The Mosque is an extended meditation on a dimension of Islam unfamiliar to most Western readers. The mosque, Rusmir Mahmut'cehaji'c argues, is not an analogue of the Christian church, not least because in Islam there is no priesthood and no institutionalized hierarchy. Rather, every Muslim is his or her own priest, and
most religious obligations are performed in the home. The function of the mosque is thus dispersed throughout society and, indeed, throughout the natural world as well. The Arabic word from which English mosque derives means literally "place of prostration"-the place one performs the daily ritual prayer of submission to God, so as to become a guest at the table God has sent down to manifest himself. That table is also the world's mosque, the world as mosque.
Among the many tragic victims of the Bosnian genocide are its mosques; more than a thousand were destroyed. A part of the essential fabric of Bosnian life was changed. With this book, Rusmir Mahmut'cehaji'c seeks to rebuild the spirit and majesty of each mosque that was destroyed, the spiritual grace it lent the Bosnian landscape.
"Beautifully composed, elegantly written and constructed, this is a primary text of Islamic spirituality, by one of the most significant Muslim European voices of our age . . . . A book to be returned to again and again."-Adam B. Seligman, Boston University
"This work by one of the leading intellectual figures of Bosnia is one of the finest written in the English language on the spiritual significance of the mosque. It speaks the language of universal spirituality and is able to open a door for Western readers to the relationship between the mosque, as understood outwardly, and the inner mosque, which is the heart. The book also reflects in most elegant language the reality of a land where mosques, churches, and synagogues have stood side by side over the centuries, each bearing witness in its own way to the Presence of the One."-Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University
RUSMIR MAHMUTC ` EHAJIC` is Professor of Applied Physics at Sarajevo University, President of the International Forum "Bosnia," and former Vice President of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The most recent of his books in English are The Mosque: The Heart of Submission and On Love: In the Muslim Tradition (both Fordham). William C. Chittick is Professor of Religious Studies at Stony Brook University. His books include Me and Rumi: The Autobiography of Shams-i Tabrizi.