Islam was first made known to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 15th and 16th centuries when the Ottoman rulers had conquest the land of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The people of Bosnia are Muslims since very long time and they follow the Hanafi School of thought. But recently there could be seen people living in Bosnia who are Shias. The number of Muslims in Bosnia is around three million which includes those Bosnian people who had fled from Bosnia during the 1990 war. The leftover Muslims in Bosnia Herzegovina is 1.55 million which account for 40% of the total population of the country. The Bosnian Muslims are the single largest religious group in the country.
Islam spread in Balkans when the Ottoman rule came in the early to late 15th century. During this period the Ottoman rulers increased their hold in the country, which paved the way for them to introduce Islamic laws and impose Islam in the country. The Slavic tribes started becoming Muslims in great number when they saw that People of their areas are converting themselves as Muslims.
The Emperor’s mosque is the first and the largest mosque in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina after the Ottoman rulers got control of Bosnia Herzegovina. This happened in 1457. This mosque has been built in the traditional design that prevailed during the Ottoman rule.
The architect of this mosque was Isaković-Hranušić who had devoted the mosque to the conqueror of the Ottoman Empire. This is one of the most beautiful mosques which were constructed in the Balkans during the Ottoman rule. The internal halls and the other parts of the mosque are very airy and the halls are full of sunlight during the daytime, with best quality of ornamental material. The best example of this beauty is the Mihrab.
The mosque was initially built in the 15th century but was totally damaged at the end of the century. The same mosque was reconstructed in the late 16th century which was 1565. The mosque built in the 15th century was of wood and much smaller than the one built in the year 1565. Extensions to the mosque continue Side rooms were added in 1800 and in 1848 these rooms were linked to the main prayer hall.
The mosque was damaged in World War II and again in the war in1990s.Repair work to these damages could not be carried out until to date and is still awaiting repairs.