In the Name of Allah, The Beneficent,
The Muslim Community in Poland
1. Brief history of Islam in the country.
Over 600 years ago the Tatars fled from their
homelands at a time when they were engaged in civil wars.
They moved west and settled in Lithuania, which was part
of the Polish empire subjected to the Polish king.
Enlisted into military service they were rewarded
with land and privileges. They were allowed to build mosques,
marry local women and bring up their children in the Islamic
faith. This was a flourishing era of the Polish Muslims.
Some reports from this time mention a number of 200.000
Muslims and as many as 160 mosques.
On the turn of the 16th century, many of these
Tatars lost their mother tongue and began to use the Slavonic
With time many of them also accepted the Polish
customs and traditions. Unfortunately many also lost their
religion, mostly through marriage with the local Christians,
who later brought up their children in the Christian faith.
However the remains of the Muslim ummah in
Poland formed an organisation named "Polish Muslim
Union" in 1917. After the second world war the borders
of Poland were changed, which dramatically decreased the
numbers of the Muslims, mosques and the position of the
mufti also ceased to exist. Under the following communist
regime many Muslims were also deported to Siberia, their
lands were taken away from them and many mosques were closed.
Today the remains of these Tatar settlers
count about 5000 persons, and two old mosques in Bohoniki
and Kruszyniany. Most of these remaining Muslims have very
limited understanding of religion, mainly due to the lack
of Islamic educational establishments. The old Tatar mosques
are used mostly for eid festivals and cultural gatherings.
The reestablishment of Islamic activities
began through the contact with Muslims coming mostly from
the Arab world. The first active group that started serious
da'wah work were the students. In 1989 they formed the "Muslim
Students Society in Poland". Amongst other things they
established some elementary Islamic education for the Tatar
2. Present status of the Muslim community.
Today the approximate statistics of the Muslim
population in Poland are as follows:
New Polish Muslims - between 500 and 1.000. There are
currently no statistics available concerning this group.
Total population in Poland - 40.000.000.
Due to the small percentage we do not represent
any political or economic strength. The social status of
the Muslims living in Poland is in general similar to the
rest of the Polish population.
3. Main problems that the community is currently facing.
· Poland is a country dominated by
Christians, by as much as 99 per cent.
· The Muslim ummah is too small and
not active enough to enforce anything on the Polish government.
· Islam is viewed as something exotic
and the majority of the Poles have a vague understanding
of Islam and Muslims.
· There is only one halal shop in Poland,
· There are not enough places to hold
the daily prayers. In Poznan where there is quite a large
number of Muslims they have to pray in the student hostels.
· Not enough finances for Islamic activities.
· The Ummah in Poland is poorly organised.
· We do not have a leader, nor a headquarter
which would co-ordinate the work.
· Lack of co-operation between the
Muslims and their respective organisations.
· There are no full-time resource persons
committed to da'wah activities. Persons that are actively
working with da'wah do this on a part-time basis.
· The economic situation of the Muslims
living in Poland is quite poor.
4. Educational level of the Muslim community and the problems
relating to education.
Lack of educated personnel and funds to establish
educational institutions. There is some elemental education
in cities with Muslim communities. However there aren't
any Imams or scholars who would have good knowledge of Islam,
the Polish language and who would have understanding of
the Polish society.
5. Problems of Da'wah work.
As Poland is becoming very much like other
western European countries, so does the anti Islamic propaganda
increase. Many people have wrong idea about Islam and Muslims.
Many Poles believe in the superiority of Christianity over
Islam, in terms of mental, social and economic capabilities
of the two Powers.
Islam and Muslim are often identified as third
world citizens. Even when somebody does try to find out
about Islam, he/she is often given false teaching of Islam,
either through orientalist publications, or sects such as
Ahmedija. Existing publications based upon the true teachings
of Islam are unfortunately not easy accessible to the general
public. Bookshops, schools and libraries only hold copies
of Islamic literature written by non-Muslims.
As an example can be mentioned that the only
to available translations of the meanings of the Holy Qur'an
are written by non-Muslims. One by an orientalist (Bielawski)
with misrepresentative commentary. The other by Ahmediya,
which is the one most commonly sold in bookstores.
As mentioned earlier, there is a lack of co-operation
and unity among the Muslims, as well insufficient human
resources with good understanding of Islam and the Polish
There is a lack of understanding of the fundamentals
of Islam among the Tatar population. There is also some
unwillingness on the part of the Tatar population to join
with other Muslims.
6. Names, objectives and programme of Muslim organisations
in the area.
· "Polish Muslim Union"
Co-ordination of Islamic activities in Poland, translation
and publication of Islamic literature, propagation of Islam
through the Internet by maintaining two websites presenting
Islam as well as providing on-line answers to commonly asked
questions, publishing Islamic magazine in English as well
as planning to publish two others in Polish from September
1999, gathering information about the Muslim population
in Poland, holding regular meetings with the aim to deepen
our Islamic knowledge, organising lectures for non-Muslims,
contact with the media.
· "Polish Muslim Society"
to cultivate Tatar traditions, to build a Mosque in Bialystok,
to take care of the Muslim cemeteries. They have also lately
established some religious education among the Tatar children
in co-operation with the Muslim Students Society in Poland.
· "Muslim Society for propagation
and culture of Islam"
education and care for persons who are ready to undertake
the responsibility of Islamic activities in Poland.
· "Muslim Students Society
spreading general knowledge about Islam, strengthening mutual
relationships between Muslims in Poland, propagation of
Islamic publications in Poland. They have so far published
21 books and organised many gatherings, lectures to the
general public and youth camps. Sending suitable persons
for Islamic education to Madrasa. Educating Muslim children
in the Islamic faith.
7. The economic foundations of Islamic activities in the
All the Islamic activities are based on voluntary
contributions mainly from within the country, with spontaneous
help from outside.
8. Educational institutions run by Muslims
in the Country.
There is no formal Muslim educational institution.
However there is some Islamic education for children in
many cities. The number of participants varies from 40 to
150 persons, with the greatest number in Bialystok and the
9. Islamic movements in Poland.
Currently no Islamic movements are present.
10. Publications produced by Polish Islamic Organisations.
Polish Muslim Union:
Muslim World Review, monthly Islamic magazine in English.
Jihad Polska and ALIF magazines coming from September 99
in Polish. Four books have been translated and are waiting
to be published. We are also maintaining two web sites in
the Polish language:
Muslim Students Society in Poland:
Hikma, 42 issues. Al-Hadara quarterly magazine in Arabic.
Twenty one books have been translated and published, future
translations are planned. Among the book titles are:
Islamic System of Life: Abu 'Ala Maududi.
Towards Understanding Islam: Abu 'Ala Maududi.
Islam in Focus: Abdul Ati.
Monotheism and Polytheism: Ibrahim Hussain.
Fundamentals of Islam: Ibn Uthaimin
There were some publications made by Polish
Muslim Union (MZR) in yearlier years, but currently there
are no publications made by them.
12. Translation of the meaning of the Holy Qur'an and
Hadith in Polish.
One translation of the Qur'an was made by
a Polish Tatar Imam in the 19th century. This translation
was however not completed and the remaining part was complied
by a non-Muslim. One by Jozef Bielawski - an orientalist,
and one by Ahmedija.
So far the only existing translation of Hadith
is "forty hadith An Nawawi" and their explanation.
It is translated and published by "Muslim Students
Society in Poland".
13. Islamic publications in the Native language.
The existing publications have been mentioned
in point ten.
14. Addresses of Islamic Centres in Poland.
Islamic Centre in Warsaw:
Ul. Wiertnicza 103
Tel: +48-22-84 29 174
Islamic Centre in Bialystok:
Ul. Hetmanska 62
Tel: +48-85-651 40 21
15. Attitude of the Polish government towards Islamic
So far no problems as the da'wah is insignificant.
16. How other Muslim Institutes and organisations can
help the Polish muslims in da'wah and other problems that
community is facing.
Educational and financial help would be greatly
17. Future priorities and plans of da'wah
work in Poland.
· Acquiring knowledge.
· Gathering information about the Ummah in Poland.
· Co-ordination of Islamic activities in Poland.
· Translation of the meaning of the Holy Qur'an.
· Establishing an Islamic Library.
· Closer co-operation with other Islamic Da'wah organisations.
· Establishment of an Islamic educational institution.
If you have any comments, or questions concerning
the situation of muslims in Poland, or if you would like
to support the Islamic activities in any way please contact: