BESNIK LIVE INTERVIEW Saturday 21.July, 2001

Brother Besnik Osman Rama is Director of the
Islamic Community "Islam-Balkan" in Munich.

Karlstr. 43 (Innenhof)
80336 München,Germany       



Asalam alaikum brother Besnik!

   BR: Wa alaikum salam brother Rashid.

When did the Islam-Balkan Community establish?


"Islam-Balkan" established itself in 1992 by a group of Albanians who have lived a longtime in Munich. They needed to get together in order not to forget their identity, backgrounds and culture.
80% of their culture comes from the Islamic side in History. They were far away from their homeland due to the difficult times of the regime at that time. The local Albanian muslims felt the need to practice their religion and culture in an environment of their own thus "Islam-Balkan"

HDII: How many members do you have at present in "Islam-Balkan"?
   BR: At the moment we have four hundred members. Most are Albanian,or from the Balkan area, some are Turkish and Arab..
HDII: The Friday Khutba (Sermon), what language is it in?
   BR: The Khutba for the Friday Prayer is in the Albanian language. One hour before the Khutba takes place while the people are waiting we have lectures about the religion in other languages. For example in Bosnian, or even German sometimes depending on the needs of the Community at that time. Our Albanian Imam studied in Medinah University, Saudi Arabia. He is a very good Imam with much knowledge about Islam.This helps us in understanding our religion and solving our daily problems in this life.
HDII: I understand that the Mosque is completely full for the Friday Prayers at 13:30 Hours.
   BR: Yes, your right, a great number of the Muslim Community are able to attend the Friday Prayers. The Mosque in most cases is over flowing and many have to pray outside the Mosque or in the corridors due to the capacity. The Friday Prayer is called "salatul Jummah" in arabic. Muslims from many nationalities attend, Africans for example, even german muslims, some of which are new to Islam or even many years in Islam. We muslims are from all over the world, we are not limited to just Albanians......muslims are muslims a broad spectrum of tolerance..
HDII: How long have you been the Director of the Islam-Balkan Community?
   BR: Since May 2000.
HDII: Have you achieved anything in this short time?
   BR: First when I arrived, I wanted to change the look of the Mosque, offices and facilities. So we decided to renovate and re-decorate the place as much as possible. For example, painting, new carpets, decorating the Mosque,and even upgrading the washing and toilet facilities. We upgraded our facilities to a more acceptable and better standard. We do have our own Canteen facilities as well. Our members can enjoy a longer stay by sitting and eating. They meet together and enjoy each others company thus keeping up regular stable contacts within the community.
HDII: What activities do you have in the Community?
   BR: On Saturdays between the Asr prayer (after midday)and the Maghrib prayer time (sundown) the women have their gatherings, where they receive also lectures on various subjects in Islam. Every Saturday and Sunday we have Free Arabic Courses for the Youth, with Quran Lessons. Between Maghrib and Isha Prayers (night prayer) the Imam gives speaches to the youth. This is done in the Albanian and Bosnian languages. We do occasionally invite turkish speakers and german speakers.
HDII: Is the Mosque open at all the fixed five daily prayer times?
   BR: Yes it is open for all the daily prayers, even for the early morning dawn prayers people come.
HOII: Are there any other facilities or services that you offer?
   BR: Books, we do sell Islamic Books in the Albanian language, and in Bosnian, plus German. A list of some of these books can be seen on our website Our website is also a new service. We are in the stages of developing it further. Our address and email adress can be seen on our web contact page along with our telephone and fax numbers. I can be contacted through these for any further information anyone may need.
HDII: How is the Community Financed?
   BR: By our own members mainly. We have muslims who are not full time members but attend the Mosque for prayers or just visit, they do give private donations and do contribute in their own little ways. We have a lot of running costs, rent, water, electricity, insurance, and maintenance are only some of the main things we need to cover in order to survive. Munich as everyone knows has one of the most expensive rent prices in the world. We have more than 500 meter squared floor space in our Community Center. So you see its not so easy. But al-hamdoolillah (praises belong to Allah) we are not far from the City Centre, seven minutes by the tram line and also nearby is the local underground railway system.
HDII: Do you have any aims?
   BR: To inform the muslim community more about Islam, especially our young generation who are easily misled by the Media and the Modern day pressures of this world which is very materialistic. I would like to see and help the Islamic Youth Movement to develope more. To lead our lives as based on the rules and rights as explained in the Holy Quran and from the best examples set for us through the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
HDII: Can you tell us a little about yourself Brother Besnik?

In Albania I was very involved in Islamic Work. From 1990 to 1992 I was Head of the Islamic Youth Movement there. In October 1999 I arrived in Germany from Malaysia where I had studied arabic. My father-in-law was working as Director of RISEAP a Dawa Organisation in Kuala Lumpur. He is a german muslim since many years. He studied and lived in Saudi Arabia for a long time. I have a small daughter called Jasmin, she is four years old.

HDII: Tell us about your latest Project?

We want to have the two volumes of Fiq-al-Sunnah translated from the english version to the Albanian language. This I could possibly get an Albanian student to do. It would be a great help for our community to have these books.The Albanian people have no translations of this important islamic arabic works. We are looking for donations and sponsors to help us with the printing publishing and translation costs involved. Actually we have a great shortage of good islamic books which need to be translated into our language. Thus I appeal to those brothers and sisters who wish to contribute to for the sake of Allah. Allah will reward the Helpers in such work. Please address your help to : Project:Fiq-al-Sunnah
Islamische Gemeinschaft "Balkan" e.V.           
Karlstr. 43 (Innenhof)
80336 München, Germany

Bank: / Stadtsparkasse München Account number. 108-148-404 / Bankcode 701 500 00


Thank you very much brother Besnik, in-sha-Allah this Project will get its help and support and may Allah reward those who do so.In-sha-Allah HDII will keep an eye on this Project and will let our Web Visitors know how its progressing. Thank you also for informing us on
Asalamu alaikum!

   BR: Wa alaikum salam brother Rashid, and thanks for giving me this opportunity to reach our brothers and sisters in this modern day and age through the HDI INTERNET Highway!

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