Muslims in Poland:
Islam came to Poland about 600 years ago, when the Tatars came to the country, fleeing from the civil wars in their own country. They settled in both Poland and Lithuania. Some of them were recruited into the Polish military establishment, and they were allowed to set up mosques. At that time they numbered about 200,000, and they therefore built around 260 mosques.
By the sixteenth century of the Gregorian calendar, many of them were already speaking the local languages, and gradually they were absorbed into the mainstream Polish society, with the result that many of them started to ignore their religion. In fact, many also embraced Christianity, intermarried with Christian Polish women, and their offspring, naturally, became Christians.
However, those who stuck to their religion, Islam, formed an organization called the Federation of Polish Muslims, in 1917. But when World War I came to end, the borders of Poland were changed, and thus the number of Muslims was reduced, as was the number of mosques. At the same time the position of Mufti came to an end.
When the Communist regime took over the reigns of power in the country, it not only confiscated their mosques and properties, but also sent many of them to Siberia, as slave laborers.
Today, what remains of those Tatars who immigrated to Poland is just 5,000 descendants, and there remains only two of the historical mosques, one in Bhuniki, and the other in Kruziani. At the same time their knowledge of Islam and its principles and practices is a very circumscribed one, because there is no one to guide them and give them direction in their faith.
Their mosques are usually visited only during the ‘Eed Festivities, and sometimes used as cultural meeting places.
However, Islamic activity began anew with the arrival of Muslim students in Poland, mostly from the Arab countries. They set up the Muslim Students Association of Poland in 1989, and they initiated some primary schools for children.
Currently, the total number of Muslims in Poland is estimated at 31,000, of whom 5,000 are of Tatar extraction, plus 25,000 made up of immigrants and students, while another 1,000 are indigenous Polish people who had accepted Islam.
In the last decade there has been a large influx of Polish immigrants coming to live and work in Britain. For many of them it was their first time living amongst an ethnically diverse community since many minority groups were skeptical to settle in Poland after WW2. This interaction with the Muslim community has led to many Poles expressing an interest in the Islamic faith.
The following resources in the Polish language will help one to learn and understand more about Islam:
Here are some Islamic books in the Polish Language:
The Noble Quran in Polish Language: