The building of Gazi Husrev-beg’s library has been enriched with another cultural content that adorns and complements its centuries-old tradition. It is a Museum that, through its permanent exhibition, offers visitors an interesting encounter with objects that adorn the Islamic tradition of Bosniaks in this area. They come from different environments – home, mosque, tekke, craft. The library received them as a gift or redeemed them, and over time they grew into a collection of over 1,200 items.
In the foyer of the Museum there is a lapidary, a collection of works in stone as persistent and faithful witnesses of the time in which they were created, people who carved them with their own hands or those who had them made.
The museum exhibition itself is divided into several thematic units according to the type of objects, their purpose and the way in which they were used, so that the exhibition consists of the following units:
Islamic art was especially expressed through the beautiful writing of the text – calligraphy, and its own ornamentation, the so-called arabesque. Thus developed the richest and most diverse known calligraphy with many different types of letters (kufi, nesh, sulus, ta’lik, divani…) and ways of writing (in the form of a circle, in a mirror, in the form of a picture of an object, a bird, etc.). The basis of this type of art is the beauty of the spirit of the owner of the hand who prints it, and his skill and ability to bring the incomprehensible Divine reality closer to the human spirit and intellect.
The museum collection presents calligraphic works of our top calligraphers such as Hafiz Husein Rakim-efendija Islamović, Ahmed Seid Vilić, Mehmed-beg Kapetanović Ljubušak, as well as other calligraphers and teachers in calligraphy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Timing was an important segment of the daily life of our man, a Muslim believer and because of the daily performance of religious duties. There are few religions like Islam since religious premature ones are time-specific. Prayer, mail, hajj, zakat and other religious duties and holidays related to a certain time in the lunar year, and for their calculation our astronomers and muvekkits must know the basics of astronomy, as well as the types of aids used for this purpose – astrolabes, quadrants (rub-tahte), sextants, sundials and mechanical clocks. Muvekkit was engaged in measuring time and determining religious holidays.
He also took care of the functioning of clock towers in the larger and smaller cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a specific feature of this museum exhibition, two handmade globes of the famous Sarajevo muvekkit Salih Sidki-efendija Hadžihusejnović Muvekkit stand out.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has always had an elite ulema who were educated in domestic schools and madrasas as well as throughout the Islamic and later Western world. Many of them have distinguished themselves in various scientific fields, especially in the field of classical Islamic sciences. Among the exhibits in this unit are manuscripts or printed texts of individual authors, commentators or copyists of manuscripts. We will only list some names: Mehmed Mejlija Bosnevi, Sejfullah Proho, Hasan Pruščak, Allāmek Muhammed Bosnevi, Mehmed Handžić, Mustafa Ejubović Šejh Jujo, Arif Hikmet Rizvanbegović-Stočević, Fadil-paša Šerifović. Photographs of our esteemed ulema were also posted, as well as the clothes they wore and the items they used.
MOSQUE AND TEKKE
With the arrival of Islam in Bosnia and Herzegovina, mosques began to be built. The oldest mosque in BiH is considered to be Emin-Beg Mosque in Ustikolina near Foča, built in 1448, and the most beautiful, and in terms of architectural characteristics, are the most important Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque, Emperor’s Mosque and Ali Pasha’s Mosque in Sarajevo, Karagöz Bey Mosque in Mostar, Hadži Alijina Mosque in Počitelj , Kuršumlija Mosque in Maglaj, and the demolished and rebuilt Aladža Mosque in Foča and Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka, and in the reconstruction phase the Sinan-beg Mosque in Čajniče was demolished. Since dervishes came to Bosnia with the Ottoman army, tekkes were erected among the first buildings in the conquered settlements and newly established towns, and the first tekke was erected at Bendbaša in Sarajevo. Among the tekkes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the most famous are Hadži Sinan’s tekke in Sarajevo, the tekke at the Buna spring near Mostar, and the tekke at Oglavka and Vukeljići near Fojnica.
The items presented in this ensemble adorned the interiors of mosques and tekkes, and among them were levhas, chandeliers, candlesticks, rahla, tasbeeh, hand-woven carpets and sajdahs, buhurdar, julsija and other items.
Hajj as the fifth fundamental duty of Muslims is related to going to the holy places of Mecca and Medina at a specific time of year and performing certain regulations. The return from the hajj is also marked by the custom of bringing various gifts to family members, relatives and friends, such as pots with zemzem-water, Åben fragrances, tasbeeh, sajdahs, perfume bowls, qiblats, silk and other fine materials, manuscripts and books and other items. So some of the exhibits from this group can be found in the museum exhibition.
The daily life of Muslims from our past took place mostly in the bazaar, and Muslim women behind closed gates and house doors. Therefore, women often spent time at the embroidery or apartment for embroidery and weaving, creating beautiful colorful handicrafts for the house (towels, čevrma, boščaluke, carpets, sajdah), men’s (čakšire, vests, traboloze) and women’s costumes (veils, libades, barley, anthers, etc.). Wealthier women had richer and more luxurious equipment, clothing embroidered with gold wire and silk (shirts, vests, libades, anthers), jewelry made of gold and silver (buckles and belts), and those from more modest families also had more modest equipment. The equipment was kept in decorated seharas. The exhibits in this part of the museum display captivate with their beauty and diversity and represent a deep-rooted Islamic tradition among Bosniaks.