Grand Mufti Mehmed Teufik Azabagić and his Rissala on Hijra
Author(s): Sumeja Ljevaković-Subašić
Reviewed by: Abdullah Drury, University of Waikato, New Zealand
This booklet should be in every library. The Bosnian intellectual contribution to Islam, instinctively modest, has long been underestimated and neglected for louder and more garrulous voices in the global Muslim world. The modest aim of Sumeja Ljevaković-Subašić, the editor and translator of this delightful gem, is to provide the general reading public with an introduction to the biography and numinous corpus of Mehmed Teufik Azabagić (1838–1918), the second Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Hercegovina between 1893 and 1909. Towards this noble goal the publishers have arranged here an English translation of his 1884 Risalah fi al-Hijrah or Treatise on Emigration. The book starts with a brief introduction by Sumeja Ljevaković-Subašić. As pithily observant as an academic Jane Austen, her conspectus provides an overview of the project and outlines the significance of the text. This is followed by a foreword by Dr Husein Kavazović, the current Grand Mufti of Bosnia. He reminds readers that the disturbing asymmetry of contemporary emigration from Bosnia (and the current immigration crisis in Europe) means that the treatise is still pertinent even today where the phenomena and pathologies are similar.