[AREBICA / MUSLIM EDUCATION IN EARLY YUGOSLAVIA / WWII] A school report in Arebica with Mecca illustration on cover, of the Sagr Hadzi Ali Dvogodišnji School in Sarajevo, of a Muslim student in 1939, during WWII and the period of early Yugoslavia

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Izdanije Vakufskog Ravnateljstva, Sarajevo, 1939.

Original greenish wrappers. 12mo. (17 x 10 cm). In Arebica (Bosnian with Arabic letters) and Arabic. [6] p., 2 b/w lithograph illustrations on front and rear covers. Age toning and slight stains on covers, school stamp on the first page. A very good copy.

A rare bilingual Arebica & Arabic school report of a Muslim student in Sarajevo in 1939 Yugoslavia with the illustration of “Kaaba u Mekki” [i.e., Kaaba in Mecca] on the front and the Gazi Husrev Begovic Mosque on the rear cover. The blank report was prepared by “Ulema Majlis” of Yugoslavian Muslim people and was printed by the Islamic Foundations Directorate in Sarajevo.

The report includes the usual fourteen lessons in Muslim schools such as reading the Qur’an, the history of Islam, Islamic law, etc. The degrees given by the teacher, periods and dates of education, teacher’s name and surname, and student’s information are handwritten. On verso of the front cover, a section “Uputa roditeljima (starateljima) - Izvod iz Uredbe o mektebima od travnja 1939” [i.e., Instructions to parents (guardians) - Extract from the Ordinance on schools from April 1939].

Yugoslavia's Muslims began their Islamic education before elementary school in the mekteb where students learned to read the Qur'an and the basics of Islam. The mektebs enrolled more than 90% of Muslim children in Bosnia and Hercegovina and a very high percentage in other parts of Yugoslavia with Muslim populations. In Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the Gazi Husrevbeg Madrasa, founded in 1537 as a full-time Islamic school. As part of the Congress of Berlin agreement and the Treaty of Versailles, the Muslims had the right to full autonomy of their religious institutions, education, religious endowments, and family and inheritance laws.

With the German and Italian occupation during the Second World War, many problems arose and after the war and the communist-dominated government took control of Yugoslavia, all mektebs [i.e., schools] were closed, as were many madrasas and the High Islamic Sharia Theological Academy.

Overall, a rare small document related to the Muslims in Yugoslavia during WW II.