Who on Earth are the Albanians: the enigmatic, mostly Islamic peoples of the Balkans?

Today we’re going to delve into some of the history of Albania and the Albanians in depth, including their origin, the country itself, the Greater Albania region and a global diaspora that easily rivals that of the Armenians, Greeks and others in terms of size and impact.

This video has general educational mission, not a specific Islamic. 

5 Comments

  1. The title of this video is inaccurate, as is a couple of assumptions made in the video.

    The Albanians are far away from being Europe’s original ‘White Muslims’.
    Albanians did not start embracing Islam en masse till after the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, where after the Ottomans employed a concerted effort to Islamise the Albanian coast.

    Albania was named by outsiders after the Albanoi tribe (one of the sub-tribes of the self-named Shqipierians (likely descendants of Illyrians).

    The Bosnians were embracing Islam a couple of centuries before the Albanians.

    The Pomaks were embracing Islam before both the Bosnians and Albanians, since the 13th century.

    The cousins of the Pomaks/Danube Bulgarians, the Volga Bulgars, were embracing Islam since the late 9th century. Their king made Islam the state religion of Volga Bulgaria in the 922CE.

    “In times long ago, when the Russian Slav had not yet started to build Christian churches on the Oka nor conquered these places in the name of European civilisation, the Bulgar was already listening to the Quran on the banks of the Volga and the Kama.” (S. M. Solov’ev, Istoria Rossis Drevneishikh Vremen. Moscow 1965:476)

    The Caucasian Albanians (ancestors of todays so-called Dagestani nations – Lezgins, Avars, etc) were embracing Islam in the reign of the Caliph and Companion of the Prophet, Umar ibn al-Khattab.

    If we include now extinct European Muslim nations, then the Islam of Cretians, Sicilians and Iberians of formerly Visigothic Spain were also embracing Islam since the early 8th century. many centuries before the Albanians.

  2. It could be said that the first European Muslim was Suhayb ar-Rumi (i.e. the Roman), who was a Companion of the Prophet – sal-Allah alayhi wassalam

  3. The Basques also embarded Islam in large numbers and had their own Islamic state at the turn of the 9th century under the Banu Qasi (Cassius).
    The Banu Huud were another early Islamic Basque dynasty. They were re-Christianised/exterminated/ethnically cleansed during the Spanish Inquisition.

  4. Excellent video. However, the narrator makes a couple of errant assumptions.
    Albanians did not start embracing Islam en masse till after the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, where after the Ottomans employed a concerted effort to Islamise the Albanian coast.

    Albania was named by outsiders after the Albanoi tribe (one of the sub-tribes of the self-named Shqipierians, and likely descendants of Illyrians).

    The Bosnians were embracing Islam a couple of centuries before the Albanians.

    The Pomaks were embracing Islam before both the Bosnians and Albanians, since the 13th century.

    The cousins of the Pomaks/Danube Bulgarians, the Volga Bulgars, were embracing Islam since the late 9th century. Their king made Islam the state religion of Volga Bulgaria in the 922CE.

    “In times long ago, when the Russian Slav had not yet started to build Christian churches on the Oka nor conquered these places in the name of European civilisation, the Bulgar was already listening to the Quran on the banks of the Volga and the Kama.”
    (S. M. Solov’ev, Istoria Rossis Drevneishikh Vremen. Moscow 1965:476)

    The Caucasian Albanians (ancestors of todays so-called Dagestani nations – Lezgins, Avars, etc) were embracing Islam in the reign of Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab رضي الله عنه, the noble Companion of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم .

    The Basques also embraced Islam in large numbers and had their own Islamic state at the turn of the 9th century under the Banu Qasi (Cassius). The Banu Huud were another early Islamic Basque dynasty. They were re-Christianised/exterminated/ethnically cleansed during the Spanish Inquisition.

    Other now extinct European Muslim nations include the once native Muslims of Crete, Sicily and post-Visigoth Iberia, all of whom had been embracing Islam since the early 8th century.

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