The Muslim societies in Mostar
Until the end of the last century there have not been a single Moslem society in Mostar. All the cultural and educational activities among the Moslems in Mostar were taking place in the mosques, schools /mektebs/, madrasahs and monasteries /tekke/. These institutions offered learning, religious rites, and all forms of cultural life, even the celebration of religious and state holidays. All the humanitarian and social work among the Moslems was conducted until the end of 19th century in the form of giving zekjat, offering charity /sadakai fitre/, slaughtering a sacrifice /kurban/on Bayram holidays, and in distributing charities to the poor who had been quite numerous in these times.
The majority of wealthy Moslems performed these duties out of sheer conviction since they were truly observing Moslems. One should also mention testaments /vassiyetnamas/ that also played an important role in solving the social problems among the Moslems and in supporting the poor and persons not catered for. All the testaments left behind the rich Moslems were made legal by the judge and registered in the local register /sigil/, where the testator gave a full account what he/she left behind, for what purpose, and who was nominated as the executor and controller of his/her will. Perhaps the reasons aforementioned, or because of some other reasons, one could not find any Moslem society in Mostar until the end of 19th century. The first such society was established in 1898.
According to our data, 29 different Moslem societies were set up in Mostar between 1898 and 1945. They can be discerned as: cultural and educational, humanitarian and social, political trade union or belonging to certain guilds, sports and burial societies. Some of them did not leave any concrete data, so we mentioned their names only. The chronological lists of Moslem societies that were active in Mostar towards the end of 19th century until 1945, and had been mentioned in the sources available, were presented in the paper.