Maintaining the Sacred Center: The Bosnian City of Stolac by Rusmir Mahmutcehajic, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Ivo Banac

By Rusmir Mahmutcehajic, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Ivo Banac

In his interesting new publication, Bosnian educational and previous statesman, Rusmir Mahmutcehajic, explores how women and men routinely ordered their groups, structure, and behavior of existence to mirror the divine order, and the way this order is coming less than assault in an more and more secularized glossy global. In reflecting on how his personal fatherland of Stolac, Bosnia, has been destroyed after which rebuilt within the aftermath of the tragic Bosnia struggle, he deals motives as to how varied spiritual groups can stay peacefully jointly sooner or later.

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Com In the name of God, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful For my father, Zulfikar Preface I first heard of Rusmir Mahmutćehajić from Titus Burckhardt in the early 1970s. He told me of a young Yugoslav who was devoted to the traditional perspective and who was very familiar with the works of Guénon, Coomaraswamy, Schuon, and himself. Years passed during which momentous political events took place, including the Iranian Revolution of 1979 that caused me to migrate to America and the breakup both of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, the latter combined with the worst atrocities in Europe since the Second World War, especially in Bosnia where Rusmir Mahmutćehajić resided and where he was playing a major political as well as intellectual role.

Certain masters of old such as Ibn Arabi have compared the traditional city to the human body. The traditional Islamic city was marked by a sacred center, usually the tomb of a saint or a mosque. The rest of the city was then built around that center as we see in the case of Cairo, Fez, Mashhad and so many other historic cities. In such cities, which could also be called emblematic cities, all the outer parts of the urban area were related to that center and the architectural spaces were created in such a way as to facilitate connection to the center.

When we resolve to act in the nadir of all existence, when we are one of those “who believe, and do righteous deeds,” then we are transported above the bitterness of the world, the harshness of the material, and we are the bearer of heaven’s presence on the surface of the earth, in its matter. 12 In us and with us, the Word descends and ascends. We are the focus of all existence on earth and the confession of the Principle’s constant and subtle action within the horizons of the world and in our own selves.

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