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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 20 | volume IV | April-May, 2001



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 20April-May, 2001

The Lamp Remained Burning

p. 1
Fahri Kaja

    The Imam of the village was still there, not leaving. Unlike him, Imams from nearby villages used to leave before the rest of the emigrants from their communities. Imam Hassan had a different vision of religious obligations. He was educated and broad-minded. During the period of the Yugoslav Kingdom he served as an imam in the military. For the first couple of years of his service the garrison’s priest engaged in an attitude of superiority, even offending the Imam on occasion. However, it didn’t last for long. In a very short period of time Imam Hassan proved that he did not deserve such behavior. He used to read a lot. In order to fulfill his duties properly he increased his religious knowledge daily; he even used to read a lot of books on Christianity. So from the beginning he showed that he could stand side by side with the garrison’s priest in fulfilling his duties. For that reason the Muslim soldiers, serving in his garrison, were very proud of their Imam. Especially after every Friday prayer, they listened with great love and attention to his speeches. Even long after they had finished their military service the young soldiers where happy to see their Imam at their homes as a dear guest.
    After the Second World War Imam Hassan faced a great problem. The old Yugoslav Kingdom’s army was dismissed. The new conquerors, the Bulgarians, didn’t want any Muslim soldiers in their service, therefore leaving the Imam unemployed. In order for his family and him to survive, he accepted a duty in a village far away from the place he used to live. It was a small village. He quickly got accustomed to life in the village, and the people who lived there soon accepted him into their community and loved him dearly. He was a clever, capable, pleasant and modest man. Imam Hassan was not only an Imam for them, but rather somebody who was always ready to help them in many different ways.
    Imam Hassan had never mentioned anything about leaving the village, though it was obvious he would. He couldn’t have possibly stayed there by himself, all alone. He was always saying that he would, like a brave captain who would always leave the sinking ship last, be the last one to leave the village as well.
    Hashim Aga had great respect towards Imam Hassan. His son, Veli, had read his

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