Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

Provisional List

About the Provisional List

List of Petitions for Designation of Properties as National Monuments

Heritage at Risk

60th session - Decisions

Prušćak (Hasan Kjafija) mosque in Prusac, the architectural ensemble

gallery back

Status of monument -> National monument

Published in the “Official Gazette of BiH”, no. 13/10.

Pursuant to Article V para. 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 39 para. 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, at sessions held from 14 to 20 March 2006 and 8 to 11 September 2009 the Commission adopted a






The architectural ensemble of the Pruščak (Hasan Kjafija) mosque in Prusac, Municipality Donji Vakuf, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of the Pruščak mosque, medresa, courtroom and mekteb, the turbe of Hasan Kjafija, the mosque harem, and movable heritage consisting of:

a) a levha carved in wood,

b) a stone plaque with an inscription on the renovation of the Bajezid mosque.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot nos. 338, 339, 340, title sheet no. 328/07, cadastral municipality Prusac I, property of the Islamic Religious Community in Prusac, Municipality Donji Vakuf, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The provisions relating to protection measures set forth by the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH nos. 2/02, 27/02, 6/04 and 51/07) shall apply to the National Monument.




The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the Government of the Federation) shall be responsible for providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the protection, conservation and presentation of the National Monument.

The Government of the Federation shall be responsible for providing the resources needed to draw up and implement the necessary executive regional planning documentation for the National Monument.

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and setting up signboards with basic details of the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.




To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated, which shall apply to the area defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision.

-       all works are prohibited other than investigative and conservation-restoration works, and works designed to display the monument, with the approval of the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina;

-       the Pruščak mosque shall be dismantled and reconstructed after the appropriate project documentation has been drawn up and remedial works carried out on the soil and foundations;

-       all elements of the existing mosque building that are re-usable shall be incorporated into the reconstructed building;

-       during the reconstruction works, the original appearance of the parts of the mosque altered in later interventions – the upper windows, the minaret, the mahfil and the mihrab – shall be restored on the basis of documentation on their original form and surviving original fragments;

-       the original use of the buildings of the ensemble – mosque, medresa and turbe – shall be preserved;

-       the medresa may be used for a new purpose, for cultural and educational purposes (possibly as a small museum with suitable conditions for the safeguarding and presentation of manuscripts, levhas, paintings, chronograms and fragments of the Pruščak mosque;

-       the plumbing and abdesthana shall be relocated from the mosque to the mekteb currently under construction;

-       the access road to the building under construction shall be filled in to restore the structure of the wall around the mosque harem to the condition it was in prior to the latest interventions, ensuring that the said building is a ground-floor structure only, with a height not exceeding 3.50 m to the base of the roof frame; the building must have a hipped roof with a pitch of a minimum of 30° and a cladding of wooden shingles;

-       a maintenance programme for the National Monument shall be drawn up.


The buffer zone shall consist of cadastral plots 235, 236/1, 236/2, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 300, 301, 307, 306, 308/1, 308/2, 309 (part), 310, 311, 312, 325, 326/1, 326/2, 327, 328, 329, 330, 334, 335, 337, 341 (part), 342, 344, 346, 347, 348/1 and 348/2. In this buffer zone the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

-       existing buildings shall be preserved subject to restrictions to the number of storeys, size and footprint dimensions of the buildings, and the use of materials closely resembling the indigenous materials traditionally used within the protected area;

-       new building may be permitted on condition that newly-erected buildings are not detrimental in dimensions, appearance or any other way to the value as monuments, natural assets or townscape/landscape of the other areas;

-       the construction of potential environmental polluters, major infrastructural and industrial buildings and facilities is prohibited.




All executive and area development planning acts are hereby revoked to the extent that they are not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision.




Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Canton, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation thereof.




The removal from Bosnia and Herzegovina of the movable heritage items referred to in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision (hereinafter: the movable heritage) is prohibited.

By way of exception to the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Clause, the temporary removal from Bosnia and Herzegovina of the movable heritage for the purposes of display or conservation shall be permitted if it is considered that conservation works cannot be carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina or can be carried out to a higher standard and more quickly and cheaply abroad.

Permission for temporary removal under the conditions stipulated in the preceding paragraph shall be issued by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, if it is determined beyond doubt that it will not jeopardize the movable heritage in any way, and subject to the prior approval of the relevant bodies of the Central Bank.

In granting permission for the temporary removal of the movable heritage, the Commission shall stipulate all the conditions under which the removal from Bosnia and Herzegovina may take place, the date by which the items shall be returned to the country, and the responsibility of individual authorities and institutions for ensuring that these conditions are met, and shall notify the Government of the Federation, the relevant security service, the customs authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the general public accordingly.




The Government of the Federation, the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning, the Federation heritage protection authority, and the Municipal Authorities in charge of urban planning and land registry affairs, shall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the measures stipulated in Articles II to VI of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.




The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.aneks8komisija.com.ba)




Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.




On the date of adoption of this Decision, the National Monument shall be deleted from the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02, Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 79/02, Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH no. 59/02, and Official Gazette of Brčko District BiH no. 4/03), where it featured under serial nos: 203, 204, 205 and 208.




This Decision shall enter into force on the day following its publication in the Official Gazette of BiH.


This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.


No: 07.1-02-130/05-3

1 March 2006



Chair of the Commission

Dubravko Lovrenović


E l u c i d a t i o n



Pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a “National Monument” is an item of public property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to be a National Monument pursuant to Articles V and VI of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02) until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments adopted a decision to add the following properties to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina: the Prušćak mosque, under serial no. 203, the Medresa of Hasan Kjafija Prušćak, under serial no 204, the Mekteb of Hasan Kjafija Prušćak, under serial no 205, and the Turbe of Hasan Kjafija Prušćak, under serial no. 208.

Pursuant to the provisions of the law, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the Property as a National Monument, pursuant to Article V of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.



In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:

-       Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage, data on restoration or other works on the property, etc.

-       Copy of land registry entry and details of ownership.

-       Details of legal protection of the property to date.

-       Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.


The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the site are as follows:


1. Details of the property


The mosque, medresa, mekteb and turbe of Hasan Kjafija Pruščak were built on a natural elevation in Prusac, in the mahala of Srt, constituting the spatial dominant in relation to that part of the town. The architectural ensemble is located on a site designated as c.p. 338, 339, 340, Donji Vakuf Municipality.

Historical information

The mediaeval fortress of Prusac (Biograd, Akhisar) came under Ottoman control in 1463, remaining so until 1466. Since the fort was in an area where the borders between the Ottoman and Hungarian empires were unstable, it was alternately under the control of one or the other until the 1490s, when it finally came under Ottoman rule.

From the 16th century on, Prusac was a fortified town with a garrison commanded by a dizdar (fortress commander). The fort had its own outskirts and town. In the mid 16th century Prusac had three mahalas with three mosques and a small čaršija – the trades and crafts centre of the town. In 1583 Prusac became the headquarters of a kadiluk – the area under the jurisdiction of a kadi or judge-administrator.

The major credit for the continued development of Prusac, and its evolution into a cultural centre, in the 17th century goes to the famous scholar and benefactor Hasan Kjafija Pruščak, who erected several public buildings and facilities in Prusac, his native town: a mosque, medresa, mekteb, han, water supply and so on. It was thus that a new residential area developed in Prusac, in Srt mahala(1). In addition to the works already referred to, Kjafija also repaired Ajvas-dedo's water supply, built a turbe (mausoleum) over Ajvaz dedo's grave, and repaired the mosque of Sultan Bayezit II in the Prusac fort, in 1010 AH (1601), setting a stone plaque with a tarih (chronogram) over the door to the latter mosque to mark the occasion. After this mosque was pulled down, the stone tarih was transferred to Kjafija's turbe, where it is still kept(2).

Hasan Kjafija Akhisari (Pruščak) was born in Prusac in the month of Ramadan 951 (late November or early December 1544), the son of Turhan. Hasan Kjafija was a striking figure of the 17th century in Bosnia. He was a lawyer, philosopher and writer, and one of those who stood out, during the Ottoman period, for his literary work in oriental languages. His scientific and literary work was multifaceted and voluminous, for as Kjafija himself says in his autobiography, by 1600 he had written eleven works, while later, as far as can be ascertained, he wrote another seven. His works covered the fields of philology, Islamic law, theology, logic, history and politics. Kjafija's work on the ordering of state and society (Usul-ul-hikam fi ni-zamil-alam) was translated into French in 1824 by the well-known French orientalist Garcin de Tassy. Hasan Kjafija died on 16 Ramadan 1024 (1615/1616) and was buried alongside the mosque he endowed, in a separate turbe(3).

There is no precise information on the building of Kjafija's mosque, but judging from the carved wooden levha dating from 1015 AH (1606/1607), which Kjafija himself is presumed to have made, this is regarded as the year in which the mosque was built. This levha measures 1m x 0.38 cm (with the text measuring 19 x 84 cm). This, along with the date and Hasan Kjafija's name, is written in handsome naskh calligraphy in two ellipsoid panels, and reads “La illaha illa'llah Muhammadur rasulallah [There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his prophet]. Year 1015 [1606/1607]. Kadija Hasan Akhisari.”

There was also a levha in the mihrab itself, with quotations from the Qur'an, which – according to the inscription on the levha itself – was written by one Omer Nijazi, imam of the Bosnian vizier Jalal ad-Din ‘Ali pasha in 1237 AH (1821/1822). The levha was written on thick paper laid on board(4).


2. Description of the property


According to the inscription on the levha, the Pruščak mosque was built in 1015 AH (1606/1607).

The mosque belongs to the type of single space mosque with wooden minaret rising from the mosque roof. The exterior dimensions of the mosque including the portico are 15.30 x 8.80 m. The walls of the mosque are stone-built, plastered and painted white on the outside. The walls are approx. 60 cm thick.

The entrance portico, which is 2.80 m deep, was enclosed on all three sides prior to the latest rehabilitation works on the mosque. Currently, four wooden pillars support the wooden ceiling and roof structure. The central area of the enclosed portico serves as an entrance area leading to the portal, outside which is a raised platform. These are the sofas, with wooden floors, used as additional prayer space. The entire portico of the mosque is walled in at the sides, while the front, consisting of wooden pillars and railings, is enclosed by a row of wooden grills the central section of which serves as double entrance doors.

The simple stone portal, with no mouldings or painted decoration, dominates the central sofa area. The opening is 120 cm wide and 190 cm high. The double wooden entrance doors are framed by stone jambs and a stone segmental arched lintel.

The portico leads into the rectangular prayer space, elongated towards the mihrab. The main interior space of the mosque measures 7.40 x 10.74 m, with a height of 5.06 m to the wooden ceiling. The interior contains a stone mihrab and a wooden mimber and mahfil.

Light enters the mosque through 15 windows arranged in two rows, four each on the side walls (the south-west and the mihrab walls), five on the north-west side wall and two in the lower row on the entrance wall. It is only on the north-west wall that a third window features in the upper row. All the windows on the lower row are quite large, with rectangular stone frames, and are set about 60 cm above ground level. These windows also have iron bars on the outside, forming a grid with 4 x 5 panels. The two windows of the lower row in the portico of the mosque, on the prayer-space side, are set to the left and right of the entrance. The left-hand window has been walled up and turned into a kind of wall cupboard for books on the inside. The windows of the upper row are rectangular in shape, and smaller in size, terminating in pointed arches and enclosed by wooden mušebak lattice.

The old original mihrab, which was in place until the latest interventions on the rehabilitation of the mosque in 1997-1999, was of stone, with elongated stalactite ornaments, and painted in polychrome colours with floral motifs typical of early 17th century painted decoration. The paint was applied direct to the stone, which is a type of sandstone known locally as muljika(5). The remains of this original mihrab can now be seen in the dolafs (wall cupboards) of the Hasan Kjafija tekke, which stands very close to the mosque. The newly-installed stone mihrab is of simple workmanship, with no painted decoration of any kind, with a rectangular stone frame projecting out from the wall face by 15 cm. The stone frame is simply moulded, and the seven-sided niche is 55 cm deep. The overall width of the mihrab is 1.80 m, and the width of the niche opening is 1.02 m. The niche opening terminates in stepped stalactite decorations in seven rows, narrowing towards the top so as to enclose the hollow of the niche. The upper part of the mihrab, or crown, consists of a stone plaque the top and corners of which are decorated with a motif of bold stylized buds.

The wooden mimber of the mosque is simple in form, and of the natural colour of the wood, with no emphatic decorations. It is 2.90 m long and 3.60 m high. The sides are enclosed by boards.

The wooden mahfil, also of the natural colour of the wood, is set along the entrance wall, opposite the mihrab. It is 2.96 m deep, with a projection for the muezzin at the centre of the mahfil: this is 70 cm deep and 2.53 m wide. The basic structure of the mahfil consists of four wooden pillars with a cross-section of 16 x 16 cm and a height of 1.90 m, with scored edges and lacking both base and capital, and of a wooden beam forming a gallery with a wooden railing. The load of the mahfil is transferred from the wooden beam to the wooden pillars via simple, undecorated corbels. The wooden railing consists of wooden spindles and newel posts with moulded tops. The railing is 57 cm high. The mahfil is reached via a wooden staircase to the right of the entrance, in the prayer space. The staircase is a single-flight forming a right angle, set against the mosque wall. The entrance to the minaret and attic space of the mosque is through a wooden hatch in the ceiling of the mosque, via a wooden ladder.

The ceiling of the mosque is composed of wooden boards about 20 cm wide, laid across the wooden ceiling joists. The joints of the boards are covered by slats, creating an impression of lines running lengthwise articulating the ceiling. There is a moulded edging board against the walls.

The octagonal wooden minaret of the mosque is set in the roof to the right of the entrance to the mosque. The minaret is simple in form, with no decoration. The frame of the minaret is supported by the ceiling joists, on which the structure of the minaret is set, consisting of a central wooden mast and outer uprights forming the octagonal form. The wooden frame widens out into a covered balcony, the šerefe. A wooden staircase leading to this balcony spirals around the central mast. The entire frame of the minaret is clad with boards. The wooden steps link the mast with the outer uprights, thus acquiring a spacious wooden structure that appears compact. The minaret is fixed to the roof structure where it emerges. This minaret is covered, with small openings. The balcony is at a height of 180-190 cm, with an extension of a mere 7-10 cm. The openings on the balcony are small and rounded at the top. They are approx. 20n cm wide and 25-30 cm high. The minaret gives the impression of being enclosed and squat. It has a shallow conical roof above the balcony, with an alem (finial).

Outside the mosque, to the right and left of the portico, are two stone pillar bases, the purpose of which is unknown, as is the place from which they were brought here.

Right beside the mosque is a sizeable harem with nišan tombstones. All the older tombstones were made of tufa, a perishable type of stone, which has resulted in damage caused by weathering. There are also a number of nišan tombstones of more recent date, of rather better workmanship, and in better condition. All belong to local Prusac families.

The harem also includes the turbe of the Murtezan family. According to local people, the person buried in this turbe is the grandson of Hasan Kjafija, although there is no available written record to this effect. During the Kingdom of Yugoslavia(6), a turbe was erected over this grave, which was pulled down before World War II. After World War II an initiative was launched to renovate it, but at some point this was abandoned. The turbe thus has the appearance of an unfinished building of reinforced concrete – four reinforced concrete columns, circular in section, linked by reinforced concrete segmental arches.


The medresa (secondary and high school providing an education in religion and shariah law and a knowledge of oriental languages) of Hasan Kjafija was built in 1612, and is very close to the same vakif's (legator's) mosque. It belongs to the type of medresa-dershana – a separate medresa consisting only of a classroom (dershana). Such medresas were intended only for pupils living in the same town. As far as is known, there were only two such medresas in Bosnia and Herzegovina – that of Hasan Kjafija in Prusac, and the Dershana in Stolac(7). The medresa in Stolac has been demolished, so that the only surviving such medresa is this one in Prusac.

According to Evliya Çelebi, who visited Prusac in the mid 17th century, at that time there were three tekkes in Prusac, of which that of “his Eminence Shaykh Kafija” was particularly notable. It belonged to the Khalwatiyyah order (tariqa)(8).

The medresa and tekke were located in a single building. There was a horizontally-laid stone outside the entrance to the building, serving as a mejtaš (stone on which the deceased were laid so funeral prayers could be said for them).

The entire building consists of four rooms, each of which formed a distinct establishment. To the north, the ground floor has a large, somewhat elongated room with two windows to the left and one to the right, through which little light penetrates. The interior dimensions of this room are 6.85 x 3.05 m. Three of the walls (the side walls and the wall facing the entrance) have four built-in wall cupboards. There is a fireplace in the right-hand wall of the room. This room is the former tekke. A wooden staircase leads from the left-hand corner, by the entrance, to a spacious divanhana (open landing) on the first floor, open on three sides. This in turn leads to a separate, square room measuring 3.05 x 3.05 on the inside, with a height of 3.80 m, with wall cupboards and narrow windows arrayed around. Here too there is a fireplace in the right-hand wall. The entire room is covered by a stone dome set on pendentives. This was once the classroom (dershana). To the south side of the building, under the same roof, is an open turbe, with nišan tombstones and a sarcophagus. During repairs in 1936, the medresa and turbe were given a common roof, so that they now constitute a single entity.

The building, of elongated rectangular form, is built of roughly dressed stone, with the dome of the dershana made of tufa. The building is clad with wooden shingles.

The basic formal values of this building are expressed in the harmonious relationship between its enclosed and open sections. The masonry parts of the building, with their narrow windows, give the impression of a monolithic surface, surrounded by an airy, open space with wooden pillars. 


This turbe, abutting onto the Kjafija medresa, belongs to the mausolea of open type. The sarcophagus, made of precisely cut stone slabs, is set on a paved stone podium 0.50m high, 4.70 m long and 4.63 m wide. Above the sarcophagus are two octagonal nišan tombstones without turbans, both identical and with no epitaph. The tombstones are 1 m in height, and the sarcophagus is 80 cm high and 1.03 m long. The entire thing is made of limestone and is of fine stonemasonry and artisan's work. Kjafija's coffin is below this, in a separate barrel-vaulted chamber(9). The turbe is surrounded by a wooden railing (slats).

There is an oral tradition concerning the existence of Kjafija Pruščak's grave, but there are doubts as to its veracity. In November 1936, the Banate Administration in Banja Luka carried out repairs to Kjafija's medresa and turbe. When levelling the ground in the turbe before laying concrete, the workmen removed a stone and a hollow space was revealed. This opening provided a view of the grave itself, which was dug into the ground, walled on all four sides, and domed. Two skeletons side by side could be seen in the grave. One skeleton belonged to Kjafija effendi, and the other to his wife(10).


The free-standing mekteb building is to the north-west of and very close to the mosque entrance. There is no known record of the date when it was built, but according to local people, the original building was destroyed in 1940. After World War II the locals built a new mekteb building on the same site and of the same size. This too was pulled down at some later date – according to local residents, by the late 1980s the building was no longer in use, and was in poor structural condition as a result of neglect; the effects of the 1992-1995 led to its total collapse and devastation. Works are currently under way on the site to build an entirely new building measuring 8 x 9 m, which according to the cadastral plan can be positioned on the site of the older, demolished building, and is of the same size. Since the original, demolished building was used as a mekteb, the present appearance and intention of the owner to make a garage in the ground floor is inappropriate to the site and to the religious purpose of the site as a whole. In addition, by building a garage and access to it, the spatial integrity of the ensemble, located on a natural elevation, is undermined. It is thus necessary to fill in the access area, and give up the proposed purpose of the basement area – a garage with two parking spaces. The abdesthana in the portico of the mosque should be transferred to this building, and the remainder of the building should retain the use it had prior to its most recent demolition – a mekteb.


Hasan Kafija mosque

Inside the Hasan Kafija mosque is a levha carved in wood by Hasan Kafija himself. The plaque, which measures 113 x 37 cm, bears an inscription measuring83.5 x 19 cm, in thuluth Arabic script, in two separate panels between which is the author's signature and the date.

لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله

القاضي حسن الاقحصاري سنة خمس عشر و الف

There is no god but God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God

Kadi Hasan Akhisari in the year one thousand and fifteen (1606/07).

Inscription on the renovation of the Sultan Bayezit mosque

Hasan Kafija's turbe contains a stone plaque measuring 130 x 44 x 11 cm, bearing a chronogram recording the renovation of the Sultan Bayezit mosque, which was in the Prusac fort. The chronogram bears the following text in thuluth Arabic script:

بامر السلطان بايزيد خان طاب ثراه وضع اسكندر باشا المرحوم سنة 892 تجديد القاضي حسن الاقحصاري سنة


The late Skender-pasha built (the mosque) in 892 (1487) to the orders of Sultan Bayezit Khan. Kadi Hasan Akhisari restored (the mosque) in 1010 (1601/02).

Levha and two tarihs [chronograms] of the Handanija mosque

Above the entrance gateway to the harem of the Handanija mosque is a chronogram in Turkish, in thuluth Arabic script, carved on a stone plaque measuring 72 x 32 cm.

قلدي خندان اغا بو جامعي لله بني كورنه ايشدنه اولدي اكا فرض دعا

حسن طرزي حرم محترم ثانيدر ير يوزنده بوليوري بويله بر خوشجه بنا

حق تعالي انك اجريني مضاعف قلسون جونكه يحيا باشا ايتدي بو اسلوب احيا

جون تمام اولدي بناسي و كمال ايتدي ثنا اولدي تاريخ لطيفي بايد بيت خدا

سنة 1026

Handan-aga built this mosque in the name of God,

It is the duty of whoever sees it or hears about it to pray (for the benefactor).

A beautifully built (mosque) is another holy harem,

And can another such fine building be found on earth.

May God Almighty reward (the benefactor) generously,

For he followed Jahja-pasha in the way it was built,

When the building was complete Kemal praised it

By expressing this chronogram: “May the house of God be pleasant.”

Year 1026 (1617)

The tarih over the entrance door to the mosque, carved on a stone plaque measuring 70 x 33 cm, is in Turkish, in the ta’liq script, in ten panels:

حمد لله كه بو اطرافه نظر قلدي خدا ايلدي بر در درياي سخاي اعطا

ماه برج شرق اخلاق مكارم بر تر يعني خندان بك او مهر فلك جود و سخا

اولدي اول محرز حسني و سعادت اخترا من يعمرده كي موعوده اولوب شمدي سزي

يابدي بر جامع بر نور بهشت اسا كم رشك ايدر اهل زمين اكا و املاك سما

ديدي عدني جون اكا بدا نظرده تاريخ جنت عدنه مشابه بو بناء بالا

سنة 1026

Thanks be to God who has looked upon us

And given us a gem from the sea of generosity,

A moon of noble constellations, the glow of nobility and fine qualities,

That is Handan-bey, beloved of the generous,

Who has become a talisman of beauty and a constellation of fortune,

And is worthy of the promised happiness “Whoever builds,”

He built a light-filled mosque resembling heaven,

For which the people and the universe envy him,

As soon as Adni saw it, he expressed this chronostich:

“This tall building is like the Garden of Eden.”

Year 1026 (1617)

(Probably as the result of an error in the printing, in Mujezinović’s work this tarih and the preceding have been interchanged.)

The tripartite levha on the mihrab wall of the mosque, which measures 113 x 37 cm, is in coloured ceramic.

The central section of the levha is a drawing of the Kaba in Mecca, inscribed with the 96th and part of the 97th ayat of Sura Ali ‘Imran:

ان اول بيت وضع للناس للذي ببكة مباركا و هدي للعالمين فيه ايات بينات مقام ابراهيم و من دخله كان امنا و لله علي الناس حج البيت من اساطاع اليه سبيلا

The first house established for the people was that at Bekka, a place holy, and a guidance to all beings. Therein are clear signs – the station of Abraham, and whosever enters it is in security. It is the duty of all men towards God to come to this House a pilgrim, if he is able to make his way there.

The right-hand section of the levha is a drawing of the Prophet’s mosque in Medina, above which is the 40th ayat of Sura Ahzab:

ما كان محمد ابا احد من رجالكم و لكن ريول الله و خاتم النبيين و كان الله بكل شيء عليما

Muhammad is not the father of any one of you men, but the Messenger of God, and the Seal of the Prophets; God has knowledge of everything.

The left-hand section of the levha bears the following text in thuluth Arabic script:

الله محمد بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم لا اله الا الله محمد ريول الله

Allah, Muhammad. In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. There is no god but God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God.

Manuscript Qur'an in the Malkoč Alajbey mosque

This manuscript of the Qur’an, housed in the mosque, in very fine naskh Arabic script, measures 31 x 19.5 cm, with a thickness of 5.5 cm. The leather binding is damaged and needs restoration.

The manuscript itself, in black ink on white paper, is in quite good condition. The text extends almost to the edges of the paper, and is surrounded by a gold and a red line. The ayat markings are in gold, or here and there in red. Some of the pages of the manuscript are damaged in places as a result of the almost non-existent margins, and should be reconstituted.

The titles of the suras are in gold, red or green, and are set in rectangular panels surrounded by a gold line. The damaged pages of the manuscript have already undergone some repairs, which should be removed and the pages expertly repaired.

The front pages of the manuscript are simply decorated in gold. They are the most badly damaged pages of the manuscript.

The back page of the manuscript, which is stuck down to the covers, bears the signature of the transcriber.

كتبه الفقير الحقير محمد زاده الضعيف ... الراجي الي رحمة ربه اللطيف حسن بن علي بن حسن النيذروي الشهيربسرايدارزاده عفر الله لهم و لوالديهم اللهم اغفر لكاتبه و لقارئه و اسامعه و لمن نطر اليه و لجميع المسلمين و المسلمات و المؤمنين و المؤمنات الاحياء منهم و الاموات برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين و صلي الله علي سيدنا محمد و اله و صحبه اجمعبن

وقع الابتداء في اواخر شهر ربيع الاول سنة 1034

وقع الاتقام في اواسط شهر شعبان المعظم سنة 1034

Written by the poor and humble descendant of Muhammad, weak and needing the mercy of the Noble Lord Hasan, son of ‘Ali, son of Hasan an-Nayzarawi known as Saraydarzade, may God forgive him. O Lord forgive the transcriber, reader, listener and observer of this Qur’an, all Muslim men and Muslim women, believing men and believing women, whether dead or living, in Your mercy O Merciful, Compassionate. God bless our leader Muhammad, his family and his companions.

Transcription began at the end of the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal 1034 (January 1625)

Transcription completed in the middle of the month of Sha’ban 1034 (end of May 1625).

Manuscript Qur'an owned by the Sijamija family

The Sijamija family in Prusac own a transcription of the Holy Qur’an measuring 19 x 13 x 6.5 cm. The manuscript is in rather poor condition. The leather binding is damaged and has been repaired.

The Qur’an has been transcribed in naskh script, with a red line border around the text. The first two pages are missing, as is the page that might have borne the transcriber’s signature and the date. A page has been added at the beginning of the Qur’an, with a note that Mulla Mustafa Sijamija was still reciting from it in the early 19th century, and that it came to Prusac in the 18th century.

Manuscripts owned by Prof. Husejn Čepalo

1. Commentary on “Kafija”

Commentary by Ibrahim bin Yagrush on a well-known work of Arabic syntax, Al-kafiyyatu fi al Nahw by Jalal ad-Din bin ‘Uthman ibn al Hajib. The manuscript, which measures 20 x 12.5 cm, is in nasta’liq Arabic script and was transcribed by Ahmad, son of Muhammad. The year of transcription is not given. The work is in Arabic.

2. Codex measuring 15.5 x 11 cm, consisting of two works. The first part is missing its first pages, so that the title and author are unknown. The work is in Arabic, and was transcribed in nasta’liq script by an anonymous scribe in Constantinople in the month of Jumada-l-akhira 957 (June-July 1550). It deals with speculative theology and apologetics (‘ilm al kalam).

The second work is entitled Imadu li kitabi l-Mas’ud – the pillar of Masud’s book. This is all that is known about the title and author of the book, neither of which are mentioned in the text. The language, style of script, subject matter and year of transcription are identical to those of the first work in this codex, except that this one was transcribed in the month of Rajab (July-August).

3. A work measuring 20 x 14.5 cm in Arabic in naskh script, written by Ahmad, son of Muhammad, son of Said al-Ghaznawi. The title is not known. The work deals with ‘ibadat – acts of worship or ritual. The scribe and date are unknown.

4. Manuscript measuring 18 x 13.5 cm in Arabic, transcribed in nasta’liq script. The beginning is missing, and with it any details of the author or title of the work. The scribe and date are also unknown.

5. Manuscript measuring 19 x 14 cm missing both beginning and end. The manuscript is in Turkish, and was transcribed in naskh Arabic script. It deals with fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).

6. Manuscript measuring 16.5 x 11 cm in Arabic, transcribed in nasta’liq script. The manuscript is intact, but I have been unable to find the title or author of the work. It was transcribed by Abdullah, son of Mustafa, in the month of Rabi’ al-akhira 1184 (July-August 1770).


3. Legal status to date

By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of the People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina no. 02-748-3 dated 18 April 1962, the Kjafija tekke, medresa and turbe in Prusac, by Ruling no. 1459/50 dated 28 October 1950, were entered on the register of immovable cultural monuments, under no. 217.

By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Hasan Kjafija mosque in Prusac and the burial ground around the mosque, no. 02-UPI-4-1/70, dated 27 March 1970, was placed under state protection.

The Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 lists the mosque of Hasan Kjafija Pruščak in Prusac as a Category I monument.

The Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 lists the turbe of Hasan K. Akhisarli (Pruščanin) in Prusac as a Category I monument.

The Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 lists the medresa of Hasan Kjafija in Prusac as a Category II monument.

The properties are on the Provisional List of National Monuments of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, as follows: the Prušćak mosque, under serial no. 203, the Medresa of Hasan Kjafija Prušćak, under serial no 204, the Mekteb of Hasan Kjafija Prušćak, under serial no 205, and the Turbe of Hasan Kjafija Prušćak, under serial no. 208


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

-       In November 1936 the Banate Administration in Banja Luka carried out repairs to Kjafija's mosque, medresa and turbe (record card for the building from the Institute for the Protection of Monuments, 1950)

-       In 1988, drainage was laid around the medresa as a result of the appearance of large amounts of damp in the walls; at this time the floor of the ground floor of the medresa was replaced (cement mortar was poured over the existing stone paving slabs, with wooden boards laid over it)

-       The architectural ensemble, and in particular the mosque itself, was damaged by shelling during the 1992-1995 war, as a result of which work began on the repair or rehabilitation of the building in 1997-1999. Neither the blueprints nor any technical details of these works are available. The extent of interventions on the building can be inferred only from a direct on-site inspection and from information available from local people who took part in the actual works. The following works were carried out:

-         the windows on the sides of the portico were walled up; water was led to the right-hand corner of the portico and a fountain for abdest (ritual ablution) was installed; the front of the mosque portico was pulled down and a new structure of wooden pillars supporting the portico roof was built, with a wooden railing like that of the mahfil between the pillars. The front of the portico is enclosed by grills;

-         the interior of the mosque has been altered: a new mihrab has been installed (parts of the original mihrab with decorations, consisting of parts of the crown, have been placed in wall cupboards in the medresa), a new mimber and mahfil have also feel installed (the projection for the muezzin has been enlarged by comparison with the previous one); the entrance to the wooden minaret was formerly via wooden steps from the mahfil, but there is now merely a hatch in the ceiling of the mosque and a ladder is used to climb into the minaret;

-         a new roof structure and ceiling joists have been installed;

-         the roof cladding has been replaced, with the previous tiles replaced by wooden shingles;

-         the entire roof has been set at a higher level (presumably because of the introduction of a reinforced concrete ring beam), the form of the roof has been altered (the length of the ridge has been reduced and the point at which it begins has been shifted towards the interior of the building in relation to the mosque entrance);

-         a new wooden minaret has been built, which has certain alterations in stylistic treatment (the shape, height and pitch of the roof have been altered, a wooden projection-ring has been added to the shaft of the minaret in imitation of stone minarets);

-         a reinforced concrete ring has been laid around the building at the top of the walls to brace the structure;

-         the frames on all the lower windows of the mosque have been altered and new bars installed, which are not in line with the old ones (they lack the prominent iron joints between the bars);

-         there have been changes to the shape of the upper windows, with the previous rectangular ones replaced by windows terminating in a pointed arch and enclosed with wooden lattice (presumably this was because of the installation of the reinforced concrete ring beam);

-         the old floor has been lifted and a new floor structure laid with hydro insulation, concrete, thermo insulation and a wooden floor structure. The finish is of wooden boards;

-         the foundations of the mosque have been made good;

-         the roof structure and cladding of the medresa and turbe have been replaced.


5. Current condition of the property

An on-site inspection in February 2006 ascertained as follows:

-       the architectural ensemble is at risk from the construction works begun on a building very close to the mosque and the inappropriate intended use of the basement area, and the construction of an access drive to the garage;

-       there are traces of damp to be seen on the walls of the mosque and medresa.


Following the damage to the Prušćak mosque, the findings of an on-site inspection conducted by representatives of the Islamic Community of Donji Vakuf, the Commission and Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zlatar PhD Sci and Muhamed Madžarević MSc in May 2009 are as follows (excerpt from report/opinion on the serious damage to the Hasan Kjafija Prušćak mosque in Prusac, drawn up by the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Sarajevo – Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zlatar PhD Sci and Muhamed Madžarević MSc):

-       The bearing structure of the mosque consists of walls of tufa and rubble stone about 70 cm thick. Some accounts (which it was not possible to corroborate in situ) state that the walls have shallow continuous dry-stone footings. These same accounts state that there are wooden piles below the continuous footings. During the most recent reconstruction, a reinforced concrete ring beam the width of the walls and 30 cm in height was laid on top of the walls, with the wooden loft structure and roof timbers resting on the ring beam. The roof is clad with wooden shingles.

-       The construction of the mosque is so badly damaged that it is completely unfit for use. The front and two side walls of the mosque have shifted outwards and downwards from the foundations by 30 to 50 cm in both directions. This serious deformation has caused large vertical cracks to open, particularly marked at the front corners of the mosque. There are also large horizontal cracks in all the walls. Some of the windows have fallen out and the window lintels have broken. There is no visible damage to the roof trusses, though they and the newly-laid ring beam echo the deformation of the wall, suggesting that it is the ring beam that is preventing the building from collapsing altogether. Generally, the damage is so bad that there is a risk the building will collapse.

-       It is hard at this time, without further investigations, to identify the cause of the damage, but one possibility is that after the drainage channel was laid along the mosque walls on the outside, the damp was sucked out of the main, already dilapidated wooden piles, which were thus no longer fit for purpose, resulting in extensive movements of the foundation construction and walls. This should of course be regarded as a hypothesis needing confirmation or otherwise following detailed investigations of the foundations.

-       The building is so badly damaged that it is beyond remedial works, which are neither technically justified nor feasible. In our opinion, the solution for this fine, highly-ranked cultural heritage monument is to dismantle it entirely, with care, and to reconstruct the entire building. All these works should be preceded by drawing up the appropriate project documentation.

-       It should be noted that the scaffolding erected outside the building after the damage had arisen is completely inadequate, given the deformation vectors of the walls, which are in an outward direction at footings level, causing the walls to lean inwards.

-       Given the state of the mosque building, it is essential that no unauthorized persons be permitted access either to the building or its environs.


6. Specific risks

-       evidence of rising damp and damp caused by the elements in the walls of the medresa,

-       construction of an underground garage under the building, currently under construction, detrimental to the spatial integrity of the ensemble of the Pruščak mosque located on a natural elevation dominating the Prusac čaršija.



Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument (Official Gazette of BiH nos. 33/02 and 15/03), the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above.

The Decision was based on the following criteria:

A.         Time frame

B.         Historical value

C.         Artistic and aesthetic value

C.iii.      proportions

C.iv.     composition

D.         Clarity

D.iv.     evidence of a particular type, style or regional manner

D.v.      evidence of a typical way of life at a specific period

E.         Symbolic value

E.i.       ontological value

E.ii.      religious value

E.iii.      traditional value

E.iv.     relation to rituals or ceremonies

E.v.      significance for the identity of a group of people

F.         Townscape/ Landscape value

F.i.       Relation to other elements of the site

G.         Authenticity

G.ii.      material and content

G.iii.     use and function

G.v.      location and setting

G.vi.     spirit and feeling

H.         Rarity and representativity

H.i.       unique or rare example of a certain type or style

I.          Completeness

I.i.         physical coherence

I.ii.        homogeneity

I.iii.       completeness


The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-       Copy of cadastral plan

-       Copy of land register entry and proof of title

-       Photodocumentation

-       Drawings



During the procedure to designate the monument as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:


1974.    Bećirbegović Madžida. Prosvjetni objekti islamske arhitekture u Bosni i Hercegovini (Educational buildings of Islamic architecture in BiH). Sarajevo: Offprint from Contributions to Oriental Philology XX-XXI, 1974.


1980.    Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina; Stage «B» - valorization of natural, cultural and historical monuments. Sarajevo: Institute for architecture, town planning and regional planning of the Faculty of Architecture in Sarajevo, 1980.


1996.    Čelebi, Evlija. Putopis – odlomci o jugoslovenskim zemljama (Travelogue – excerpts on Yugoslav lands). Sarajevo: Sarajevo Publishing, 1996.


1998.    Mujezinović, Mehmed. Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine (Islamic epigraphics of BiH ), bk II. Sarajevo: Sarajevo-Publishing, 1998.


1999.    Bećirbegović, Madžida. Džamije sa drvenom munarom u Bosni i Hercegovini (Mosques with wooden minarets in BiH). Sarajevo: Sarajevo-Publishing, 1999.


2001.    Čepalo, Husein. Kulturno historijski spomenici općine Donji Vakuf (Cultural and historical monuments of Donji Vakuf municipality). Donji Vakuf: Preporod Bosniac Cultural Society, 2001.


Hamidović, Džemal. Prusac i njegove znamenitosti (Prusac and its sights). Sarajevo: Nova tiskara Vrček & Co.

(1) Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine, vol. II, Sarajevo: Sarajevo-Publishing,  1998, 293

(2) Hamidović, Džemal, Prusac i njegove znamenitosti, Sarajevo: «Nova tiskara» Vrček & co., 21

(3) Mujezinović, Mehmed, op.cit., 297

(4) Ibid, 295 

(5) Translator’s note: the word pješčar, meaning sandstone, is in fact used to denote various conglomerates composed of small white grains; muljika is a soft white stone.

(6) The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) is the name of the monarchy that included Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. It was created on 1 December 1918, and ceased to exist with the establishment of the Democratic Federation of Yugoslavia. The king was banned from returning to the country on 29 November 1943, and the state was declared a republic on 29 November 1945.

 (http://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kraljevina_Jugoslavija) (for fuller details see the English Wikipedia site,


(7) Bećirbegović, Madžida, Prosvjetni objekti islamske arhitekture u Bosni i Hercegovini, Sarajevo: offprint from Prilozi za orijentalnu filologiju XX-XXI, 1974, 320

(8) Čelebi, Evlija, Putopis – odlomci o jugoslovenskim zemljama, Sarajevo: Sarajevo Publishing, 1996, 133

(9) The claim that the chamber contains Kjafija’s coffin has not been scientifically confirmed, since no expert analysis has ever been conducted, but is a claim made by Mehmed Mujezinović in his Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine, Vol. II, Sarajevo: Sarajevo-Publishing,  1998, 297

(10) This claim has not been scientifically confirmed either, since no expert analysis has ever been conducted, but is made by Džemal Hamidović in his Prusac i njegove znamenitosti, Sarajevo: «Nova tiskara» Vrček & Co., 21

The architectural ensemble of the Prušćak (Hasan Kjafija) mosque in PrusacHasan Kjafija mosque and medresaPrušćak (Hasan Kjafija) mosquePrušćak (Hasan Kjafija) mosque - the middle of 20th century
Entrance facadePrušćak (Hasan Kjafija) mosque, view from southInterior of the mosqueView from mahfil
Prušćak (Hasan Kjafija) medresaHasan Kjafija medresaMedresa of the Hasan Kjafija - the middle of 20th century Interior of the medresa
TekkeLecture roomGraveyard 

BiH jezici 
Commision to preserve national monuments © 2003. Design & Dev.: