Author(s): Samed Omerdic
Bosnia and Herzegovina came under Ottoman rule in the 15th century and this process continued for more than five centuries. With the new values that the Ottomans inherited and brought to Bosnia and Herzegovina, a new cultural heritage was created that will expand from science to fine arts. During this period, Bosnian Muslims received higher education in Istanbul. However, with the Ottomans moving away from the region, cities such as Cairo and Medina and Vienna and Budapest were preferred as new science centers instead of Istanbul. In this regard, when we look at the Islamic way of thinking in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is possible to speak of a two-phase period in general. The first is Islamic thought in the Ottoman period, and the second is post-Ottoman Islamic thought. In particular, postOttoman Islamic thought can be divided into several periods within itself. The most important of these periods and today the most influential idea and personality is the al-Man?r school and its thought that originated with Bosnian youth studying at Azhar University. As is well known, the intellectual crises experienced in the new process pushed Muslim thinkers to find a solution. In this respect, the Egyptian Jam?lad?n al-Afgh?n? (d. 1897), Muhammed Abduh (d. 1905) and Rashid Rida (d. 1935) can be counted among the representatives of modernist thought. Husein ?ozo (1912-1982), who was the first Bosnian student enrolled at Al-Azhar University, received lessons from scholars such Mahmoud Shaltut (d. 1936), Abdalqadir al-Maraghi (d. 1945) and Rashid Rida, one of the most important names of the alMan?r school. With the al-Man?r school, a reformist idea came to Bosnia and Herzegovina that actualized Islamic thought, moving it to think in the spirit of the times and its needs. In this way, Islamic thought in BiH at the end of the 19th century developed under the influence of the reformist movement known as harakatu-l-islah ve-t-tedjid. This line of thought was one of the Muslim responses to the internal crisis in Muslim societies and the challenges of Western modernity. Such conditions in BiH were established during the AustroHungarian modernization project, during BiH and Bosniaks transition from Oriental-Islamic to European civilization. Possessing two identities - Islamic and European - put before the Bosniak ulema and intellectuals the need to rethink the numerous issues and dilemmas that life brought. In the first half of the 20th century in BiH, this line of thought intensified, although there were other trends, including traditionalist, which rejected any change, and secular modernists, who supported any change. In the second half of the 20th century, the Islam orientation became dominant, thanks in particular to the theoretical works and practical solutions of scholars such as Hussein ef. Jozo. This direction became, what can be described as an official intellectual tradition in the interpretation of Islam in BiH. In our paper, we will try to understand the course of Islamic reformist thinking in Bosnia and Herzegovina through an analysis of the life and sources of Hussein Djoza's opinion as the most striking figure of al-Manar. Husein ?ozo is one of the two most important names of the al-Man?r school in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Balkans in general. It can be said that his life was like his ideas. He spent five years in prison for collaborating with the Nazis, after which he was Tito's private translator. Throughout his life he was subjected to great pressure and accusations from both the government and some ideas. Despite this, Husein ?ozo is one of the most important figures in the history of Islamic thought in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Perhaps the biggest role in the process of opening the Sarajevo Faculty of Islamic Studies was taken over by Husein ?ozo. While working as a tafsir instructor at the same faculty, he supervised many theological generations. Even in today's time, the most important scholars of theology in Bosnia and Herzegovina are his students. For a long time, the life of Husein ?ozo and the source of his ideas will be analyzed on the basis of articles and books he wrote, as well as texts of students he trained and worked with. This article discusses Husein ?ozo's life, the source of innovative ideas and his works. Through research work following his life, ideas that influenced his thought and the works he wrote, we will follow the development of Islamic thought in the late 19th and early 20th century in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also, this paper is an introduction to the next paper in which we will explore and analyze the ideas and religious views of Husein ?ozo. In this way, by completing the research of the life and work of Husein ?ozo, we will have a clearer picture of the reformist Islamic thought in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also offer answers to Muslim challenges in the European context.