Many people don't know that the presence of Islam in Hungary pre-dates the Ottoman occupation, and is recorded back to the 12th Century by Arab travellers and perhaps existed even earlier. This article in English called '[img]"[img][img]magyariszlam.hu/eng/islaminhun.htm"]Islam in Hungary[/url]' gives a very detailed account of this presence, from the Hungarian Islamic Community website. The article also shows some photos of Ottoman-era buildings and Hungarian Islamic Community today, etc. :smile:
The Mu'rib 'an ba'd adjÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢'ib al-Maghrib of the traveller, merchant and faqih Abu Hamid al-Garnati (d. 1170) is the most detailed report on the Muslims of Hungary of the 12th century. Garnati spent three years in the country, which he called "Unkuriya", as, had done Mascudi and Idrisi. Like Istakhri and Ibn Hawkal, he used the name "Bashghard" for its people, whom he also considered to be Turks, and called their king "Kazali". This term can be related to the Slavic "kral" (king) or to the name of the Hungarian monarch of that period, GÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©za II (1141-1161), who seems to have greatly respected Garnati 's advice and held his person in high esteem (according to the author's own records, which are! often fictitious, not to say miraculous, as are those of the Arab travellers in general). He must have exaggerated when he spoke of "thousands of Maghribis and countless Khwarizmis" in Hungary: reportedly the former openly professed their Islamic faith while the latter concealed it. Both of these groups seem to have served the King as warriors in his campaigns against the Emperor of Byzantium who was less friendly to his own Muslim mercenaries than GÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©za II, according again Abu Hamid. This was perhaps the reason why Garnati could term these Byzantino-Hungarian wars as "Jihad". "This king likes the Muslims," he said about the Hungarian sovereign. We also know from the author that he bought, for 10 dinars, a local concubine, who gave birth to his son, Hamid, whom he left in 1153 as a hostage to the King and promised to return, but finally did not do so.
Garnati's description of the cheap and rich Hungary of that time and his discussions with GÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©za II about the advantages of polygamy and abstention from drinking wine may be less exciting than his words concerning those he termed "Maghribis" or, more exactly, "descendants of the Maghribis" (awladu'I-Maghariba or abna'u'I-Maghariba). It is believed that they were Arabs -perhaps really North-African or Andalusian -whose ancestors had joined, in the 10th or 11th century, the (Turkic) Pecheneg tribes coming from the East to Hungary and eventually merging with her people. There may have been Muslims among the predominantly pagan Pechenegs, as Al-Bakri also claimed. According to his own records, the missionary-inclined Garnati made attempts to improve their knowledge of Islam and Arabic. "Today, sermons of Friday are delivered at more than ten thousand places as their country is enormous," he wrote proudly of the result of his activities. This was, of course, untrue, yet we know from authentic Hungarian sources too that "Saracens" or "Ismaelites" served as royal guardsmen while others were entrusted with tax-collection duties, money changing and even minting, so they played a remarkable role in the medieval economy, just like the Jewish moneylenders did. Their prerogatives and commercial benefits were so important that the Church and the nobles found it necessary to incorporate their sensible limitation in the Golden Bull, the famous edict issued in 1222 by King Andrew II, and in its revised version of 1231 as well. The Christian pressure became so strong that at the beginning of 1232, Archbishop Robert, with the authorization of the Pope, did in fact excommunicate Andrew for his continued employment of Muslim and Jewish moneylenders, and also for restricting the Church's salt monopoly. The King was compelled to conclude a treaty with the Pope's envoy in which he conceded to the demands of the clergy. A few years later the Tatars of Batu Khan invaded Hungary for a while, and the Muslims seem to have disappeared from the scene for the coming three centuries.
As to the relative privileges they enjoyed earlier, we must add that they were, like the Jews, always exposed to the aggressive Christian proselytizing zeal and the spirit of the crusades. Laws of the late 11th century forced them to the so-called "pork test": they could be put to death if they refused to eat the divinely prohibited meat. The abovementioned Khwarizmis' concealment of their belief may be explained by this legal terror, though this latter was not continuously practised at all. However, the influence of just a few hundred Muslims could not be significant, except in finances.
A site in Hungarian: [img]"[img][img]iszlam.hu/"][img][img]iszlam.hu/[/url]
"S Allah a bÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©ke házába hiv, s azt vezeti, kit Ő akar az egyenes ösvÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©nyre" (Korán 10:25)