Duration: 47 minutes
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This recording is a gift to the Cambridge New Mosque Project by a group of students of traditional sacred knowledge in the noble Muslim land of Albania.
We are proud to present this recording, which gives a unique insight into a purely traditional scene of Balkan mosque life, with English subtitles taken in part from the translation by E.J.W. Gibb of the Mawlid of Süleiman Çelebi, may Allah’s mercy rest upon him.
The text was composed by Imam Hafiz Ali Ulqinaku (r.a.) (1853-1913) of the city of Ulcinj, home of saints and scholars. The singers include many from the very old generation who learned and loved the Mawlid publicly before the official prohibition of religion in Albania by the atheist regime of Enver Hoxha in 1967, and secretly after that time.
Between 1967 and 1992, scholars were mocked, tortured and imprisoned for their lack of belief in atheism. The country’s mosques were closed and most were destroyed. Under a law of 1976, failure to accept atheism carried an automatic ten-year prison sentence. Many ulema were killed; among the martyrs we remember Albania’s grand mufti, Hafiz Ibrahim Dibra, and mufti of Durrës Mustafa Efendi Varoshi, and hundreds of others.
The Albanian Mawlid of Hafiz Ali Ulqinaku (r.a.) — Study Guide
(PDF, 235 kb)