and are, in their work, responsible to the Rais-ul-ulama.
Among the competences of a mufti, one of the more significant ones are representing the Islamic Community on the territory of the mufti unit in religious matters, the interpretation of Islamic norms, supervising the work of the imams, khatibs, muallims and muderrises, protecting the religious rights of Muslims and advising the Community in the matters of appointing, transferring and resolving the head imam of his duties.
The muftis of Bosnia and Herzegovina are:
- Enes-effendi Ljevaković, the mufti of Sarajevo,
- Ahmed-effendi Adilović, the mufti of Travnik,
- Ejub-effendi Dautović, the mufti of Zenica,
- Hasan-effendi Makić, the mufti of Bihać,
- Osman-effendi Kozlić, the mufti of Banja Luka,
- Salem-effendi Dedović, the mufti of Mostar,
- Remzija-effendi Pitić, the mufti of Goradže,
- Vahid-effendi Fazlović, the mufti of Tuzla,
- Hadis-effendi Pašalić, the military mufti.
The Riyasat of the Islamic Community
The Riyasat of the Islamic Community is the Community's highest executive religious and administrative organ. The Riyasat conducts its duties through sessions, during which it addresses the most important religious and administrative questions in the domain of the Islamic Community, and delivers decisions and conclusions regarding these matters.
The Riyasat is headed by the Rais-ul-ulama, and alongside the Rais-ul-ulama, also includes 14 other members. The members, by seniority of rank, are the Deputy Rais-ul-ulama, the General Secretary of the Riyasat, the President of the Mashihat of the Islamic Community in Sandzak, the President of the Mashihat of the Islamic Community in Croatia, the President of the Mashihat of the Islamic Community in Slovenia, and the Director of the Waqf Authority.
The remaining members of the Riyasat are selected by the Council of the Islamic Community as follows: four members are chosen from the group of the mufti, two members from the deans and directors of Islamic educational institutions, and two members that are renowned personas in the Islamic Community, but are not employed by the Community. The term of appointment is four years.
The Riyasat is responsible for and submits reports on the work of the Council of the Islamic Community. The sessions of the Council are presided over by the Rais-ul-ulama, and decisions are made by majority vote.
The areas for which the Riyasat is responsible are the organisation of religious life, the organisation of education and various educational activities, the development and maintenance of the Community's buildings, the organisation and activity of offices and establishments of the Islamic Community in the diaspora, cooperation with Islamic organisations and institutions worldwide, as well as various administrative, legislative, economic and financial tasks.
The duties and obligations of the Riyasat:
- Overall care of religious life, and ensuring that all activities in the Community are based on Shaariyah principles,
- Supervising the work of the executive organs and institutions within the Islamic Community.
- Appointing, transferring and dissolving of duty imams and main imams, khatibs and muallim.
- Appointing and dissolving of duty the deans and directors of Islamic educational institutions.
- Approving the curricula of Islamic educational institutions, as well as programs and textbook materials for primary and secondary school Islam courses.
- Ensuring that the religious rights of Muslims are upheld.
- Adopting regulations on the attire and ornaments worn by religious representatives of the Islamic Community.
- Monitoring the collection of Zakat and Sadaqat-ul Fitr, and managing the ‘Bejtu-l-mal'.
- Granting the establishment of waqfs for religious purposes.
- Settling the exchange of waqf property.
- Establishing and maintaining close ties with other Islamic communities.
- Establishing links with religious communities.
- Issuing cerficates of registration of Islamic educational institutions.
- Ratifying the decisions made by the Teaching Committees of faculties that exist within the Islamic Community regarding the election of lecturers.
The Rais-ul-ulama is the supreme mufti of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Islamic Community, and represents the Community in the country and abroad. His aid and substitute, in the case of absence, is the Vice Rais-ul-ulama.
In carrying out his assigned responsibilities, the Rais-ul-ulama relies on the help of his Council, which includes: the Vice Rais-ul-ulama, the Dean of the Faculty of Islamic Sciences and the muftis. The Rais-ul-ulama is responsible to the Council and submits to it an annual report on the activities of the Riyasat.
The posts of Raisu-l-ulama and Vice Raisu-l-ulama are assigned to renowned alims who have had posts in the Islamic Community for at least 10 years, and whose understanding of Islamic teaching and overall conduct have earned them prominence and trust with the members of the Islamic Community.
The candidates for the posts of Raisu-l-ulama and Vice Raisu-l-ulama cannot be younger than 40. The Council of the Islamic Community confirms each candidacy and proposes three candidates for each of the posts.
The Raisu-l-ulama and Vice Raisu-l-ulama are selected by a specially appointed body composed of members of the Islamic Community Council, members of the Riyasat, muftis, presidents of the mashihats of the Islamic Community, the deans and directors of Islamic institutions, main imams and presidents of the executive boards of the majlis. Candidates are elected by a majority vote.
The Raisu-l-ulama and Vice Raisu-l-ulama are appointed to a term of seven years, with the possibility of being reelected. The Council of the Islamic Community also appoints a Committee for conferring the mensura to the Raisu-l-ulama, while the Raisu-l-ulama, alongwith the vice Raisu-l-ulama, takes an oath upon taking up the mensura at the Gazi Husrev-bey's Mosque in Sarajevo.
The duties of the Raisu-l-ulama:
-issueing muraselas (permits, appointments) to muftis, teachers of Islam and khatibs
-issuing recommendations to the Council of the Islamic Community for the appointment and dissolving of duty of the General Secretary of the Riyasat and of the Director of the Waqf Directorate.
- stopping the implementation of any decision made by organs of the Islamic Community that the Raisu-l-ulama considers contradictory to Islamic norms, by issuing a decree that specifies the annulment of the decision or its reconciliation with Islamic norms.
The Council of the Islamic Community
The Council of the Islamic Community is the Community's highest representative and legislative body. It is responsible for adopting a constitution and passing other legislations that regulate the organisation and functions of the organs and institutions of the Islamic Community, adopts regulations on the use of the flag and emblem of the Islamic Community, and issues directives for the institutions that oversee the property of the Islamic Community.
The Council of the Islamic Community also has jurisdiction over the adoption of the budget and the passing of a final account balance of the Riyasat, and over the establishment of institutions, funds, companies and associations within the Islamic Community.
The Council also appoints, reassigns and dissolves of duty the muftis, elects the members of the Riyasat, appoints and dissolves of duty the General Secretary of the Riyasat, as well as ratifies the election of and relieves of duty the Director of the Waqf Directorate and appoints the members of the Constitutional Court of the Islamic Community.
The Council of the Islamic Community has 83 members, elected in their local electoral precincts as follows: 13 members from Sarajevo, 10 members from Tuzla, 7 members from Bihać, 7 members from Banja Luka, 7 members from Goražde, 7 members from Mostar, 7 members from Travnik, 7 members from Zenica, 5 members from Novi Pazar, 5 members from Zagreb, 3 members from Ljubljana, 3 members from Cologne, covering the territory of Western Europe, 1 member from Chicago, covering the area of the US, and one member from Sydney, for the territory Australia.
The Constitutional Court of the Islamic Community
The Constitutional Court of the Islamic Community is the highest organ for the control of the constitutionality of the work of all institutions of the Islamic Community. Its members are appointed by the Council of Islamic Community at the recommendation of the Riyasat.
The members of the Constitutional Court are selected among those individuals within the Community who are renowned outstanding authorities in the fields of religious and socio-cultural science.
All members of the Constitutional Court are elected for a term of six years, during which they cannot hold posts in any other representative authorities or executive bodies within the Community. All members can also be elected for a second term of six years.
The Constitutional Court is governed by the President of the Constitutional Court, who is elected by the Court members.
The rulings of the Court are binding for all bodies and institutions of the Islamic Community, while the Riyasat has the duty of implementing the said rulings.
The court has jurisdiction over: assessing the constitutionality of the normative acts of the Islamic Community, evaluating whether the activities of the organs of the Islamic Community and its institutions are in accordance with the Constitution, resolves any disputes regarding the jurisdiction of the authorities of the Islamic Community, supervises and resolves electoral disputes, and has last-instance jurisdiction over the groundedness of the repeals of the highest institutions of the Community and their members, as well as rules on the appeals made by members of the Islamic Community regarding the breach of their constitutional rights.
The Mashihat is an autonomous authority, on the basis of which it creates its own internal organisation founded on the needs of the Mashihat, as well as an autonomous status in the making of internal decisions. According to the Constitition of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, "The Mashihat of the Islamic Community in Sandzak, along with the Mashihats of the Islamic Community in Croatia and Slovenia respectively, are responsible for the organisation of religious life on their respective territories, which they achieve with their own regulations that are in accordance with the Constitution (of the Islamic Community."
The Mashihat of the Islamic Community in Sandzak
The Mashihat of the Islamic Community in Sandzak covers the geographic territory of Sandzak, and has its main office in Novi Pazar. Currently presiding over the Mashihat is Mevlud-effendi Dudić, the mufti of Sandzak.
The Mashihat covers the part of the Sandzak province within Serbia. The area of Sandzak that exists within the territory of Montenegro is under the jurisdiction of the Islamic Community of Montenegro, an independent entity that is, under the Constitution, not defined as part of the Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Sandzak Mashihat has its own Council and organisational hierarchy.
The Mashihat of the Islamic Community in Croatia
The Mashihat of the Islamic Community in Croatia is the head organisation of Muslims in Croatia.
The Mashihat's Main Office is in Zagreb. The Islamic community in Croatia also has its own Council and interpendent internal organisation.
Presiding over the Mashihat is Aziz-effendi Hasanović, the mufti of Zagreb.
The Mashihat of the Islamic Community in Slovenia
The Mashihat of the Islamic Community in Slovenia is the main organisation of Muslims in Slovenia.
The Mashihat's Main Office is in Ljubljana. The Islamic Community in Slovenia also has an internal autonomy, and makes significant efforts in establishing its own organizational network and structure.
Presiding over the Mashihat is Nedžad-effendi Grabus, the mufti of Ljubljana.