1

Balkan Studies:
Sufism in Albania, Naim Frasheri, Hasan
Kafi Bosnawi, and M. Hancic
Vol. 1

First Chapter: Sufism In Albania: Bektashism, Qadiri, Rufai, Khalqati,
Saadi


Dr. Ali Akbar Ziaee

Islam, as a religion and culture, beginning to spread in Balkans during all those Ottoman
conquests. Since then, that culture takes root in Balkans, and lasting there up to our days.
At the same time, among local population, members of the various Sufi orders,

like
bektashiyya, tijaniyya, qadiriyya, khalwatiyya, sa’adiyya, rifaiyya and mawlaviyya, begin
to spread their own teachings, and, as a result, throughout Balkans starts to emerge
innumerable tekkes and zawiyas. During the Communist regime in Albania, with the
banning of religion, and, of course, all activities of the Sufi orders, many of those tekkes,
are closed, faded out and finally disappeared. Some of them are literally destroyed.

As for number of Bektashis and followers or members or even sympathizers of the other
Sufi orders in Albania, there are many assumptions, but it is very difficult to estimate or
to establish even close, not to say, precise data. However, bearing in mind their
(dervish’s) influence in this region, it is possible to say, rather correct and true, that at
least half of whole Muslim population in this part of Europe and Balkans is, in some way,
connected or affiliated with the certain Sufi order.

Bektashi order of dervishes
Before we pay our full attention to the Albanian Alawi-Bektashi’s history, tradition and
some of their customs, let’s, for a moment, take in consideration something about history
of this Sufi order in general, more exactly from its foundations to the more or less
significant spreading in Balkans, especially in Albania.

Bektashi order of dervishes is one of the Shiite Sufi order, or order with significant Shiite
inclination and background, with a large membership in Asia Minor, Balkan Peninsula,
Iraq and Egypt. As a founder of this Sufi order is considered hadrat Pir Seyyed
Muhammad Rizwee, known as Hajji Bektash Wali (646.-738. Hijri), from the family or
tribe Rizwee of Nishapoor, already know as a murid of a famous Shaykh hadrat Ahmad


For this occasion, we are going to use this word, even do the word and term order is not a word that in the
correct manner explains the essence of the Sufi brotherhood. The more correct word would be tariq, or
tariqat, menaning The Path.
2
Yasawee. There are very limited information and details about the life of Hajji Bektash
Weli, so it is, and probably it will stay, unknown how and when he decided to move from
Persia to the Asia Minor.

There are many contemporary as well as modern researchers, who consider hadrat Hajji
Bektash Weli as one of the murids of well-known Baba Ishaq, founder of babaiyya Sufi
order in Asia Minor, who raised a rebellion (638. Hijri) opposing to Giyasuddin
Keyhusrew, second from a line of Seljuk rulers in Asia Minor. After many troubles, this
rebellion has been finally crushed, and its leader executed. Otherwise, some still have
doubts that hadrat Haji Bektas Weli was historical figure anyway, so they foundation of
the Order attributed to Balim Baba or Balim Sultan, known as well as Second Pir, Pir-i
Thani (Pir-i dovvom, d. 922 Hijri). However, there are rather explicit evidences that
hadrat Hajji Bektas Weli was a real, historical figure and personality, even if his
followers in subsequent generations, has slightly mystified some facts about his life,
attributed to him numerous supernatural deeds, making up a lot of legends, covering and
hiding his actual biography. However, this practice is quite a bit almost regular procedure
especially in the case of founders of the Sufi orders or tariqat.

In spite of that, according to the relevant historical information, and on the base of the
reliable data, hadrat Hajji Bektash Weli was a contemporary of a second Ottoman sultan
Orhan (627-687 Hijri), and it seems that these two have had very close mutual relations,
so that there are some opinions that elite Ottoman troops – yanichari, thanks to his
influence accepts Islam and fought and score numerous victories for Ottoman sultans in
the name of Islam. Otherwise, yanichari troops were composed of non-Muslim young
man form European parts of Ottoman Empire, what is, in other way, even an
etymological root of their name (yeni cheri – new, white face). Notion yenichari,
however, can be translated and interpreted as a ‘new army’, ‘new troops’, and in this
meaning the term is usually used.

There are some opinions that hadrat Hajji Bektas Weli is a descent of the eight Shiite
Imam, hadrat Imam Rida. Even if he himself claimed and maintained that he is a pure
sunnit, hadrat Hajji Bektash Weli generally speaking, in the essence followed clearly
Shiite doctrines, demonstrating an outstanding inclination to the sixth Shiite Imam, hadrat
Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq.

Bektashis did not stay out, or they were not immune from a certain hurufi influence,
accepting many hurufi doctrines and teachings, and afterwards spreading them especially
throughout Asia Minor and Balkans. Besides, they have made a number of copies and
propagated their writings. In bektashi gathering, especially in their tekkes, writings like
Fadlallah Hurufi’s Javidan, and Fereshteoglu’s Ashqname, were very welcomed. After
Shah Abbas I first extermination of hurufi’s, survived followers of this school of thought,
represent themselves as a Bektashis, concealing their idea under the cloak of teachings of
the bektashi order of dervishes.

Up to 19 century, Bektashi order has established very vital and strong organization in the
regions of the Ottoman Empire from Asia Minor to Albania in Europe, and thanks to the
3
close relations with yanichari troops, they had very serious and deep impact even on the
state administration. Ottoman sultans and local, regional administrators had cherish and
nurture a special respect, consideration and attention toward bektashi shaykhs. Gradually,
in the Ottoman Court (Divan), beginning to grow a certain concern and fear from
yanicharis, what evokes suspicion not just at the administration, than at the sultans
closest circle, and finally the sultan himself. So, their influence and authority in the Court
gradually was minimized. Sultan Mahmud II, finally (1826.) disbanded yanichari troops,
because of numerous revolts and insurrections, many, almost all bektashi tekkes and
khanikahs are closed, some forcefully. During those events many libraries are burned
down, and enormous writings, books and manuscripts are irretrievable lost.


Bektashi order in Albania
For centuries, national homogeneousness in Albania resists to the challenge religious
diversity and heterogeneousness among the population in this country. Islam and
Christianity flourish along each other without any significant religious or any other
intolerance. It is important to mention that the spreading of Islam in Albania, so called
islamization, was exclusive on the voluntary basis, without any sigh of compulsion or
force, gradually, a that its acceptance among the masses was also on the voluntary basis.

On the other hand, very significant influence on the process of development and
spreading of the Islam in Albania, had have bekashis which in Albania arrive with the
army of sultans Murat II and Bayazid I, just with the aim of spreading and propagating
Islamic teachings among Turkish soldiers and local population. In 10th century Hijri,
number of Muslims was insignificant, but in following century, formerly Christian
majority become minority.

Alawi tariqats, especially Bektashis, had a greatest success right there, in Albania, among
all newly conquered lands and countries. During the formative period of the Ottoman
Empire in Anatolia, the most significant influence in the Court was that of ahis and
shaykhis, in subsequent times known as a Bektashis (with the changing of the name not
the essence), and that influence they have hold in the future, so that Ottoman authorities
prescribed great significance to this tariqat, and its members was required part of their
armies.

Possessing and enjoying closeness and full attention of Ottoman Court, Bektashis are,
before they fall into disfavor of almost all administration, use to perform very important
function in taking care of religious and political directing of janichari troops. At the same
time, it is significant to bear in mind that about one hundred high ranking yanichari
officials was of Albanian origin, what is also one of the important facts and reasons of
highly distinctive reputation of Bektashis within the circle of religious and political
leaders and of course common people.

With the coming to power of Kemal Pasha Ataturk (1922.), Bektashi leader Sali Niyazi
Dede, Albanian by origin, fled the country (Turkey) and went to Albania. With the
respect for bektashi influence in the Ottoman Army, their popularity in Albania and
4
Albanian origin of Niyazi Dede, it should not be surprising that since then, Albania
become the main bektashi center for whole Islamic world. At the same time, his arrival in
Albania contributed to the popularity of this Sufi order in Albania, and of course
increasing the number of the members and followers in Albania and the region. Based on
the data from 1967 when is issued an official prohibition of public and private
demonstration and practice of the religion in Albania, in this country use to live
1,200,000 Muslims, 200,000 orthodox Christians and 100,000 catholic Christians. It
means that about 69% of whole population in Albania was Muslims. From this figure or
from the completely Muslim population in Albania, about 54% declared as a Sunni,
actually followers of the Hanafi madhab. There is assumption that today, from about
4,000,000 inhabitant in Albania, about 75% are Muslims, and 32,5% of them are
Bektashis.

According to the relevant and reliable Ottoman salnama from 1895 at the region (ayalet)
Yanina, use to live 223,885 Muslims, 118,023 Greeks, 129,517 Albanian orthodox, 3,517
Jews and 39 Catholics. However, according to the Italian register from 1942, the total
population Albania was not more than 1,128,143, from what 779,417 Muslims, 232,330
Orthodox, and 116,259 Catholics. It may be that this, Italian register is more accurate,
and provides us a more exact information about confessional structure of Albanian
population than Ottoman salnama.

Number of the members and followers of the Bektashi Order in Albania, significantly
increased during the reign of Mehmed Ali Pasha in Egypt, first thanks to the fact that this
Turkish dignitary himself was a Bektashi, and Albanian as well. Great influence on
increasing in number of Bektashi in Albania, at the beginning of 20
th
century, has had a
prohibition of all activities of this Order in Turkey. During the regime of king Zogu in
Albania, number of Bektashis has increased for some 200,000 followers of this Sufi
order. The main Bektashi centers in Albania were located in Tirana, Kruya, Berat and
mountainous region of Tomora.

Bektashi poetry and literature in Albania
Bektashi order of dervishes has produced very rich and colorful literature in Turkish,
Arabic and especially Albanian languages. Before of banning of the Order and closing all
tekkes in Albania, members and different ranks of followers of this Order, use to gather
on recitals that are organized just in tekkes.

Baba Serasem Ali, also known as a Hakim Ekber, was the very first Bektashi who has
reached the high rank of Vizier during the reign of Ottoman sultan Sulayman the
Lawgiver, (in the West known as a Magnificent, d. 1566), but since he was completely
dedicated to the service in Bektashi tekke, he refused the honor and appointment and to
his death (1569), he performed a role as a leading person of the whole Bektashi
movement in the world.

Baba Kemaluddin Shamimee, Albanian poet from the second half of 13
th
century Hijri,
had a very important role and made a great success in propagation of the Bektashi idea
and spreading of the Order in Albania. He was educated in Kuprulu, together with Baba
5
Haydar Hatamy, but at the beginning of the 19
th
century, he was murdered in town of
Kruya, under never unveiled circumstances. He was buried next to the grave of Baba
Asim.

In the Baba Basri Library in Istanbul, relatively recently has been discovered a letter
wrote by one Bektashi dervish named Muhammad Ali. This letter comprises a large
number very useful actually multitude of very interesting information about Baba
Shamimee. In one passage Muhammad Ali writes, ‘Baba Shamimee, while he was
discussing with his friends, use to say, ‘and I would like to be the shaheed, just like Imam
Hussein’. One day, while he was sitting near the window in his tekke and read Fuzooli
Baghdadi’s book Hadiqatul-Sa’det, two bullets shot form somewhere outside, hit his
chest, and his blood has made a bloody spots on two places in the book.’

His disciples (murid) has kept this book as a proof of the murder and his attainment of
esteemed degree, and some say that this book is still kept in tekke in Gjirokastri. Baba
Shamimee have had very noble origins, and close to the end of his life, he started to put
on a green overcoat as a sign of his bloodline backward to the Holy Prophet, Muhammad
(s.a.v.a.). Some say that people use to ask him, why is he wearing a green cloak, co he
answered by the long poem in which he explained his noble blood line, and his destiny to
end his life on a similar mode like hadrat Imam Hussein (s.a.). As we have heard so, it is
happen.

Baba Tahir Najibee lived at the beginning of 19
th
century, and is one of the most
important Bektashi poets. He was born in the small village of Ferasher, and in the same
village, he has build up a tekke. From this world, he has departed in 1835, and was buried
in his tekke. He uses to write in Turkish, Persian and Albanian language.

Baba Muharem Mahzoon, one of the Bektashi dignitaries form 19
th
century. His origin
can be traced to the Gjirokastre region at the south of Albania. For 22 years, form 1845 to
1867, he was the shaykh of a large and one of the oldest Bektaski tekkes in Durabli. His
poetry is written in Turkish and Albanian languages, and in one of his poems, using the
system of abjad-i huroof, he has left a note with the exact year of his own death. As it is,
it is a word gafur, which corresponds to the year 1286/1867. All his works are now in the
tekke in Gjirokastra.

Hajji Ali Hachi Baba was the eight shaykh of the Baba Asim’s tekke, and at his time he
enjoyed a great respect and esteem among Albanians. His biography too, is very
interesting. He has given permission (ijazat) to the 40 of his dervishes, and of them 12
has attained rank of baba. He is one of the most important Bektashi authors, and during
his life, he did a lot of traveling. Everything he has seen and heard during the travels he
wrote in the book untitled Sijahet-name estelahat-i sufiye, about one thousand pages in
total. Besides that, he has left a diwan of poetry in Persian and Arabic languages. All his
works are now in the tekke in Gjirokastra.

Baba Selim Ruhi was born in 1869 in city of Elbasan. After primary and secondary
religious education in Elbasan, he has spent some time in Gjikastra, where in 1885 has
6
his ijazat by Baba Ali. He was an expert for Turkish, Persian and Arabic languages. In
year 1891 at Baba Ali’s tekke, he was promoted to a dervish. Traveling along with Baba
Ali form Istanbul to Albania, he brought an immense number of books, and afterward all
of them studied with a great passion and attention. Besides of his religious education, he
was very well educated in the domains of history, geography and literature.

After the death of Baba Ali, Baba Selim Ruhi inherited his tekke and murids, and of
course his position. His contribution to the Bektashi idea and doctrines, as well as a
propagation and popularization of the Order in Albania, was very significant. During his
life, a number of Bektashis in Albania even enlarged. During some activities in his tekke,
in 1908, military commander of that time in Macedonia pay him a visit and declared his
loyalty. He was one of the members of an Albanian national movement of the great
respect and reputation, and in 1913 during the occupation, he refuted in Gjikastra, where
has departed from this world in 1944. Baba Selim Ruhi has left tree diwans of
outstanding poetry, respectively one in Turkish, one in Persian, and one in Arabic
languages.

Naim Ferasheri has composed a book of poetry untitled Tahayulat in Persian language,
and Hamase-yi Kerbela (Poem about Kerbela) in Albanian language.

Some other important Bektashi authors from 20
th
century are Baba Adem Vajahee, Baba
Ahmad Turanee, one of the important fighter for independence of Albania, Baba Ibrahim,
who has dedicated his own life to a awakening of Albanian people, so he was twice
arrested and imprisoned by Greek authorities, and Baba Ahmad Sirree, who, after
communist revolution in Albania has moved to Egypt, where he opened and lead
Bektashi tekke. He died literary from sorrow, after Egyptian authorities have closed his
tekke in 1961.

Commemorating of Ashura in Albania
One of the most important religious ceremonies and manifestation in tekkes in Albania is,
of course, commemorating of Ashura, on 10. muharram During this commemoration
manifestations, dervishes read poems about tragedy in Karbala in Persian, Turkish and
Albanian languages, and to the gathering are present all members of Bektashi
community, all ashiks, muhibs, dervishes, babas and dedes, praying and performing dhikr
ceremonies together in gatherings. During the first ten days of month muharram, dhikr
ceremonies are performing on a regular, everyday basis, and it is compiled from
repeating testimony La ilahe ilallah, and Ya Hussein šehidi Kerbela, Ya Hussein, Vay
Hussein, Šah Hussein, and verses like Ey nur-i chesm-i Ahmad mukhtar ya Hussein/Ey
yadegar-i Haydar karar ya Hussein.

Bektashis and other Alawis (usually fasting first twelve days of month of muharram and)
try to drink as less water as possible, try to restrain from eating meat and any kind of fat,
eggs, milk and cheese. At the day of Ashura, they make and disseminate a special sweet
made of wheat, cinnamon and some other ingredients exclusively vegetable nature. The
highest-ranking leader of community, dede, gathers everybody and has a speech about
hadrat Imam Hussein (s.a.) and tragically events on the plain of Karbala. Younger
7
members of community are performing recitals with some appropriate ilahiyas and verses
of Naim Ferašheri, well-known Albanian national poet and much esteemed Bektashi. To
these commemorations participates all or at least many standing personalities from
political and public life of the country, and diplomatic representatives of many Islamic
countries.

Sultan-i nevruz – Bektashis religious holiday and Albanian national holiday
March 22, is a religious holiday of all Alawis in Albania, and of course in all Bektashi
tekkes around the world. In gatherings, which are hold at that occasion, participates many
people who, by that same presence and on other ways, demonstrate their inclination and
open sympathies toward Ahl ul-Bayt (s.a.), and especially hadrat Imam Ali (s.a.).
According to the ancient custom this date is considered as a day of birth of Imam Ali
(s.a.), but Albanian authorities celebrate this day as a national holiday as a sign of
gratitude to the Bektashis and their contribution to the national struggle against occupiers
of Albania – Italians, Greeks, Germans, Serbs and Rumanians. And last but not least,
against communist regime of Enver Hoja.

At the same day, in Bektashi tekke in Tirana assembles besides of a large number of
common citizens and people, even the state representatives, the President of the country,
ministers and political leaders. Choirs of young boys and girls at that occasion sings
pious songs (ilahiyas) and poems about Ahl ul-Bayt, and Bektashi dede make an
appropriate speech.

Status and position of Bektashi tekkes after the fall of communist regime
Here we are going to enumerate Bektashi tekkes in Albania, and the other countries all
around the world.

a) Albania
1. Bektashi worldwide center is in the capital of Albania, Tirana. Here is a
residence and ‘headquarter’ of the highest-ranking Bektashi Dede, babas and
dervishes, spending their time in all sorts of religious activities, especially in
upbringing and education of the youth.
2. Tekke in Frushe-Kruje is one of the most important tekkes in Albania. Shaykh
of this tekke up to recently was Baba Selim Kaličay. Under the authority and
jurisdiction of this tekke are following tekkes,
- Tekke on the mountain Kroya, in which the leading person is Dervish
Salih.
- Tekke Martanish, in which the leading person is Baba Halili Tesveri.
- Tekke Kulmak near Peshkopiya, in which the leading person is Baba
Šabani.
3. In the city of Elbasan, in the tekke Gjushata the leading person is Baba Sadik
Ebru, and in the tekke Shamberzin Dervish Jalal Resuli.
4. In the tekke Terhan in the town of Korča, the leading person is Baba Edmond
Ibrahimi.
5. In the tekke Zaleli in Gjirokastri the leading person is Baba Hadživ.
6. In the tekke in town of Dibru, the leading person is Dervish Maliki.
8

b) United States of America
In the tekke in the city of Detroit, the leading person is Baba Flamor Eshkali.

c) Kosovo and Macedonia
1. In the tekke in the town of Tetovo, the leading person is Baba Tahiri.
2. In the tekke in the town of Kruševo, the leading person is Baba Eyubi.
3. In the tekke in the town of Đakovo, the leading person is Baba Kazimi.

Bektashi’s World Center maintains good relations with all enumerated tekkes.


Bektashi’s printing and newspapers in Albania
Bektashis in Albania at disposal have significantly larger funds than it is the case in the
rest of the Sufi orders. Therefore, that is one of the main reasons that they have
opportunity to print and publish a considerable more literature about their Order. Here,
we are going to just make a note about one part of their publications.

The book Bektashi defter is a sort of a handbook comprising the Bektashi doctrine,
teachings and religious practice and customs.

The Sokrat Ahmetay’s book Imam Ali, published by The Albanian Bektashi Committee
on the occasion of the celebration of the sultan-i nevruz.

Urtesia (Wisdom) is a Bektashi journal or magazine published by official agency of
Bektashis in Albania, and bringing the news about different Bektashi activities around the
world, and some religious inspired texts.

Nahj ul-balaga, a collection of sayings, letters and statements of hadrat Imam Ali (s.a.),
translated from English language by Sokrat Ahmetay.

Baba Redžeb’s Tasawwuf, (Baba Redžeb is a shaykh of the Bektashi tekke in Detroit,
USA).

Hadiqetul-Sadat, one of the most important and main source of the religious inspiration
for the Bektashis in Albania, and the verses from this book are constituent part of every
commemoration during the first ten days of the month of Muharram. This book was
published by the tekke in Frushe-Kruye, under the supervision of Baba Selim.

One of the most important books published in the last decade is most certainly the book
Emperors of Tasawwuf and Bektashism in Albania, which deal mainly with the
Bektashism from the region of the mountain Tomor. Author claims that the main
inspiration for this book is a history of his own family, memories of his grandfather and
his ancestors, encounters with the leading Bektashis of his time, their stories and
remembrance. In this work author, using different historical and literary approach, treat a
history of Bektashism in general and a spiritual values it offers to the individual and a
9
society in general. This interesting analysis, author has enriched with the most beautiful
verses of the literary heritage of the East and Bektashism, from all centuries and from the
pen of the most distinguish persons. At the same time, this book is a collection of the
selected philosophical thoughts, and collection of the most beautiful poems and verses.

Author’s certainty that the culture of the East for a centuries fascinates the most learned
figures in the West, and that the influence and reflection of that culture in Albania is,
actually, ancient, is obvious from almost every page of the book. In his vision and
opinion, Islam is the most value that this world posses, so a great part of the book is
dedicated to the history of Islam and biography of the Holy Prophet (s.a.v.a.). There are
even interpretations of the Naim Feresheree’s verses, as well as some other poets. He
enumerates many names of the most well-known Muslim scientists and poets, known and
appreciated worldwide. At the end of the book, author gives a list of the most famous
Muslim scientist and poets, among them many Iranians.

This work, written in the annalistic manner and spiritus movens, as some sort a collection
of poetry, represents very first attempt on Albanian language to introduce the readers
with the value of very rich Bektashi most probably spiritual, but not just spiritual,
heritage. One part of the book is dedicated to the review of the works the most famous
thinkers and poets, like Jalaluddin Rumi, Abu Yazid al-Bastami, Muhyiddin al-Arabi,
Suhrawardi, Musa Sultani, Seyyed Ali Sultani, and others. In his opinion, poetic
inheritance of the East is for a long time ago, present like the precious stones at the sky of
the Albanian poetry. Albanian literature has, also, used the cultural inheritance of the rest
of the world, and in a best manner. In an attempt to prove his claims, the author dedicates
one part of his book to the most beautiful poetry from all Islamic centuries, and with a
special attention deals with biography of Abas Ali, world Bektashism and his
concentration on Bektashism in Albania.

The author of this book dedicates many pages of his outstanding work to the tragedy on
the plain of Karbala as it has seen by Naim Feresheri and significance of his literary and
poetic work in general. After that, he is presenting the biography of hadrat Hajji Bektas
Weli, his representative in the mountainous region of Tomor, around 1200. He tries to
explain a very old tradition of sacrifice (kurban) in this region through the legends that
dealt with the arrival of Hajji Baba, and expose a short history of the villages on the
mountain Tomor.

One part of the book is dedicated to the Albanian poets, and according to his opinion, all
significant Albanian poets were Bektashis. Their poetry he sees as a poetry grown and
flourished on the ground of immense creative energy and power. The author concludes
that Bektashi poets have left extremely important, valuable and indelible contribution to
the Albanian literature in general, but they are put aside and no one does not pay any
attention to them. Naim Feresheri has written his best verses inspired by the Bektashi
poetry.


Khalwati Sufi order in Albania
10
This Sufi order has come and spread in Balkans during the Ottoman rule in this part of
Europe, so it has a members and followers in Albania. Shaykh Osman Effendi and Ismail
Haki, are the most distinguish figures of this order in Albania. The immediate leading
person of the khalwatis in Albania is shaykh Muamer Bazari, whose residing place and
‘headquarter’ is in his tekke in Tirana. This particular tekke stress importance and
concentrate most of its activities in the field of religious and other education since 1905,
and there is the tradition that shaykh Muamer Bazari is already tenth person from his
family, who perform this very important duty, by the spiritual appointment form father to
the son.

Previously the head of the tariqat, and his predecessor was shaykh Ali Bazari, actually
shaykh Muamer’s father. In 1920’s take place the first congress of sunni-alawi tariqats in
Albania, at that time participation took heads of qadiriyya, sa’adiyya, gulshaniyya and
khalwatiyya tariqats. One of the main aims of this congress was a coordination and
direction of all sunni-alawi orders in Albania, and formation of one coordinating body for
all those orders under the umbrella of Sunni Islam.

Shaykh Muamer Bazari claims that the certain point in history in Albania use to exist
about 200 khalwati tekkes. After the fall of the communist regime (1991) that it has been
made enormous effort to revive and reanimate these institutions, but up to today, there is
a lack of results. Shaykh Muamer thinks that some 30% of Albanian Alawis belongs to
the khalwati tariqat, even do there are no official statistical data, and this figure is just his
assumption. It is possible, however, come to conclusion that more than a half of all
Albanian Alawis are Bektashis, and that the rest can be split between khalwatis, qadiris,
rufais, sa’adis, tijanis and gulšenis.

The congress held in 1921, has been organized by the khalwatis, and at that occasion they
are signified as a main pillar of the congress. However, Bektashis does not take
participation in the work of congress, which, as a worldwide center of Bektashism, does
not consider the congress worth of their presence. Khalwati tekkes were also closed and
many of them are seriously damaged during the communist regime in Albania, and the
main tekke and graveyard of the heads of the order are restored and renovate in 1995,
with the help of the followers and members of the order from the country, and abroad,
especially USA. Except in Tirana and Delvini on the far south of the country, khalwati
order right now possess tekkes in Prizren (Kosovo) and Ohrid (Macedonia).

One of the most important figures among khalwatis is Redžeb Terdžuk form the town of
Lodža at the north of Albania, and local citizen’s claims that he was a karamat sahib, or
he was able to perform many miracles. The main custom and one of the most notable
characteristics of this tariqat is dhikr, joint prayer and commemoration of the first ten
days of the month of Muharrem, and reading of the books about Ashura in common
gatherings. Head of this tariqat claims that hadrat Hasan Basri was the very first shaykh
of this tariq, and besides of tariq they pay full attention to the religious law (shariyah).

Heads of the tariqat-i khalwatiyya were chair of the four big congresses of Albanian
Alawis. We have mentioned already that the very first gathering of this type held in 1921,
11
the second 1929, the third 1937, and the fourth in 1995. Members of so-called ‘Alawi
community’ are,

Shaykh Muamer Bazari, head of the tariqat-i khalwatiyya,
Shaykh Reis Umi, tariqat-i khalwatiyya.
Shaykh Luto Islami, tariqat-i khalwatiyya.
Shaykh Mensur Shehu, tariqat-i kaderiyya.
Shaykh Husein Hormova, tariqat-i khalwatiyya.
Dervish Shemsi Shehu, tariqta-i khalwatiyya.
Dervish Ismail Age, tariqat-i sa’adiyya.
Ali Farudin Veqil, tariqat-i gulšeniyya.
Naim Dervishi, tariqat-i khalwatiyya.


Dervish Khatidža’s tekke in Tirana
The head of this tekke is a woman-dervish Rukajja. During seventy years of her life, she
did an enormous effort in promotion of love toward Ahl ul-Bayt and hadrat Hussein
(s.a.). Her tekke is full of pictures of the fourteen infallibles. Visitors, mainly woman, as a
sign of the exceptionally respect (not the sole pictures, but the persons they represent) lit
a wax candles, and announce their problems to dervish Rukajja. After that, she, praying
Fatiha and appropriate dhikr, prays for salvation of their problems, forgiveness of their
sins or pray for a health for the sick persons. Dervish Rukajja is a very popular and
beloved person among Albanian population. ‘Her’ tekke is four hundred years old, and
according to the tradition was built by pious believer and devote Sufi – khalwati dervish-
woman Khatija. At that time, cholera use to take many lives, and dervish Khatija has
dedicated whole her life to the care about sick and ill persons. She is also karamah sahib.
After her death, her grave become a place with a special status among local population,
and there is opinion among not just local population that ziyarah to her grave can help in
salvation of many problems. During the holy month of Ramadan in this tekke usually
many people can find iftar, and month of Muharrem is a month of grieve and sorrow,
prayers and dhikr after the holy victims of tragedy of Karbala - ta’zije.

Rufai tariqat in Albania
As a founder of rufai tariqat in general is considered hadrat Pir Seyyed Ahmad Rufai.
This tariqat has brought in Albania famous Ahmed Shkodra, well-known Albanian
scientist who has his education in Iran, and return to Albania in 1910.
In a very short period around him has gathered a significant number of dervishes, so he,
and his murids, gradually established rufai order in town of Shkodra at the north of
Albania. Soon this order has its representatives even in Tirana, besides Drač and Elbasan,
Valona, Pećin, and many other towns and cities in the whole country. Rufai tariqat was
active until 1967, a moment in history when Enver Hodža has prohibited every religious
activity in Albania.

Restoration of the rufai order in Albania
In the period between 1967 and 1991, with the democratic changes in the country
(Albania), rufai movement has reduced their activities to a minimum. Its members and
12
followers, and members of the families of the late shaykhs have met shaykh Jamali
Shehu, the current head of this Sufi order in his residence and tekke in Prizren (Kosovo).
At the head of this not so small delegation from Albania was shaykh Kemal Reka, actual
leader of all rufais in Albania. Shaykh Jamal Shehu contribution to the renewal of the
rufai order in Albania was considerable, and since then this Sufi order experiences a real
renaissance.

Authority of the Rufai tariqat in Kosovo
Rufai order in Kosovo possesses seven tekkes in the USA, and all of them are under the
guardianship of shaykh Jamal Shehu from Kosovo. The leading person of one of them,
the one in New Jersey, is Dr. Jasmee (Džesmi), a physician, a pediatrician. Shaykh Jamal
Shehu is at the same time a head of rufai order in Albania too (he has appointed shaykh
Kemal Reka for a shaykh), and respect and dignity of shaykh Shehu among Albanian
Rufais is realy immense.

Shaykh Jamal Shehu right now in the eight decade of his life and worldwide he has about
4,000 murids. His authority is to promote any one in the rank of the dervish or shaykh.
He was a professor of the Esperanto, a long time ago, and his father was a head of the
Rufai order before him.

Number of the Rufai tekkes in Albania
Right now in Albania the main Rufai tekke in Tirana, besides the tekkes in Skadar,
Elbasan, Berat and Ešmi, and very soon in the town of Firi will be opened another one.

Rituals and customs of the Rufais in Albania
Members and the followers of the Rufai tariqat assemble in the tekkes every Thursday
and Sunday, usually at the evening because of the common dhikr. Their main dhikr is
repeated pronunciation of the testimony formula La ilahe ilallah, and repeatedly asking
for the blessings on the Holy Prophet (s.a.v.a.), and his Holy Ahl ul-Bayt. Rufai dhikr is
usually very loud, and during the dhikr, they fall in a special status of the mind when they
are able to stab the body and pierce faces with large needles, without any blood. For them
this is a sign of the high spiritual rank of their shaykh and a proof that they are on the
Right Path. Shaykh Jamal Shehu himself make stabs his body, especially on the Marc
22
nd
, every year, when traditionally all Albanians celebrate the birthday of hadrat Imam
Ali (s.a.). During the first ten days of the month Muharrem, Albanian Rufais assembles in
their tekkes and maintain a mourning sessions. On the day of Ashura weeping and crying,
they change for dhikr. Shaykh Kemal Reka has place a ban to his murids to stab
themselves without permission of their shaykh.

Rufai shaykhs in the tekkes in Albania
Shaykh Kemal Reka is the head of the Rufai tekke in Tirana, shaykh Salih Bešmili is a
leading person of the Rufai tekke in town Skadar, at the north of Albania, shaykh Idris Ali
is a head of the tekke in Kruja, some 35 kilometers far from Tirana, and shykh Edhem
Rada’s grandson leading tekke near town of Drač.

New Rufai tekke in Tirana
13
During the holy month of Ramadan 1997, with the presence of a multitude of a religious
dignitaries, like the Albanian Great Mufti shaykh Sabri Kuchi, and other Alawi shaykhs,
like Dede Rešid Barezi, Bektashi shaykh, Khalwati shaykh Muamer Bazari, and other
Sufi shayks from all around the country, in Tirana is opened a new Rufai tekke.

Rufai dhikr ceremonies in Albania
Dhikr ceremonies of the Rufai order are composed from a certain mixture of the Arabic,
Persian and Albanian texts, which are pronounced with the tone and accentuation witch
resemble on a form of the Turkish language. As in the rest of the Sufi orders, the text of
the dhikr that is evrad is the shaykh choice, and it is transmitted orally to the murid, so it
is very difficult to find any written text of the dhikr and evrad. However, there are three
valuable sources that we can use in this sense, Azkar, Ishraq-i Rufaije and the book
entitled Hizb-i Sagir, from which we will note just some examples.

In Hizb-i Sagir we will find, Es-selatu ve es-selamu aleyk ya seyyidina Resulallah; Es-
selatu ve es-selamu aleyk ya Seyyidina ya habibullah; Es-selatu ve es-selamu aleyk ya
seyyidina ya Ali veliyullah; Es-selatu ve es-selamu aleyk ya seyyidina Hussein šehidu
Kerbela; Es-selatu ve es-selamu aleyk ya seyyidina Ehli beyti Resulullah; Es-selatu ve es-
selamu aleyk yas seyyidil-avvalin ve vali ve seyyidil- akherin ve teril-melaiketi haffin min
hulil-arsh yesbihun bi hamdi rabbihim bil-haq va qilil-hamdillah rabil-alemin.

At the end Ishraq-i Rufaije, we can read El-Fatihetir-ruhin-nuri sheyhu sheyhi ve
musrshidu murshidi sheyhu dunya Rufai qudusallahu es-siril-ali ve ruhi umi ve qabul dua
ve redul-qada ve nejatul-amr va islahi qulub.

Qaderi tariqat in Albania
Qadiriyya is the Sufi order related to the hadrat Pir Abdulkadir Gilani. He is, by origin,
descendant of the very famous family in Gilan, exactly village of Neyf. The initiation
chain of the qadiri tariqat is like following, Maruf Kerhi, Ebul-Hasan Sari Saqati, Ebul-
Kasim Džunejd, Ebu Bekr Šibli, Abdul-Vahid Temimi, Ebul Feredž Tertusi, Ebul-Hasan
Ali ibn Muhamed Hekari, Ebu Said Mubarek ibn Ali Mahzumi, Hamid ibn Muselim
Dibas and shaykh Abdulkadir Gilani.

During the life of hadrat Abdulkadir Gilani, there were a group of his disciples who like
to promote his life attitude actually life-style and doctrine. Hadrat Pir Abdulkadir was,
after his death, replaced on the post as a head of a newborn Sufi community – qadiri, his
son Abdul-Vehab, after him that place take his son Abdus-Selam, and after him his
brother Abdur-Rezak.

Very first qadiri tekke has been founded in Iraq. There is one tradition, which says that,
this, qadiri tariqat has been spreaded throughout Persia with the great effort of hadrat
Abdulkadir’s two sons – Ibrahim (d. in Vasat, 529. Hijri), and Abdul-Aziz (d. in Jajal).
This two zealous workers use to visit Spain, and left for a Morocco, a short time before
the fall of Granada. In Asia Minor, the qadiri tariqat was spread through Ismail Rumi, the
founder of the Tophana khanikah, also known as qadiri-khan. In the history of this order
14
Ismail Rumi (d. 1041. Hijri) is well known as a Second Pir (Pir-i Thani), and his own
heritage to the Order are about 40 tekkes builded around Asia Minor.

Today, the members of the qadiri tariqat are present in almost all parts of the world, even
in Iran where its members are mainly Iranian Kurds.

By the enlargement of the Ottoman Empire over the territories of Iraq and the
surrounding countries and lands, qadiri tariqat gain adherents and followers within the
Ottoman troops, so in that way, with the further Ottoman conquests, has come in Balkans,
especially in Albania. During the 14
th
and especially 15
th
centuries in the Anatolia,
tasawwuf was in full of its movement, of course with the great support and contribution
of the Ottoman administration and dignitaries. In the way of conquest of Iraq, Basra and
Egypt, Ottoman state met Sufi orders, actually tariqats they never seen before.

Qadiri tariqat is considered as one of the very first Sufi orders of its kind. The Ottoman
sultans and dignitaries pay a lot and very special respect toward the Sufi shaykhs. They
have never start the new war or any kind of a military campaign against enemy without
an exhaustive and detailed consultation with shaykhs, especially Bektashi, Rufai and
Qadiri. The shaykhs, very often their personal shayks, followed the sultans during the
military campaign. For example, sultan Murat II use to invite all Sufi leading persons to
join him in all sort of occasions, so, in that way, qadiri shayks have for a very first time
come to Albania.

Approximately four hundred years ago, one Sufi named Shaykh Khorosani, founding and
actually building the very first qadiri tekke in Albania. Near the qadiri tekke in Tirana,
there is the turbah which belongs to the grandfather of the current head of the qadiri
community dr. Bujar Horasani, and right now its is under reconstruction. There are no
official records about the actual number of the members of this Sufi order in Albania, but
their head claims that before communist revolution in Albania, there were ten qadiri
tekkes, that are at that time closed and destroyed.

Sa’adi tariqat
∗ ∗∗ ∗
in Albania
As a founder of this Sufi order – tariqat is considered hadrat Pir Saduddin Jibawi. During
the Ottoman rule, they located themselves at the north part of the country, and some other
regions in the Balkans, so you can find sa’adi tekke that belongs to the shaykh Dilideri,
shaykh Jemini and shaykh Bani, in Đakovica and Prizren in Kosovo, and Ohrid in
Macedonia. The leading motto of this Sufi order is faith in One God, love toward Ahl ul-
Bayt, and promotion of the sprit of fellowship among Albanians. Organizationally, this
Sufi order is under the patronage to The Muslim Committee of Albania. The order
possess its own shaykhs and dervishes, and they have and maintain their activities in the
following regions in Albania,

Region Tropoya
In this region, there are six tekkes, in the town of Tropoya, and villages Gagay, Bunesh,
Marki and Bitesh. There is one shaykh, 2 dervishes and 72 muhibs.


Sa'adi tariqat is a kol (branch) of the Rifai tariqat.
15

Region Hesa
In this region, there are two tekkes, one in village Kish, and the other in the village
Helshan, wit 23 muhibs of this tariqat.

Region Skadra
In this region, there is only one tekke, with one dervish and eight muhibs.

Region Tirane
Here is only one tekke, in the village Bazar, with seven muhibs.

Region Teplane
In this region are active two tekkes, one in the town, and the other in the village Buz, with
2 dervishes and 17 muhibs.

Region Valore
There is one tekke with the turbah, which belongs to Baba Hadži Zejnili in the village
Medžaz Sefastir, with only one dervish, Ragib Derviši. This sole dervish is in contact
with shaykh Almaz Šehu, the head of the tekke with the turbah of Baba Denjaveli in
Teplani.

Region Firija
In this region, there is no tekke, but there are 16 muhibs, of which six use to live in the
town, four near the local power station, and the rest in the village Bestan.
Sa’adi tariqat possess in total 14 tekkes, 1 shaykh, 9 dervishes, and 157 muhibs. This
tariqat possess its own organization, structure and hierarchy in Albania, and abroad, and
getting stronger every single day. Since the independence of Albania, to the official
banning of all religious activities (1967), the head of the sa’adi tariqat was shaykh
Muharem from Mitrovica (Kosovo), who founded and leaded this Sufi tariq in Albania.

Among many outstanding persons in this tariqat, we are going to mention shaykh Redžep
Bili from village Bučaj near Tropoya. He was under the pressure during the communist
regime, persecuted and arrested many times, and finally died in 1976. His followers and
other people claims that he was karamah sahib, and that he was able to leave the jail any
time he wants. Like the other sa’adi shayks, he uses to write duas and other things with
the purpose of healing the sick persons.

Very important person in this context is a dervish Mehmed Bajrami, turbedar of the Baba
Gadiri’s turbah in the village Koldid near Tropoya. This turbah has a special place in the
spiritual life and emotions of the local people, no matter Muslims and non-Muslims
equally. Dervish Mehmed Bajrami died in 1993. Dervish Sokoli was arrested by the
communist authorities in 1976, his clothes was soaked into gasoline, and he was burned.

With the fall of the communist regime in Albania, in 1991, with the shaykh Ismail Aga as
a leading person, this tariqat starts to be active again. He use to re-establishes
communication and contacts with the Muslim Committee of Albania, and sa’adi tekkes
16
outside the country, in Đakovica and Prizren (Kosovo), and after that he was appointed as
a head of the sa’adi community in Albania. He was appointed by shaykh Niki Shehu, a
head of the tekke Bani in Đakovica, and it was confirmed and certified by the shaykh of
the tekke in Prizren.

Periodical magazine ‘Insan’
The very first issue of this magazine is published in 1997, by the sa’adi tekke in Tirana.
Very soon, they have organized a formal presentation of this magazine in the Writer’s
Society of Albania, and almost all-important persons of the religious and cultural life,
like shaykh Faik Hoja, mufti of Skadr and head of tijani tariqat, have made their speech.
This magazine is mainly dedicated to the topics closely related to the sa’adi tariqat.
References:


1- Ali Akbar Ziaee, The Land of Eagles, Tehran, 2003.
2- Albania a Patrimony of European Values, Tirane, 2000.
3- Ramiz Zekaj, The Development of Islamic Cultural Among
Albanaians during the 20
th
Century, Tirane, AIITC, 2002.
4- Naim Frasheri, Enderrime, Tirane, Foundation Saadi Shirazi,
1996.
5- Revista Perla, Tirane, Saadi Shirazi Foundation.









17
Second chapter: Study of the National Albanian Poet ‘Naim Frasheri’

ABSTRACT-Naim Frasheri (1846-1900) is the most famous poet of the Albanian
renaissance of the nineteenth century. He is also famous for being a Bektashi. He is
nowadays widely considered to be the national poet of Albania. The significance of Naim
Frasheri as a national poet rest upon mystical and religious messages it transmitted to the
Muslims in general and to the Bektashi believers in especial. His role as a socio-political
thinker in the liberation of Albania from the Ottoman conquest is of special significance.
He influenced Albanian writers at the beginning of the twentieth century enormously.
Many of his poems were set to music during his lifetime and were sung as folk songs in
national celebrations or Bektashi songs in the religious ceremonies such as Sultan Novruz
on March 21. My presentation will focus on the role of Naim Frasheri in the formation of
Islamic Mystical literature in Albania.
Keywords: Sufism, tariqat, tekke, Bektashism, Balkans, Albania, Ottoman Empire.

I. INTRODUCTION
slam, as a religion and culture, reached Balkans Peninsula during the Ottoman
conquests. Since then, the culture spread its roots, and continued to grow until present
day. The Sufi brotherhoods and lodges, which included men and women, played a central
role in Ottoman social life and were another important place of socialization outside the
home.
1
At the same time, among local population, members of the various Sufi orders,
such as the Rifa’i,
2
Qadiri,
3
Halveti,
4
Sadi,
5
Bektashi,
6
Naqshbandi,
7
Sinani,
8
Mevlevi,
9


1
Donald Quataert, The Ottoman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2005, p 162.
2
Founded by Shykh Ahmad ar-Rifa'i (d. 1182) in Basra, the Rifa'i Order has spread to Egypt, Syria,
Anatolia in Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, and more recently to North America.
3
The Qadiri Order was founded by Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani (d. 1166) from Gilan in Persia, who
eventually settled in Baghdad in Iraq. After his death, his Sufi Order was propagated by his sons. The
Qadiri Order has spread to many places, including Syria, Turkey, some parts of Africa such as
Cameroun, the Congo, Mauritania and Tanzania, and in the Caucasus, Chechen and Ferghana in the
[former] Soviet Union, as well as elsewhere.
4
The Khalwati Sufi order (or Halveti, as it is known in Turkey) is an Islamic Sufi brotherhood (tariqa). It
was founded by Pir Umar Khalwati in the city of Herat in medieval Khorasan (now located in western
Afghanistan).
5
They broke from mainstream Rifa'i in the 14th century. They are noted for a special form of dhikr
movement, in which ecstasy is achieved by whirling around on the right heel.
6
The Bektashi Order was founded by Hajji Bektash of Khurasan (d. 1338).
7
The Naqshbandi Order takes its name from Shaykh Baha ud-Din Naqshband of Bukhara (d. 1390). It is
widely spread in central Asia, the Volga, the Caucasus, the north-west and south-west of China,
Indonesia, the Indian sub-Continent, Turkey, Europe and North America. This is the only known Sufi
Order which traces the genealogy of its lineage of transmission of knowledge back through the first
Muslim ruler, Abu Bakr, unlike the rest of the known Sufi Orders which trace their origins back to one of
the Shi'ite spiritual leaders, and therefore through Imam Ali, and so to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be
upon him).
8
Sinani order of dervishes was originally a branch of the Halveti sect and was founded by Ibrahim Ummi
Sinani (d. ca. 1551-1552/958 A.H.). It spread from Istanbul, where there were three Sinani tekkes, to the
Balkans (Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania). See: Robert Elsie, A Dictionary of Albanian Religion,
Mythology, and Folk Culture (London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2001), p. 246.
I
18
and Shadhili
10
began to propagate their teachings. This found manifestation in the
emergence of innumerable tekkes and zawiyas. These Sufi Orders formed around loyalty
to the teachings of a male or female individual, the founding sheikh, usually revered as a
saint. These holy persons, by their example and teachings, had formed a distinctive path
to religious truth and to the mystical experience. The teachings of each Order varied but
shared in a common effort to have an intimate encounter with God and find personal
peace. Members gathered in a lodge (tekke), for communal prayer (zikr) and to perform a
set of specific devotional practice.
11

With the banning of religion by the Communist regime in Albania, all the religious,
including those of the Sufi orders, slowed down; the spiritual culture began to fade away,
and in the process many of the tekkes were literally destroyed.
12

As for number of Bektashis and followers or members or even sympathizers of the
other Sufi Orders in Albania, there are many assumptions, but it is very difficult to
estimate or to establish even close, not to say, precise data. However, bearing in mind
their influence in this region, it is possible to say, rather correct and true, that at least half
of whole Muslim population in this part of Europe and Balkans is, in some way,
connected or affiliated with the certain Sufi order.

II. BEKTASHI ORDER OF DERVISHES
efore we pay our full attention to the most significant poet in Albania, Naim
Frasheri, let’s, for a moment, take in consideration something about history of this Sufi
order in general, more exactly from its foundations to the more or less significant
spreading in Balkans, especially in Albania.
The origins of Anatolian Sufism are to be traced back to a Khurasanian milieu, where,
it is postulated, the nascent Yesevi movement was the point of contact with Sufism for
the majority of Turkish-speaking Muslim people. The babis of Asia Minor are thus
rendered direct spiritual descendants of the great Turkish Sufi master Ahmed Yesevi. In
the Manaqib al-‘arifin by Aflaki, Hājī Bektāsh Veli (646-738. H), from Nishabur,
appears as one of the disciple of Bābā Resūl. He had an enlightened heart, says Aflākī,
but did not abide by the Shari’a.
13

In thirteenth century, Hājī Bektash along Islamicized Turkmen people came westward
from Khorasan and Central Asia to Anatolia. In central Anatolia, Hājī Bektash drew
followers around him, and a mystic order, the Bektashis, was founded in his name.
14
The

9
The Mevlavi or Mawlawi Order centers around Mawlana Jalal ud-Din Rumi of Qonya in Turkey (d.
1273). Today it is mostly found in Anatolia in Turkey and more recently in North America. The
followers of this order are also known as whirling dervishes.
10
The Shadhili Order crystallized around Shaykh Abu'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili or Morocco (d. 1258) and
eventually became one of the greatest Sufi Orders, having an extraordinarily large following. Today it is
found in North Africa, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania, the Middle East, Sri Lanka and elsewhere, including
the West and North America.
11
Quataert, p.163.
12
Ali Akbar Ziaee, “Sufism in Albania” an article presented in: Third International Congress on Islamic
Civilization in the Balkans, Bucharest, Romania, 1-5 November 2006.
13
Shams al-Din Ahmad Aflaki, Manaqib al-‘arifin, ed. T. Yazici (Ankara: Turk Tarih Kurumu Yayinlari,
1976-1980), 1: 381-383.
14
Frances Trix, Spiritual Discourse, Learning with an Islamic Master (University of Pennsylvania Press,
1993), p. 6.
B
19
Bektashism were one of the two main Sufi Orders of the Ottoman Empire, the other being
the better known Mevlevi Order, also known as the “whirling dervishes.”
More extensive information is provided by ‘Ashiqpāshāzade. This author relates that
Hājī Bektāsh came to Sivas from Khurāsān with a brother named Menesh. The two
brothers then went to Kayseri, where they parted. Menesh returned to Sivas and was soon
killed under unknown circumstances. Hājī Bektāsh ended up in the small village of
Karahoyuk, where he settled down. A significant document relating to Hājī Bektāsh’s
thought is an Arabic work attributed to him and entitled Maqālāt. In this book, Hājī
Bektāsh described the four stages of the mystic way (shari’a, tariqa, ma’rifa, and
haqiqa), and it proves that Hājī Bektāsh was a learned Sufi.
There is the legendary biography of Hājī Bektāsh, generally known as the
Vilāyatnāme. We posses no indication of the identity of the original author of the prose
Vilāyatnāme. This important book could not have been written any earlier than the
beginning of the ninth/fifteenth century, since the stories told in the Vilayatname
definitely presupposed the formation of a well-developed Bektashi tradition, which must
have certainly taken a considerably long time in the making after the death of Hājī
Bektāsh, in the late seventh/thirteenth century. It is plausible to conclude, therefore, that
the legendry biography of Hājī Bektāsh was written after the full-scale development of
Bektāshī legend and lore during the eighth/fourteenth and the first half of the
ninth/fifteenth centuries, but before the definitive establishment of the order by Pīr Bālim
Sultan, who is considered to be the second pīr of Bektāshī Order, in the first two decades
of the tenth/sixteenth century.
15

There are very limited information and details about the life of Hājī Bektāsh, so it is,
and probably it will stay, unknown how and when he decided to move from Persia to the
Asia Minor.
There are many contemporary as well as modern researchers, who consider Hājī
Bektāsh as one of the mureeds of well-known Bābā Ishāk, founder of bābāiyya Sufi
Order in Asia Minor, who raised a rebellion (638. H) opposing to Ghiyāth al-Din
Kaykhusraw II (reg. 634-643/1237-45). Bābā Ishāk revolted against the Seljuks in Syria
and travelled to Amasya to join his shaykh Bābā Ilyās Hurāsānī (d. 638/1240) the wishes
of the latter, who had asked Bābā Ishāk to stay clear of Amasya. When Ilyās refused to
see him, Ishāk moved with his mostly nomadic supporters, who had by then increased
significantly in number, to the vicinity of Kirshehir where he engaged in a pitched battle
with Seljuk army.
16

After many troubles, Ishāk army and his rebellion finally destructed, and its leader
executed.
However, there are rather explicit evidences that Hājī Bektāsh was a real, historical
figure and personality, even if his followers in subsequent generations, mystified some
facts about his life, attributed to him numerous supernatural deeds, making up a lot of
legends, covering and hiding his actual biography. However, this practice is quite a bit
almost regular procedure especially in the case of founders of the Sufi Orders.
As in Sufism in general, emphasis in Bektashism is on inner meaning rather than the
following of outer convention.

15
See: A.T. Karamustafa, “Early Sufism in Eastern Anatolia,” in: Calssical Persian Sufism: from its
origins to Rumi, (London: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publication, 1993), pp.173-188.
16
Ibid, pp. 179-180.
20
Let us all be friends for ever, let us take and make life easy
Let us be lovers and beloved ones, nobody owns the earth.
17
(Yunus Emre)

III. BEKTASHI ORDER IN ALBANIA
he largest Muslim ethnic group present in the Balkans is the Albanians. They are
concentrated in the central and southern areas of the Peninsula. Islam and Christianity
flourish along each other without any significant religious or any other intolerance. It is
important to mention that the spreading of Islam in Albania, so called islamization, was
exclusive on the voluntary basis, without any sigh of compulsion, and its acceptance
among the masses was also on the voluntary basis. The Bektashi Sufi Order has long
been recognized for its tolerant and broadminded interpretation of Islam. Naim Frasheri
looked to the religious tolerance of Bektashism as a model for the cooperation of
Albanians who in a census conducted early in this century were 70 percent Muslim, 20
percent Eastern Orthodox, and 10 percent Roman Catholic.
18

In the fifteenth century, bābās or Bektashis leaders came westward with Ottoman
armies from Anatolia to the Balkans, where they got as far as Albania.
19
Sari Saltik,
20
a
halīfe of Haji Bektash, was sent to Rumeli (the European part of Ottoman lands), where
he founded several tekkes. Before Sari Saltik’s death in Kruja, Albania, people came to
him requesting that he be buried by their tekke or on their lands. Sari Saltik ordered seven
wooden coffins be brought to him. After he died they put him in one of these coffins, and
his believers sent the coffins to seven places in Rumeli, including one in Greece.
21

Some historians believe that Sari Saltik came into the region before the occupation
of Albania by Ottoman Armies.
Most of the details of his life are clouded by legend, this 14th century Sufi journeyed
throughout the peninsula in advance of Ottoman armed forces. Bektashism that had a
very significant influence on the process of development and spreading of the Islam in
Albania, mostly arrived with the army of sultans Murat II and Bayazid I, just with the aim
of spreading and propagating Islamic teachings among Turkish soldiers and local
population. In 10th century Hijri, number of Muslims was insignificant, but in following
century, formerly Christian majority become minority.
Alevi tariqats, especially Bektashis, had a greatest success right there, in Albania,
among all newly conquered lands and countries. During the formative period of the
Ottoman Empire in Anatolia, the most significant influence in the Court was that of
Shaikhis, in subsequent times known as a Bektashis (with the changing of the name not
the essence), so Ottoman authorities prescribed great significance to this tariqat, and its
members was required as a part of their armies.

17
Yunus Emre (1240-1321), Turkey's "national poet", a contemporary of Hājī Bektash. See: Fırat Asya,
Yunus Emre: the great Turkish mystic: selected articles (Ankara: Kültür Bakanlığı, 1991); Yunus Emre,
Kabir Helminski, The drop that became the sea: lyric poems of Yunus Emre (London: Threshold Books,
1989); Valeer Neckebrouck, Yunus Emre: spiritual experience and culture : international seminar,
Rome, November 6-9, 1991, Gregorian University and University of Ankara (Editrice Pontificia
Università Gregoriana, 1994).
18
Trix, p. 166.
19
ibid, p. 7.
20
Manakib-i Haci Bektas-I Veli, Vilayet Name, Hazirlayan: Abdulbaki Golpinarli (Istanbul: Nurgok
Matbaasi, 1958), pp. 45-47.
21
ibid, p.7.
T
21
Before Bektashis fell into disfavor of almost all administration, they had used to
perform very important function in taking care of religious and political directing of
Janissary troops.
22
In Ottoman history, the Bektashis were known for their connection
with the Janissaries, the elite troops of the Empire. Bektashis traveled with the troops in a
sort of chaplain-missionary role. Bektashis were also known for their humor and their
gentle.
23

At the same time, it is significant to bear in mind that about one hundred of high
ranking Janissary officials was of Albanian origin, what is also one of the important facts
and reasons of highly distinctive reputation of Bektashis within the circle of religious and
political leaders and of course common people.
Ottoman authorities sometimes took severe measures against leaders, but that was
through their involvement in the numerous Janissary revolts, not on account of their
beliefs and practices. But immediately the Janissary corps was abolished in 1826 the
Bektashis fell with them. The orthodox ‘ulamā then castigated them as heretics. Some
were killed, their tekkes destroyed, and their properties handed over to Naqshbandis.
However, because they were not a military order but had deep roots in the life of the
people, they survived underground, some groups within other orders, and when
circumstances became more propitious they began once more to expand.
24

In the Ottoman Empire until 1923 and briefly in the Republic of Turkey, Sufi
Orders were of major importance to social, political and economic life. Many ‘ulama
actively cultivated their devotion in one (or more) of the numerous idioms of Sufism
available in the Empire. With the coming to power of Kemal Pasha Ataturk (1922.),
Bektashi leader Salih Niyazi Dede,
25
Albanian by origin, fled Turkey and went to
Albania. And the republican administration proscribed the orders and closed their lodges
in Turkey.
26

With the respect for Bektashi influence in the Ottoman Army, their popularity in
Albania and Albanian origin of Niyazi Dede, it should not be surprising that since then,
Albania became the main Bektashi center for whole Islamic world. At the same time, his
arrival in Albania contributed to the popularity of this Sufi order in Albania, and of
course increasing the number of the members and followers in Albania and the region.
John Kingsley Birge (1937) described this situation in Albania: “Suppressed in Turkey
the order is still strong in Albania. Recognized by the government as one of the accepted
religions of the country, numbering some 150,000 or 200,000 souls, the Bektashi Order is
continued its conformity to a printed set of regulations approved by the government. The
whole country is divided into six dioceses, Prishte, Kruja, Elbasan, Korcha, Frasheri and

22
Janissaries: derived from Ottoman Turkish (Yeniçeri), meaning "new soldier") comprised infantry units
that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards.
23
The best source on Bektashism is still John Kingsley Birge’s The Bektashi Order of Dervishes (1937),
the research for which was done in Turkey and Albania in the late 1920s. see: Trix, p.159.
24
J. Spencer Trimingham, The Sufi Orders in Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 81.
25
Salih Niyazi Dede, the head of the Bektashi Order in Albania, said that the general belief of Bektashis is
that on death a person’s soul passes into an animal of the type which the person’s life resembles . John
Kingsley Birge, The Bektashi Order of Dervishes (Conn., U.S.A.: Hartford Seminary Press, 1982), p.
130.
26
Brian Silverstein, “Sufism and modernity in Turkey: from the authenticity of experience to the practice
of discipline” in: Sufism and Modern in Islam, edited by: Martin Day Howell, London: L.B. Tauris,
2007, p. 39.
22
Gjirokaster. Government is through Local Councils and a mixed Council of twelve
members elected by secret ballot, two from each diocese, one being a Father or
Grandfather, the other an Initiated or Confirmed Member. Another assembly called the
Holy Council of Grandfather is made up of the diocesan heads with the Arch-grandfather,
whose seat is at Tirana, the capital city of the country, acting as chairman. Many of the
leaders in Albania to-day are Albanian Bektashis who had their training in Turkey under
the old regime, and who have now returned to their fatherland in position of influence.”
27

Bektashism has two branches: one celibate, the other noncelibate. Among Albanians
the celibate branch has always had the greater respect.
28

Number of the members and followers of the Bektashi Order in Albania, significantly
increased during the reign of Mehmed Ali Pasha in Egypt, first thanks to the fact that this
Turkish dignitary himself was a Bektashi, and Albanian as well. Great influence on
increasing in number of Bektashism in Albania, at the beginning of 20
th
century, has had
a prohibition of all activities of this Order in Turkey. During the regime of king Zogu in
Albania, number of Bektashis has increased for some 200,000 followers of this Sufi
order.
29
The main Bektashi centers in Albania were located in Tirana, Kruja, Berat and
mountainous region of Tomor.
30
Bektashis are concentrated mainly in central and
southern regions of the country and claim that 45 percent of the country's Muslims
belong to their school. It is important to note that the first Sufi lodge to be established in
North America was the First American Albanian Bektashi Monastery.
31
This center was
founded in the early 1950's by Bābā Rexhep (d.1995), native of the southern Albanian
town of Gjrokaster. This remarkable figure managed to preserve the Bektashi identity of
many Albanian Muslims despite the pressures from the anti-religious programs of his
native land.
The Bektashis are brothers and one soul, not only among one to another, but also to
all mankind. They love other Moslems and Christians as their own soul and behave
kindly and gently with all mankind. But most of all they love their motherland and their
fellow countrymen, for this is the best of all things.”
32
They are also known for their
dedication to women's rights and popular education.

IV. BEKTASHI POETRY AND LITERATURE IN ALBANIA
ektashi order of dervishes has produced very rich and colorful literature in Turkish,
Persian, Arabic and especially Albanian languages. Before of banning the Order and
closing all tekkes in Albania, members and different ranks of followers of this Order were
used to gather on recitals that were organized just in tekkes.
Bābā Sersem Ali, also known as a Hakim Akbar means great philosopher, was the
first Bektashi who had reached the high rank of Vizier during the reign of Ottoman
Sultan Sulayman Qanuni, (in the West known as a Magnificent, d. 1566), but since he

27
Birge, pp. 85-86.
28
Trix, p. 159.
29
Birge, p. 85.
30
A mountain range which includes the highest peak in central Albania at an altitude of 2416 m. Mount
Tomor is considered the home of the gods in central Albanian popular belief.
31
Obviously “monastery” is a Christian term, but the Bektashis in America use it for want of a better word
when describing their Muslim center, their tekke, in English.
32
Robert Elsie, “Islam and the dervish sects of Albania. An introduction to their history, development and
current situation” in: The Islamic quarterly, London, 42.4 (1998), p. 266-289.
B
23
was completely dedicated to the service in Bektashi tekke, and refused the honor and
appointment till his death (1569), he performed a role as a leader of the whole Bektashi
movement in the world.
Bābā Kemaluddin Shamimi, Albanian poet from the second half of 13
th
century Hijri,
had a very important role and made a great success in propagation of the Bektashi idea
and spreading of the Order in Albania. He was educated in Köprülü, together with Bābā
Haydar Hatamy, but at the beginning of the 19
th
century, he was murdered in town of
Kruja.
33
He was buried next to the grave of Bābā Asim.
Bābā Tahir Najibi lived at the beginning of 19
th
century, and was one of the most
important Bektashi poets. He was born in the small village of Frasher, and in the same
village, he had built up a tekke. He died in 1835, and was buried in his tekke. He used to
write in Turkish, Persian and Albanian language.
Bābā Muharram Mahzun, was one of the Bektashi dignitaries form 19
th
century from
Gjirokastre
34
region at the south of Albania. For 22 years, from 1845 to 1867, he was the
Shaikh of a biggest and oldest Bektaski tekkes in his region. His poetry was written in
Turkish and Albanian languages, and in one of his poems, using the system of abjad-i
huroof,
35
he has left a note with the exact year of his own death. As it is, it is a word
ghafur ) ر,-= ( , which corresponds to the year 1286/1867. All his works are now in the
tekke in Gjirokastra.
Hājī Ali Hājī Bābā was the eight Shaikh of the Bābā Asim’s tekke, and at his time he
enjoyed a great respect and esteem among Albanians. His biography too, is very
interesting. He has given permission (ijazah) to the 40 of his dervishes, and of them 12
has attained rank of bābā. He is one of the most important Bektashi authors, and during
his life, he did a lot of traveling. Everything he has seen and heard during the travels he
wrote in the book untitled Siyahet-name istilahat-i sufiyyah (ت'=`=-ا ª-'- -=',- ª,·,-),
about one thousand pages in total. Besides that, he has left a diwan of poetry in Persian
and Arabic languages. All his works are now in the tekke in Gjirokastra.
Bābā Selim Ruhi was born in 1869 in city of Elbasan.
36
After primary and secondary
religious education in Elbasan, he had spent some time in Gjirokastra, where in 1885 had
his ijazah by Bābā Ali Hājī Bābā. He was an expert for Turkish, Persian and Arabic
languages. In year 1891 at Bābā Ali’s tekke, he was promoted to a dervish. Traveling
along with Bābā Ali from Istanbul to Albania, he brought an immense number of books,
and afterward he studied all of them with a great passion and attention. Besides of his
religious education, he was very well educated in the domains of history, geography and
literature.
After the death of Bābā Ali, Bābā Selim Ruhi inherited his tekke and mureeds, and of
course his position. His contribution to the Bektashi idea and doctrines, as well as a
propagation and popularization of the Order in Albania, was very significant. During his
life, a number of Bektashis in Albania even enlarged. During some activities in his tekke.
He was one of the members of Albanian national movement and gained the great respect

33
Krujë (Albanian: Krujë or Kruja) is the capital city of the District of Krujë in Albania.
34
Gjirokastër or Gjirokastra is a city in southern Albania.
35
The Abjad numerals are a decimal numeral system in which the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet are
assigned numerical values. They have been used in the Arabic-speaking world since before the 8th
century Arabic numerals. In modern Arabic, the word Aabjad means "alphabet" in general.
36
Elbasan (Albanian: Elbasan or Elbasani) is a city in central Albania.
24
and reputation. Bābā Selim Ruhi has left tree diwans of outstanding poetry, respectively
one in Turkish, one in Persian, and one in Arabic languages.
Naim Frasheri (1846-1900) is nowadays widely considered to be the national poet
of Albania. He set the foundations of the Albanian national literature, and is well-known
as a bilbili i gjuhės shqipe (nightingale of Albanian language). He spent his childhood in
the village of Frasher where he no doubt began learning Turkish, Persian and Arabic and
where, at the Bektashi monastery, he was imbued with the spiritual traditions of the
Orient. In Janina (Ioannina in Greece),
37
Naim Frasheri attended a secondary school in
that city and affiliated with Ancient and Modern Greek, French, Italian and oriental
languages such as Turkish, Persian, and Arabic. As he was growing in knowledge, his
affinity for Bektashi order and the classic Persian poets increased. His education in Janina
made of him a prime example of a late nineteenth-century Ottoman intellectual, and an
important personality in Albanian Enlightenment movement. He participated in the fight
for freedom of the Albanian people, and often had to sign his work by his initials,
because his works were prohibited by Turkish officials. He had a desire to serve his
country and its people, and therefore took a pledge to free the country from the shackles
of foreign rule. He reflected all his desires and hopes on his poems. He loved his
motherland deeply, and indicated this holy love in his poems:
Oh mountains of Albania, Oh mountains of Albania and you, oh trees so lofty,
Broad plains with all your flowers, day and night I contemplate you,
You highlands so exquisite, and you streams and rivers sparkling,
Oh peaks and promontories, and you slopes, cliffs, verdant forests,
Of the herds and flocks I'll sing out which you hold and which you nourish.
Oh you blessed, sacred places, you inspire and delight me!
You, Albania, give me honor, and you name me as Albanian,
And my heart you have replenished both with ardor and desire.
Albania! Oh my mother! Though in exile I am longing,
My heart has ne'er forgotten all the love you've given to me.
38


Naim discovered the Divine word “He loves them and they love him” (Sura 5: 59),
and understood from it the truth that God’a love precedes human love. This feeling of
mutual love, and the knowledge that love is indeed the only thing that matters in the
whole life of creation, foms the cornerstone of Naim’s thought, and is echoed time and
again in his verses in every possible tune.
These works had to be smuggled into Albania. He composed and published first in
Persian which he learned at a Bektashi tekke, then in Albanian. Naim used simple
language in his poetry, so that uneducated people could grasp its meaning. His works
were well understood by all Albanians.
In the collection Luletë e verësë (The flowers of spring, Bucharest 1890), he
concentrated on the beauties of the Albanian countryside in twenty-three poems. In this
collection we can find the pantheistic philosophy, the doctrine that God is the supreme
reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations. This
work indicates the nature of his Bektashi upbringing and the strong influence of the

37
City and capital, nomos (department) of Ioannina, in the Epirus (Ipiros) region of northwestern Greece.
38
“O Malet' e Shqipërisë” from: Bagëti e bujqësija, Bucharest 1886, translated from the Albanian by
Robert Elsie.
25
Persian classics which are coupled harmoniously to serve the Islamic mysticism in
general and the goal of national identity in especial. Qerbelaja,
39
(Karbala, Bucharest
1898) is a religious epic in twenty-five cantos, which deals with the Battle of Karbala. He
also made Karbala an important event in the mind of all Albanians.
40

Qerbelaja
We believe in the true God, who is the universe itself,
Without him there is no place, He is the beginning and the end.
Wherever we look, we see his face,
He is everything in this life, He is the true God!
The blossoming flowers, Betray his beauty,
He is the rose; He is himself the nightingale,
And when the true God, Wanted to reveal himself to the world, He then created man.
41


Fletore e Bektashinjet (Bektashi notebook, Bucharest 1896) is one the most
important sources about Bektashi pantheistic and religious songs. Frasheri thought that
Bektashism as a liberal Sufi order could promote unity among his religiously divided
people. The Notebook contains an introductory profession of Bektashi faith and ten
spiritual poems which provide a rare view into the beliefs of the sect which in the
nineteenth century played an important role in the survival of Albanian culture, in
particular by the illegal distribution of Albanian books. The significance of Naim
Frasheri as a national poet rests upon the sociopolitical, philosophical and religious
messages for his people to serve the libration, the tolerance, and national awareness not
only among the Bektashis, but also among all Albanians in Albanian territories. His
influence upon Albanian writers at the beginning of the twentieth century was
enormous.
42
Many of his poems were set to music during his lifetime and were sung as
folk and Bektashi songs in religious ceremonies such as Sultan Nevruz. In according with
a custom inherited from the Persians, New Year’s Day has among the Albanians been
considered the day on which Spring begins. According to the common Bektashi belief
this is the birthday of Imam Ali. Largely on account of this fact, therefore, this day has
come to be observed with a special ceremony among the Bektashis in Albania.
43

Through all of his writings, Frasheri exerted a strong influenced on the later
Albanian literature and society.

39
One of the earliest references to this work in the West is a comment made by G.Jacob is in article: Die
Bektaschije in ihrem Verhaltnis zu verwandten Erscheinungen, in: Abhandlungen der Philosophisch-
Philologischen Klass, XXIV (1909), Munich, P. 11.
40
H.T. Norris, Islam in the Balkans: religion and the society between Europe and Arab world, Columbia:
University of South Carolina Press, 1993, p. 181.
41
Qerbelaja, Bucharest 1898, translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie, and first published in English
in History of Albanian literature, New York 1995, vol. 1, p. 238.
42
Robert Elsie, Albanian literature: an overview of its history and development, in: Österreichische
Osthefte, Vienna, 45, 1-2 (2003), p. 243-276.
43
Birge, P. 219, they say: “God is most great, God is most great, there is no God but Allah, God is most
great, God is most great, and praise belongs to God. (9 times) In the name of God, the Merciful, the
Compassionate, Peace be upon thee, O apostle of God, peace be upon thee, O beloved of God, peace be
upon thee, O prophet of God, peace be upon thee, O trusted one of God, peace be upon thee, O thou best
of God’s creation; peace be upon thee, O Muhammad the son of Abdullah; peace be upon thee, O saint of
God; peace be upon thee.
26
Naim Frasheri has composed a book of poetry entitled Takhayulat in Persian
language. This book includes a brief survey of the doctrines of the Mysticism, Persian
classic literature, description of the pure beauties and attractiveness of the nature such as
moon, sun, rivers, blossoms, roses and birds such as nightingales.
ن'-زاو' ن' و ن'=¸- -¸-ز ن'-زار و ¸-ر و ل'= و ت'--'´
ار ناد¸, --´ _- _,--- و ¸´ذ ار ن'-,ا ¸-·د ¸,ا نا,=- ش,=
Naim says: there is nothing that does not glorify Him in praise, “but you do not
understand their glorification” (Sura 17:44). If their glorification went back to a single
affair, no one would fail to understand the glorification of anyone else. But God has said
that the glorification of the things is not understood, so this indicates that everyone
glorify his God in keeping with that of Him which he has in himself and others do not
have.
44

ُ »,ِ´َ=ْ'ا ُ ¸,ِ ¸َ·ْ'ا َ ,ُهَ و ِ ضْرَ `ا ¸ِ· 'َ-َ و ِ تاَو'َ-´-'ا ¸ِ· 'َ- ِª´'ِ' َ _´-َ-
All that is there in the heavens and the earth glorifies Allah (alone), for He (alone) is
the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. (Sura 59:1).
ُ _ْ-´-'ا ُ تَ ,ـَ-´-'ا ُªَ' ُ _-َ-ُ- ْ»ُ+َ=,ِ-ْ-َ- َ ن,ُ+َ-ْ-َ- ´ ` ¸ِ´َ'َ و ِ -َ -ْ-َ=ِ- ُ _-َ-ُ, ´ `ِ إ ٍ ءْ_َ- ¸- نِ إَ و ´ ¸ِ+,ِ· ¸َ-َ و ُ ضْر´ `اَ و
The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a
thing but glorifies His praise. But you understand not their glorification. (Sura17:44)
As we know, the Mu‘tazilites entirely rely on reasoning in understanding Islam; they
claim that this source is the only way to know what is right and what is wrong, and
everything has been predetermined by mind from time immemorial; through mind man
came to know his duty of showering praise on the One that gives blessings. This has been
known even before sending Messengers to people. So good and bad automatically go in
line with what the mind perceives as good and bad. Mu‘tazilites see the glorification of
the universe in a logic interpretation. If they find something unbelievable according to
their limited knowledge, they begin to paraphrase it to an acceptable and compatible idea
which supports their philosophical investments. When they sent to this kind of
glorification by the non living things, such as sands, sun, moon, trees, rivers, earth, and
etc they could not hold that these non living creatures have some kind of intelligence to
glorify God really, so they paraphrase it to the system of nature and the regularity in the
creation which indicates the wise of the creator. They assert that the universe and all that
there is in it bears ample testimony to the fact that its Creator, Master and Lord is free
from every blemish, weakness and fault; He is far too exalted to have anyone as an
associate or partner in His godhead.
45
Rumi opposes this idea and says:
ل'= ر,- درا-- و'´ ¸´ ن'و لا¸-=ا .ها .,و'- د,- ¸,ا
This is Mo‘tazilite’s reading (of Glorification)
This is the idea of the people who haven’t the light of ecstasy.
In Naim philosophy much importance is attached to muhabbet: verbal communion
and chanting or reading nefes, the Bektashi spiritual poems.
Muhabbet is a sort of praise or remembrance of God to soften the heart and
cleanse the conscience. In beautiful muhabbet the beautiful recitation of nefes work for
the spiritual enlightenment. In listening, listeners become cleansed in their hearts and

44
William C. Chittick, The Sūfī Path of Knowledge (State University of New York Press, 1989), p. 340.
45
Sayyid Abul A’lā Mawdūdī, Towards understanding the Quran (UK: The Islamic Foundation, 1995),
V:46.
27
consciences.
46
Albanian Bekshis make practice of opening the muhabbet by reciting an
Albanian nefes by Naim Frasheri.
47

Naim’s Sufism may be labeled nature mysticism.
48
In this experience nature becomes
a vehicle of unification, a bridge, so to speak, connecting the soul to the infinite essence
of all things. Instead of explaining away the realms of nature the individual finds himself
in feeling and enjoying all the events in nature to the point of harmonizing and
identifying with them. He sings with the birds, blooms, with the flowers, shines with the
sun, is wrapped in the firmaments. He feels all things in himself and himself in all things,
inseparable.
Naim Frasheri disagreed with the imitation of monasticism
49
and strongly
encouraged his people to involve themselves with socio-political activities. A political
activist and national icon of the 19
th
Century, the independent Albanian state went so far
as to create an Order of Merit that bears his name. Naim doesn’t forget the socio-political
feature of human. Human can be caliph, so he must be kind to all people, and must not
corrupt himself by sins and useless words. The essence of the world is based on the truth,
and if human deviates from it he will be punished. He says that if we connect our
behaviors to the mere purity, they will never be perished, because our behaviors are
united with that eternal Fact. Naim holds that the basis of real belief in God is to serve the
people. If you pretend that you believe in God, but you don’t respect the people, it means
that you aren’t a real believer. He says: “one who respects others believes in God” ª´-'
ا-= دراد _-د¸- دراد. It means if you don’t respect others you don’t believe in God. This
social fact is one the most significant aspect of Naim’s mysticism. His Islamic ideology is
based on democracy, popular will, tolerance and moderation. If we define “democracy”
as the principles of social equality and respect for individuals within a community, we
can declare that Naim is an important supporter for Islamic Democracy. The relationship
between Islam and democracy is strongly debated among the people who identify with
the Islamic resurgence in the late twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first.
Some of these groups believe that “democracy” is a foreign concept that has been
imposed by the West and the secularists upon Muslim societies. They often argue that the
concept of popular sovereignty denies the fundamental Islamic affirmation of the
sovereignty of God and is, therefore, a form of idolatry. People holding these views are
less likely to be the ones participating in elections. Many limit themselves to participating
in intellectual debates in the media, and others hold themselves aloof from the political
dynamics of their societies, hoping that their own isolated community will in some way
be an inspiration to the broader Muslim community. But Naim, as well as many
prominent intellectuals, argues that believing in God and Islam as a whole cannot be
separated from democracy. Every one of us who wants to truly serve God has to serve the
people in a righteous way. Muslim scholars bring historically important concepts from

46
Trix, p.146.
47
Ibid, p.140.
48
For more information about nature mysticism see: Mehdi Nakosteen, Return ties of existence of Hatef of
Isfahan (Colorado: University of Colorado Libraries, 1975), p. xvii.
49
Monasticism is a kind of negative or separation Sufism. The targets of negative Sufism are the
experience of detachment from worldly desires and possessions, uprooting of the passions of sex and
hunger, and preference for contentment and even poverty-in a word, denial of all things external and
transitory. In this sense some elements of monasticism tend toward Buddist, Yogist, Vedantist, and other
forms of Indian mysticism. See: ibid.
28
within the Islamic tradition together with the basic concepts of democracy as understood
in the modern world, but Naim demonstrates this fact by the mysticism. The Prophet
(Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: س'-'' »´·--أ »آ¸,=, “The best of you is the
one who benefits the people most.”
Yet his book, Takhayulat, is one of the most significant literary sanctuaries of Islam’s
literary heritage; a work that moreover safeguards an element of world culture belonging
to the verdant ‘land of eagles,’ Albania. In it, he describes the magnificence of mankind
as microcosm and the world at large as macrocosm.
50
And although his poetry focused on
mankind as Allah’s vicegerent, he did not in the least neglect the role of Allah in his
philosophy. His verse reflects profound impacts on his soul from ’Quran as well as
classical Persian poets such as Rumi.
Naim proved indeed a faithful companion through the years. His poems yielded new
results at every new reading. What, then, can be said about Naim from the view point of a
modern Persian interpreter? The response of Persian readers to his Persian verses is
absolutely positive, although his poetry seems to offer difficulties to those who have not
lived long enough with him. It seems that a purely descriptive approach might yield the
most unbiased results. Since Naim is primarily a mystical poet, it seems logical to
interpret this works from different angles, the first being that of poetical language, the
second one that of mystical thought. Both faces taken together can reveal at least part of
his inexhaustible poetical works.
From the pages of Takhayulat, inanimate elements such as sand, sea, rivers,
mountains and stars all sing praises that glorify the Names of Allah, and they do so in
harmony with a symphony of flora and fauna: blossoms, trees, and nightingales.
This ever-present glorification of Allah is also described by Rumi in his great book of
poems, Masnawi, where he writes: “all parts of creation—whether still or in motion—
say, “We refer to Allah.”
ن,´- رد كّ ¸=- رد ا¸=ا ª'-= ن,·=ار ª,'إ 'ّ-'آ ن'-='-
Rumi makes it clear in his work that everything in nature speaks to us secretly day
and night saying: ‘we are listeners, sages, and smarts, we don’t speak to intimates’.
ن'+- رد »''= ,ا¸=ا , ª'-= ن'-- و نازور --,,' _- ,- '-
»,--'= '- ن'-¸=-'- '-- '- »,-ُه و »,¸,-- و »,·,-- '-
Some philosophers believe that all creatures have a kind of intelligence that in truth
glorifies God with actual not virtual sounds and that if men do not purify their souls they
cannot attend to the wonder. Still others believe this naturally inherent glorification is
nothing more than an existential sign of creation’s own attitude towards the Creator.
Sadi Shirazi expressed similar thoughts in his poetry: ‘Mountain, sea and every tree
glorify and praise, but not every listener comprehends these secrets.’

50
There is a difference of opinion over the interpretation of macrocosm and microcosm. Some maintain
that macrocosm is above the heavens and the microcosm below, while others assert that the macrocosm
is the angelic realm of the heavens, while the microcosm is the angelic realm of the earth. Still others say
that the macrocosm is the spiritual heart and the microcosm is the soul (nafs). The philosophers,
however, thibk that the macrocosm is the world of being (wojūd), which includes the heavens, the earth,
and all that lies between them, and that the microcosm is the human being, because whatever is in the
realm of Command (ālam-e amr) exists in the realm of the creation (‘ālam-e khalq) and all that exists in
the realm of the creation and the Command exists in the essence of the human being. The human being is
called the microcosm, because his body is of the creation, while his spirit is of the Command. Javad
Nurbakhsh, Sufi Symbolism (London: Khaniqahi-Nimatullahi Publications), IV: 114-115.
29
--ا _,--- رد ª-ه ن'-=رد و ',رد و -,آ را¸-ا ¸,ا ---آ »+· ن'·---- ª-ه ª-
Naim believed that all creatures are realities written by God on a Guarded Table, and
that this world is the book of faith. On reading ‘this book,’ you can find Divine Majesty
and Divine Beauty where, on each page is recorded a day of history with all its realities.
He further believed that the human heart is a mirror in which man may witness the signs
of Allah’s Divine Attributes. If then the heart is a micro-cosmos, man’s journey in this
little world is far more important than his travels through the material world, as the
external journey increases knowledge, but the spiritual journey increases faith. He says
that the immanence of God to the world is only perceived by the purified eye. The one
who is not in love with God sees only his own image in the water. Only the opened eye
sees that the universe is the book of the highest truth. Only the heart polished by ascetic
practice can become that spotless mirror which will reflect the Divine. Naim in the
Takhayyulat emphasizes this need for the purification of the soul. Rumi described this
need for the purification in a parable in the Mathnawī:
The Story of the discussion between the Byzantines and the Chinese in the art of
painting and portraiture:
Those who have polished their hearts have escaped from the performs and the colors,
they contemplate Beauty ceaselessly.
51

-د¸آ .-,- =,' ª-,- ن' --ا ª-,آ و .=- و ص¸= و ز' زا ك'¸ 'ه 'ه
--'-'· ار '+--- ¸- تر,- --'د --و ª-,' ي'-- ن'
¸- تر,- -,= ز ¸-,- ¸- -·'- لد ءª-,' ز -,= -= ¸- تر,-

The first quality required of a mirror is its faithfulness. For the image to be reflected
exactly, its surface must be very clear. Naim said that the divine reality (‘asrār) can be
manifest itself in a clear and indubitable manner if the mirror of the heart is cleansed of
all the impurities of the world.
We find matching expressions in Aziz Nasafi’s book, Insan Kamil, who wrote:
“When Allah created this world he named it ‘World’ because it is a sign from Allah and
reveals His attributes, such as Divine knowledge, volition and power. All creations are
‘God-Signs’ and at the same time letters of a great book.”
52

However, Naim ventures further to teach that reality cannot be known by rational
means; God must be approached through love and the purification of one’s soul. As long
as ‘you’ remain ‘yourself’, you cannot know God and the greatest veil between you and
reality is ‘yourself’.
53
Love plays an indelibly important role in Naim books and reflects
Sufism’s belief that God created the world through love and that this Divine love
produced the plurality that fills the universe. And furthermore, as God never ceases to
love His creatures He therefore never ceases His creation of them. It is this Divine love
that keeps the universe in a temporary state of transformation and continual change.
54

Man’s heart is the mirror of God’s Attributions, so if we know ourselves we can know
God. The essence of this knowledge is different from philosophical way of thinking.

51
Rumi, Mathnavī, I, 3467 s; Eve de Vitray-Meyerovitch, Rumi and Sufism (California: The Post-Apollo,
1977), 131.
52
Aziz Nasafi, Insan Kamil, Tehran: Tahoori, pp. 185-186.
53
For the concept of Divine love in Sufism see: J. Nurbakhsh, “The key features of Sufism in the early
period” in: Classical Persian Sufism: from its origins to Rumi, London: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi
Publications, 1993, p.xvii.
54
William C. Chittick, Sufism, a short introduction, Oxford: One World, 2001, p.65.
30
Naim says that real theology isn’t approached by argumentation, and he considers the
rationalization as a useless way for the divinity. He says that he obeys the way of heart,
the inner aspect of human and mystic knowledge. The rationalization is unreliable for the
divinity, and it is the mere description of the real knowledge in which he believes.
Mysticism is some things, such as tasting the sweetness, smelling the perfumes, and
looking at beautiful flowers, and the demonstration is another, such as describing them in
words and sentences. He, like other pantheists, believes in One Reality, and all creations
are the manifestations of this Pure Reality. One poet before Islam said: “all, except God,
is vanity.”
.='- -ا `= '- ء¸- .آ
If we purify our souls from all pollutions and impurities, we can find the light in our
hearts, and the more we purify them the more and more this light shines and begins to
increase till we cannot see anything but Him.
Love comes and flows as blood to my skin and vein, To empty me from all belongings
and full me by Friend.
Naim consider light to be symbolic of existence, while darkness is considered
indicative of non-existence. The verse, “Gid is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth”
(Sura 24: 35) has been interpreted to mean that God is the existence of the Heavens and
the Earth, as in Naim verse: Unto Allah belong the East and the West, and whithersoever
ye turn, there is Allah's Countenance. (Sura 2:115)
¸' -,'= '=-' --ه د¸,ا ر,- ¸-- ب'- _- »-¡ --,- ª¡¸ه
Whatever the eyes of human see the light of God is manifested there. (Takhayulat)
55

It is clear that we have here traces of Gnostic imagery but those rationalist theologians,
who-whether to avoid any comparison of the creature with God or to oppose the fantastic
mystics- interpreted the light of Allah as a symbol of his good guidance.
56

The Prophet (S.A.W) said: “who knows himself knows his Lord,” ف¸= --· ª--- ف¸= ¸-
ª-ر ". Naim believes that human is the manifestation of hidden secret. In mysticism, the
hidden secret is the Holy Emanation (al-faid al-muqaddas), and the Holy Emanation is
the cause of the human. It means that according to the Holy Emanation, human is the
manifestation, and according to the other creations he is a hidden secret. The fact of
human is a drop in the ocean of the greatest fact which is known as the Holy Emanation.
Abstract of the world exists in human, and human is a spirit of all creations. In Naim’s
philosophy, the position of human is above all creatures. In fact, human contains the
realities of all things which are created. In other words, the forms of all entities exist
briefly in the fact of human. This superiority isn’t as formal thing as the superiority of the
master or the king; the soul of human is the mirror of God’s names and attributes.
Naim as other Sufis
57
believes that God can be seen everywhere, and sometimes he
referred to the ‘light of God’, His messages, His signs, His traces etc.
Na’im Frasheri used the concept of annihilation, known as fanā, in his poems.
»--,- ¸- »--,- ¸- ¸,ا زا -·- »--,¡ ¸- ¸,ا زا -·- »-ا-- د,=
After which, I forget who I am: I cease to exist: I cease to exist. (Naim, Takhayyulat)

55
According to the Sufis, the term light denotes God’s Being in relation to God’s manifestation unto
Himself and to other things through Divine Knowledge and through determined forms. Light is also
termed the Sun. Nurbakhsh, IV: 9.
56
TJ. De Boer, “NËr” in First Encyclopedia of Islam (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1987), VI: 955.
57
Ibid, p.99.
31
Simple dictionary definitions of this complex term from a single dictionary range
from ‘passing away, cessation of being; perdition, ruin, destruction, annihilation,
evanescence, vanishing, termination, extinction, exhaustion’ to ‘non-being, nonexistence,
nonentity, extinction of individual consciousness, precedence of the ego, obliteration of
the self’.
58
It should be viewed as an ethical notion whereby man annihilates his self in
order to clothe himself in the divine attributes of God and ultimately to find, and immerse
himself, in the very existence of the Divine. It is even better, however, to go back to the
original Persian and Arabic sources for our definitions if we are truly to appreciate the
real senses of fanā. Al-Hujwīrī (died c. 1075) had this to say in his Kashf al-Mahjūb (The
Disclosure of the Concealed), which Reynold A. Nicholson characterized as ‘the oldest
Persian treatise on Sufism’:
Seeing is of two kinds: he who looks at anything sees it either with the eye of
subsistence (baqā) or with the eye of annihilation (fanā). If with the eye of subsistence,
he perceives that the whole universe is imperfect in comparison with his own subsistence,
for he does not regard phenomena as self-subsistent; and if he looks with the eye of
annihilation, he perceive that all created things are non-existence beside the subsistence.
59

ن¸- »ه¸- ¸¸ و ¸,--- .' د¸- ن¸- مد و ش'- ش,-'= `-'-
'-· وا ¸-= زار رد --آ '- '-- ي,- ¸-- »-,ه --آ '-
ار -''رد ن' »--¡ --',- '- ار -ا ª=و »` --ا,=- '-
Hush nightingales: be silent, stay close to the flowers, do not rustle your feathers!
For my mind migrates to the heavens, to be consumed in the secret of Divine Love!
To read “there is the face of God” (Sura 2: 115), to find my eyes that esteem!

The adventure of rose and nightingale, so often recalled by Persian poets such as
Sadi, Hafiz, Rumi, and Naim (even by non-mystical poets) is, together with that of moth
and candle, a particularly fitting symbol of the eternal story of love.
60
In Naim’s poem,
the rose is the most perfect manifestation of Divine Beauty in the garden. The vision of
Rumi, who saw God’s glory radiating like a majestic rose, may have been known to him.
Thus, he admonishes himself to become silent:
Hush nightingales: be silent, stay close to Gul (the red flower), do not rustle your
feathers!
The nightingale is migra-tory (mohājer), returning to its Iranian habitat, mating, and
nesting between late April and June, which coin-cides with the blooming of roses. It is
only during the mating season that male nightingales sing; then they become silent,
though roses may continue to bloom for some time, which provides an answer to a
question posed by Hafiz:
“O Hafiz, who can be told about this strange circumstance that we are nightingales
silent at the time of roses?”
61


58
Hans Wehr, Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1961), p. 729 sv fanā;
Ian Richard Netton, Sūfī Ritual (Great Britain: Biddles, 2000), pp. 176-178.
59
Al-Hūjwīrī, Kashf al-Mahjū,b trans. Nicholson, (London: 1976), p. 243; Netton, p. 177.
60
Annemarie Schimmel, The triumphal sun, a study of the works of Jalāloddin Rumi (London: East-West
Publications, 1978), pp. 114-115.
61
Jerome W. Clinton, “BOLBOL or nightingale,” in Encyclopedia Iranica; also see: Layla S. Diba, ibid,
GOLO BOLBOL, rose and nightingale, a popular literary and decorative theme.
32
The rose and the nightingale are important motifs in Persian literature and in the
imagery of Persian poetry in particular. Alone, the rose served as a literary metaphor for
perfection and beauty, and might figure the beloved (either worldly or spiritual), the
sweet-singing nightingale might represent the lover, or the poet. Together, rose and
nightingale are the types of beloved and lover par excellence; the rose is beautiful, proud,
and often cruel (roses do, after all, have thorns), while the nightingale sings endlessly of
his longing and devotion. In panegyric, the poet-nightingale sang the praises of the
prince-rose; in mystical poetry, the nightingale's yearning for the rose served as a
metaphor for the soul's yearning for union with God. The use of this theme as a metaphor
for spiritual and earthly love by Persian poets in epic and romance, lyrical and mystical
works for nearly one thousand years attests to its deep significance in Persian culture.
Wherever we look, we see his face, He is everything in this life, He is the true God!
62

God is present in the world such that, in the last analysis, the world is God’s presence.
Among the many Quranic proof texts that Naim Frasheri cites to support this idea is the
verse: He is with you wherever you are (57:4). More important are the several Quranic
mentions of God’s face (wajh),
63
in particular wherever you turn, there is the face of God
(2: 115) and Each thing is perishing except His face (28: 88). Closely connected to the
face is the veil (hijāb), which keeps the face hidden. The Arabic-English dictionaries
provide several meanings for the word wajh. Besides face, it can mean, among others,
front, facade, surface, exterior, look(s), guise, side, direction, intention, purpose, goal,
objective, course, method, means, sense, significance, purport, outset, aspect, viewpoint.
The basic meaning-face- is relatively concrete, while the other meanings indicate the
various relatively abstract senses in which the term may be used. Sufism understands it as
a synonym for dhāt (essence) and haqiqah (reality), both of which can be equivalents for
the word nafs or self. On human level, identifying a person’s “face” with the person’s
self, essence, or reality follows upon the face that for the observer, human identity lies
primarily in the face. The face of a person, on the concrete level, expresses most clearly
the person’s self and reality. If the face of a thing is its reality, God’s face cannot be
known, since God’s reality is His Essence, and God’s Essence lies beyond human
knowledge. It follows that, although Wherever you turn, there is the face of God (2: 115),
the divine face that we find and recognize is not the reality that is the Essence, but the
reality that is God’s self-disclosure.
64
In the context of the discussion of wujËd and the
fixed entities, the most important Quranic verse concerning the face is 28:88, which the
Ibn ‘Arabī reads in two basic ways, depending on the lesson he wishes to draw. If he
understands the word face to mean God’s face, then he reads it as Each thing is perishing
except His face, which is to say that God alone has wujËd, and all things dwell in
nonexistence, or that that wujËd’s self-disclosure never ceases, only to be given wujËd in
the next instant through the next self-disclosure. More commonly, Ibn ‘Arabī reads the
verse as “Each thing is perishing except its face.” Grammatically, this reading is more

62
Qerbelaja (Bucharest 1898), translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie, and first published in English
in History of Albanian literature, New York 1995, vol. 1, p. 238.
63
For the meaning of wajh and hijab see: James W. Morris, “Spiritual Imagination and the "Liminal"
World: Ibn 'Arabi on the Barzakh,” in POSTDATA (Madrid), vol. 15, no. 2 (1995), pp. 42-49 and 104-
109 (Spanish); James W. Morris. “The Spiritual Ascension: Ibn 'Arabî and the Mi'râj,” in: Journal of the
American Oriental Society, vol. 107 (1987), pp. 629-652, and vol. 108 (1988), pp. 63-77.
64
William C. Chittick, The Self-Discloture of God (USA: State University of New York Press, 1998), pp.
90-91.
33
appropriate than the first, given that a pronoun should refer back to the nearest noun.
Hence the pronoun translated as its, which is third person masculine noun, which is thing.
Then the verse can mean that all things in the manifest universe perish, but their faces,
which are their realities-that is, their fixed entities known to God- never perish.
65

The Words of the Candle
Here among you have I risen, and aflame am I now blazing,
Just a bit of light to give you, that I change your night to daytime,
I'll combust and I will wither, be consumed and be extinguished,
Just to give you brightness, vision, that you notice one another,
For you will I fade and tarnish, of me there will be no remnant,
I will burn, in tears lamenting, my desire I cannot suffer.
Of the fire I am not fearful, I will never be extinguished
If I burn of my desire, try to shine as best I'm able.
When you see that I have vanished, do not think that I have perished,
I'm alive, among the living, in the rays of truth I'm standing,
In your souls do I take refuge? Do not think I'm stranger to you,
Patience was bestowed upon me, thus I glow with steadfast courage,
Doing well is all I long for, that you not remain in darkness.
66

Candle is said to symbolize the light of God. This term is said to symbolize the light
of divine mysteries which are kindle in the lantern of the wayfarer’s heart. According to
the Kasf al-Loghāt, this term represents the divine ray of light which burns the heart the
wayfarer, and manifests itself in various forms.
67

Friend, give me leave to be free, and rest tonight until I melt down, like a candle before
you in my heart’s fire. (Hafiz)
68

Naim employed this term as a metaphor for the holy love that enlightens the Sufi’s
hear. He tried to explain the experience of fanā, annihilation, with the symbol of the
candle. Candle has two aspects: the light and the melting, but not perishing. When candle
melts, it becomes useful in the world. Naim remind us Rumi's well-known story of a
group of men in India who had never seen an elephant. One day they came to a place
where an elephant was. In complete darkness they approached the animal, each man
feeling it. Afterwards, they described what they thought they had perceived. Of course
their descriptions were different. The one who felt a leg, imagined the elephant to be a
pillar. The one who felt the animal's ear, described the elephant as a fan, and so on. Each
one of their descriptions with respect to the various parts they had experienced was true.
However, as far as accurately describing the whole, their conceptions had all fallen short.
If they had had a candle, the difference of opinions would not have come about. The
candle's light would have revealed the elephant as a whole.
The Flute
Listen to the flute a-speaking, tell the tale of wretched exile, weeping for this world of
sorrow, using words of truth to spin it.

65
Ibid, 92-93.
66
“Fjalët' e qiririt” in “Vjersha për mësonjëtoret të para (Bucharest 1886), translated from the Albanian by
Robert Elsie.
67
Javad Nurbakhsh, I: 166-167.
68
Ibid, I: 168.
34
Since the day they seized and took me, from my friends and my companions, men and
women have been weeping, at the echo of my sobbing. (Naim)
Listen to the reed how it tells a tale, complaining of separation
Saying: Ever since I was parted from the reed-bed, my lament has caused man and
woman to moan (Rumi)
I have rent my breast from beating, gaping holes have made within it, how I've wept and
have lamented, thousand sighs my heart has rendered. (Naim)
I want a bosom torn by severance, that I may unfold the pain of love-desire (Rumi)
I'm a friend and blithe companion, both of this world's happy people, and of all folk sad,
embittered, with them do I make alliance. (Naim)
At any gathering I am there, mingling in the laughing and grieving (Rumi)
What’re be the situation, I can weep and mourn in longing, at any time and any place
will, my heart sigh and be a-moaning.
All the world does listen to me, sees though only my appearance, of my wishes they
know nothing, nor the fire that burns within me.
People come and gather 'round me, when I weep and tell of longing, yet they do not know
my secret, thus I find no consolation. (Naim)
A friend to each, but few, will hear the secrets hidden, within the notes. No ears for
that. (Rumi)
Those abandoned, hearts forsaken, of the flute become companions, some, its mellow
scales a-hearing, lose their minds, their wits completely.
Human falsehood and illusion! The flute's voice is not mere wind, it
Has the fire of love within it, when that lowly reed is fingered. (Naim)
69

This noise of the reed is fire, it is not wind: whose hath not this fire, may he be
naught! (Rumi)
70

In these poems, Naim translated the verses of the Mathnavi, commonly known as
She’r-e ney, ‘The song of the reed.’ The reed flute of Naim has two meanings, the first is
his love to his motherland, Albania, and the second is the spiritual and symbolic
meanings which provide Naim with an ideal symbol of the separated soul from the
eternal ground of his existence, like the flute from the reed-bed. Man, cut off from his
origin, becomes resonant in separation and tells the secrets of love and longing.
Writes Rumi:
¸,,= .-و ر''زور -,,=ز'- ¸,,= .-ا زا --'- رود ,آ ¸-آ ¸ه
Everyone who is left far from his source wishes back the time when he was united
with it. The source of all existence is God and to Him shall we all return, as Qur’an puts
it:
ار ª,'ا '-ا و - '-ا ن,·=
In other words, the basis of all existence is spiritual. The entity called man is the most
beautiful creation of God how has created him in His own image and has breathed in him
part of His own sprit. The sprit, the soul, is something which is not veiled from the body,
the link between the two is intimate and the integrated personality, the self, which
emerges out of the Cosmic self, has no difficulty in recognizing it.
71


69
“Fyelli” in “uletë e verse” (Bucharest 1890), translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie.
70
Schimmel, p. 210.
71
Afzal Iqbal, Life and work of Jalal-ud-din Rumi (Pakistan: Pakistan National council of the Arts, 1991),
p.177.
35
Naim saw himself, in the pangs of separation, passionately complaining like the reed,
and felt the inspiration through his master enter into his empty heart like the breath of a
flute player. The reed flute (the poet) has suffered its head has been cut, exactly like that
of the reed pen-hence both instruments are media to convey information about the
beloved, one by singing, the other by writing.
72


V: GLOSSARY
abjad-i huroof: Arabic alphabet.
‘ālam-e amr : the realm of Command.
‘ālam-e khalq: the realm of the creation.
‘asrar: Arabic را¸-ا asrār (plural of sirr): secrets, mysteries, something concealed; secret
thoughts, innermost thoughts.
bābā: the man who heads the tekke, like a prior.
baqā: in Sufism designates the spiritual state of subsistence beyond all form, i.e. the state
of reintegration in the Spirit, or even in pure Being; also means the Divine Eternity.
Its opposite is fanā’.
dhāt: essence.
dervish- Farsi darvish: poor, indigent, beggar, religious mendicant.
fanā: annihilation, the complete denial of self and the realization of God that is one of the
steps taken by the Muslim Sufi (mystic) toward the achievement of union with God.
fanā may be attained by constant meditation and by contemplation on the attributes of
God, coupled with the denunciation of human attributes. When the Sufi succeeds in
purifying himself entirely of the earthly world and loses himself in the love of God, it
is said that he has "annihilated" his individual will and "passed away" from his own
existence to live only in God and with God.
al-faid al-muqaddas : the Holy Emanation.
halīfe: comes from the Arabic khalifa, signifying “successor” as in “successor to the
leadership of the Islamic community.” The equivalent Western term is “caliph.” In
Bektashi hierarchy (muhib, dervish, bābā, halīfe, dede), halīfe is the next-to-highest
position. The most important power of a halīfe is that he can perform the ritual to
make a dervish a bābā.
haqiqah : reality
hijab : hijab al-sitr: the "veil" (sitr) in this case seems to refer not to a further particular
obstacle, but rather to all the forms of attachment and implicit idolatry (shirk)
"dissolved" in the course of the traveler's ascension, which together blocked him from
the realizing his inner relation to God (the "divine Mystery," sirr, mentioned in the
preceding note).
ijāzah: is a certificate used primarily by Muslims to indicate that one has been authorized
by a higher authority to transmit a certain subject or text of Islamic knowledge. This
usually implies that the student has learned this knowledge through face-to-face
interactions "at the feet" of the teacher.
muhabbet or muhabbat: love and affection.
mureed: Arabic murīd: aspirant, disciple, follower, seeker, adherent. From the Arabic
root r-w-d meaning to walk about, look for, search for.

72
Schimmel, p. 211.
36
nafs: self.
tariqat: manner, means, way; system, creed, faith, religion.
tekke or tekye or teqe: a building designed specifically for gatherings of a Sufi
brotherhood, or tariqa.
self-discloture of God: tajjalī often translated as “theophany”, this term plays such a
central role in Ibn al-‘Arabī’s teachings that, before he was known as the great
spokesman for wahdat al-wujūd, he had been called one of the Comoanions of Self-
Disclosure (ashāb al-tajallī). He employs the term to mean that God shows Himself
to the universe inasmuch as wujËd is present in all things, or inasmuch as His names
and attributes display traces (āthār) and properties (ahkām) in the cosmos; the
configurationa and forms left by these traces and properties are then known as “the
creatures.”
73

sheikh: shaikh: venerable, elderly; chief, elder; title of honor, title of religious dignitaries;
master; saint; master of a Sufi order.
Sultan Nevruz: (as Turks call it, Persian word) is the one major Bektashi holiday that
occurs on the same day according to the solar calendar, namely March 21.
‘ulama or Ulema: a community of legal scholars of Islam and the Sharia.
vizier: (Persian: ¸,زو) (sometimes spelled Vazir, Vizir, Vasir, Wazir, Vesir, or Vezir), is a
term for a high-ranking political (and sometimes religious) advisor or minister, often
to a Muslim monarch such as a Caliph, or Sultan.
wajh: the "face" of something is its reality and its individual essence.


Sources:
• Aflaki, Shams al-Din Ahmad. Manaqib al-‘ārifīn, ed. T. Yazici (Ankara: Turk
Tarih Kurumu Yayinlari, 1976-1980).
• Asya, Fırat. Yunus Emre: the great Turkish mystic: selected articles (Ankara:
Kültür Bakanlığı, 1991).
• Birge, John Kingsley. The Bektashi Order of Dervishes (U.S.A.: Hartford
Seminary Press, 1982).
• Chittick, William C. The Sūfī Path of Knowledge (State University of New York
Press, 1989).
• ______,_________. Sufism, a short introduction (Oxford: One World, 2001).
• ______, ________. The Self-Discloture of God (State University of New York
Press, 1998).
• Clinton, Jerome W. “BOLBOL or nightingale,” in Encyclopedia Iranica.
• Diba, Layla S. “GOLO BOLBOL, rose and nightingale, a popular literary and
decorative theme” in: Encyclopedia Iranica,
• De Boer, T.J. “Nūr” in First Encyclopedia of Islam (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1987).
• Elsie, Robert. “Islam and the dervish sects of Albania. An introduction to their
history, development and current situation” in: The Islamic quarterly (London:
1998), 42.4, p. 266-289.
• _____,_____. History of Albanian literature (New York, 1995).

73
Chittick, p. 52.
37
• _____,_____. “Albanian literature: an overview of its history and development,”
in: Österreichische Osthefte, Vienna, 45, 1-2 (2003), p. 243-276.
• _____, ____. A Dictionary of Albanian Religion, Mythology, and Folk Culture
(London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2001).
• Frasheri, Naim. Bagëti e bujqësija, translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie
(Bucharest, 1886).
• ______, _____. Qerbelaja, (Bucharest 1898), translated from the Albanian by
Robert Elsie, and first published in English in History of Albanian literature, New
York 1995, vol. 1.
• ______, _____. “Vjersha për mësonjëtoret të para (Bucharest 1886), translated
from the Albanian by Robert Elsie.
• Al-Hūjwīrī, Kashf al-Mahjūb trans. Nicholson, (London: 1976).
• Iqbal, Afzal. Life and work of Jalal-ud-din Rumi (Pakistan: Pakistan National
council of the Arts, 1991).
• Jacob, G. “Die Bektaschije in ihrem Verhaltnis zu verwandten Erscheinungen”,
in: Abhandlungen der Philosophisch-Philologischen Klass, XXIV (1909),
Munich.
• Karamustafa, A.T. “Early Sufism in Eastern Anatolia,” in: Calssical Persian
Sufism: from its origins to Rumi, (London: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publication,
1993), pp.173-188.
• Manakib-i Haci Bektas-I Veli, Vilayet Name, Hazirlayan: Abdulbaki Golpinarli
(Istanbul: Nurgok Matbaasi, 1958).
• Mawdūdī, Sayyid Abul A’lā. Towards understanding the Quran (UK: The
Islamic Foundation, 1995).
• Morris, James W. “Spiritual Imagination and the "Liminal" World: Ibn 'Arabi on
the Barzakh,” in POSTDATA (Madrid), vol. 15, no. 2 (1995), pp. 42-49 and 104-
109 (Spanish).
• ______. _______. “The Spiritual Ascension: Ibn 'Arabī and the Mi'rāj,” in:
Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 107 (1987), pp. 629-652, and vol.
108 (1988), pp. 63-77.
• Nakosteen, Mehdi. Return ties of existence of Hatef of Isfahan (Colorado:
University of Colorado Libraries, 1975).
• Nasafi Aziz. Insan Kamil (Tehran: Tahoori).
• Neckebrouck, Valeer. Yunus Emre: spiritual experience and culture:
international seminar, Rome, November 6-9, 1991, Gregorian University and
University of Ankara (Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 1994).
• Netton, Ian Richard. Sūfī Ritual (Great Britain: Biddles, 2000).
• Norris, H.T.Islam in the Balkans: religion and the society between Europe and
Arab world (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1993).
• Nurbakhsh, Javad. Sufi Symbolism (London: Khaniqahi-Nimatullahi
Publications).
• ________, _____. “The key features of Sufism in the early period” in: Classical
Persian Sufism: from its origins to Rumi (London: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi
Publications, 1993).
• Quataert, Donald. The Ottoman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2005.
38
• Schimmel, Annemarie. The triumphal sun, a study of the works of Jalāloddin
Rumi (London: East-West Publications, 1978).
• Silverstein, Brian. “Sufism and modernity in Turkey: from the authenticity of
experience to the practice of discipline” in: Sufism and Modern in Islam, edited
by: Martin Day Howell, London: L.B. Tauris, 2007.
• Trimingham, J. Spencer. The Sufi Orders in Islam (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1971).
• Trix, Frances, Spiritual Discourse, Learning with an Islamic Master (University
of Pennsylvania Press, 1993).
• Vitray-Meyerovitch, Eve de. Rumi and Sufism (California: The Post-Apollo,
1977).
• Wehr, Hans. Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (Wiesbaden: Otto
Harrassowitz, 1961).
















39
Third chapter: Hasan KÉfÊ al-AqÍiÎÉrÊ and his AzhÉr al-RawÌÉt fi SharÍ
RawÌÉt al-JannÉt
I: INTRODUCTION
Revival of Islamic heritage is considered one of the most important issues of present
times. Generally, Bosnians need to the rich Islamic heritage that their scholars had
produced in the past. Hasan KÉfÊ al-Bosnawī al-AqÍiÎÉrÊ (1544-1616) was highly prolific
Bosnian writers in the Oriental languages, and one of the most prominent scholars of the
Ottoman Empire. He began his writing career in the last few years of the 16
th
century and
by the time of his death. He had compiled many books and treatises on logic, theology,
literature, Jurisprudence, principles of Jurisprudence, rhetoric, history, and the principles
of Islamic Governance. The Gazi Husrev Bey Library in Sarajevo has 23 transcriptions
and autographs of his works. His reputation is due to his remarkable and fruitful works in
Arabic and Turkish languages. He played a great role in spreading Islamic creed (Aqīdah)
and protecting the new believers in their faith. He also has magnificent impact in
propagating religious awareness for the Muslims of Bosnia. One of his books is AzhÉr al-
RawÌÉt fi SharÍ RawÌÉt al-JannÉt that he comments on his book RawÌÉt al-JannÉt in
Islamic Theology. This book is considered an important source of Islamic belief in
Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Muslims there still hold to this creed and respect scholars like
Hasan Kāfī. However, many valuable manuscripts have not been edited and published. In
spite of this, there are some valuable works, which were published in Balkans’ languages
about Islamic Manuscripts in Bosnia. The subject matter of this paper is analysis of the
AzhÉr al-RawÌÉt fi SharÍ RawÌÉt al-JannÉt to expound Bosnian-Herzegovina scholars’
understanding of Islamic creed in Ottoman period.
40
KEYWORDS: Bosnia, Ottoman Empire, MÉtËrÊdiyya, AshÉ’ira, Mu’tazila,
Hamzawiyya.

II: THE AUTHOR
Only a few sources exist about Hasan Kāfī’s life and works and these are written in
Bosnian, Arabic, German, Hungarian, Ottoman Turkish, and modern Turkish. Most
information on him comes from his autobiography in his book NiÐÉm al-‘UlamÉ ilÉ
KhÉtam al-AnbiyÉ’.
74
If the author had not included it, we would have little information
about his personal, educational, and intellectual life. In fact, his autobiography is
considered the main historical source about the author and was recently studied. Hasan
KÉfÊ's autobiography is the 29th of 30 biographies in this book.
Jan Just Witkam was the first to study this book and published a facsimile edition of
it in Manuscripts of the Middle East 4, Leiden, 1989.
75
In this paper, Witkam collected
various sources on Hasan Kāfī and translated his autobiography from Arabic into
English, which has been summarized in this paper and compared with other available
sources. In addition to this, there are other historians, who wrote about Hasan Kafi’s
biography.
One historian who wrote about him was the Turkish traveler, Awliya’ Chelebi. He
visited AqÍiÎÉr in Bosnia forty-five years after Hasan KÉfÊ’s death, and described in his
book, SiyÉÍat nÉma, the endowments that Hasan KÉfÊ had made for religious purposes.
He also visited Hasan KÉfÊ’s shop, mosque and school and reported that many of his

74
This book is dedicated to the vizir DÉmÉd IbrÉhÊm PÉshÉ (d. 1010/1601), the same vizir who
conducted the campaign of Egri which Hasan KÉfÊ described in his autobiography.
75
Jan Just Witkam, “Hasan KÉfÊ al-AqÍiÎÉrÊ and his NiÐÉm al-‘UlamÉ ilÉ KhÉtam al-AnbiyÉ’, A
facsimile edition of MS Bratislava TF 136, presented with an annotated index” in Manuscripts
of the Middle East 4, Leiden, 1989, pp. 86-92.
41
endowments still existed.
76
Next, Now’ÊzÉda ‘AÏÉ’Ê (1634) gives us more details about
Hasan KÉfÊ in his book HadÉ’iq al-HaqÉ’iq fÊ Takmelat al-ShaqÉ’iq al-Nu’mÉniyyah.
77

KÉtib Chelebi (1656) mentioned Hasan KÉfÊ’s books in Kashf al-ÚunËn
78
and his
biography in Fadhlaka al-TÉrÊkh.
79
Two centuries later, the French Orientalist Garcin de
Tassy (1824) became interested in Kāfī’s work Usūl al-hikam fi nizām al-‘ālam (Bases of
the Wisdom of How to Arrange the World) which addresses the issues of Islamic
Governance particularly the political and moral dimensions of the Ottoman Empire. The
book’s manuscripts exist in larger Oriental collections in the world. Then, Safvet-beg
Bašagić (1870-1934) described Hasan Kāfī’s life and works,
80
and more recently
Muhammed Aruci wrote about Hasan Kāfī’s biography and his works in the
Encyclopedia of Islam in Turkish, based on many sources in several languages.
81
In
addition to these, there exist translations of his work in different languages.
Two of these writers are Hasan Kafi himself and Mehmed Tewfiq-Bey who translated
Usūl al-hikam fi nizām al-‘ālam into Turkish. Then in 1864, Garcin de Tassy translated
Usūl al-hikam fi nizām al-‘ālam into French and introduced it to western readers. In
1909, Hungarian writer, Karacson Imre, studied Hasan Kāfī’s Usūl al-hikam fi nizām al-
‘ālam and published it in Budapest.
82
Then, L.V. Tallóczy (1911) translated it into

76
KÉtib Chelebi, Fadhlaka al-TÉrÊkh, (JarÊdah al-TÉrÊkh, 1286H), I: 381; Zuhdi Adilovic, the
introduction of Nur al-YaqÊn fÊ UÎËl al-DÊn, by Hasan KÉfÊ (al-RiyaÌ: Maktabah al-UbaydkÉn,
1997), pp. 34, 36.
77
Now’ÊzÉda ‘AÏÉ’Ê, HadÉ’iq al-HaqÉ’iq fÊ Takmelat al-ShaqÉ’iq al-Nu’mÉniyyah (Istanbul: Dar
al-Da’wah, 1989), I: 283, II: 583-584.
78
HÉjÊ KhalÊfah, Kashf al-ÚunËn, 1:113-114, II: 1002, 1082, 1823.
79
KÉtib Chelebi, Fadhlaka al-TÉrÊkh, I: 381.
80
Published in Sarajevo, 1986, pp.82-90.
81
Muhammed Aruci. “Hasan Kafi Akhisari (1024/1615). Turkiye Diyanet Vakfi Islam
Ansiklopedisi. Istanbul, 1997, 16:326- 328.
82
Az egri török emlékirat a kormányzás módjáról Eger vára elfoglalása alkalmával az 1596.
évben írta Molla Haszán Elkjáfi, Ford, Bp., 1909.
42
German and surveyed Hasan Kāfī’s work in Archiv fur slawische philologie.
83
Professor
Hadži Mehmed Handžić (died 1944) translated Hasan Kāfī’s books: NiÐÉm al-‘UlamÉ ilÉ
KhÉtam al-AnbiyÉ’and Risāla fī tahqīq lafz “çalabī” (A Discussion on the Expression
“Chalabi”) into Bosnian, and more recently Fehim Nametak has translated Hasan Kāfī’s
book, Rawdāt al-jannāt fī usūl al-‘i`tiqādāt (The Gardens of Paradise on Basic Beliefs)
into Bosnian. Consequently, Amir Ljubovic, Fehim Namitak and Omer Nakicevic have
expanded our knowledge about Hasan Kāfī.
84
Ibrahim M. Zein (Malaysia), and Fikret
Karcic (Bosnia) have translated Hasan Kāfī’s book, Rawdāt al-Jannāt into English and
this translation is considered a fundamental basis of the classic sources of the Sunni
schools of thought in Singapore. C. Brockelmann (1943-49) introduced the works of
Hasan Kāfī in Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur and indicated to the places of them in
the libraries. In addition, Bosnian writers have also published some of Hasan Kāfī’s
treatises in al-Majallah al-Tārikhiyyah al-Misriyyah, XVIII, 1971.

Hasan Kāfī’s Biography:
Witkam’s excellent translation of Hasan Kāfī’s autobiography is the only one in
English.
85
The review of this work portrays a precise picture of his life and works.
Hasan Kāfī was born in 1544, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the magnificent
(1520-1566).
86
He started his education when he was twelve years old. After he had

83
L.V. Talloczy. “Eine Denkschrift des bosnischen Mohammedaners Molla Hasan alkjafi, uber
die Art und Weise des Regierens”, Archiv fur slawische philology. 1911, 139-158.
84
Amir Ljubovic & Fehim Namitak. Izabrani Spisi icinde. Sarajevo, 1983; Omer Nakicevic,
Hasan Kafija Pruscak Pionir Arabsko-Islamskih Nauka u Bosni i Hercegovini, Sarajevo, 1977.
85
Hasan KÉfÊ's autobiography is the 29th biography (out of a total of 30) in his work NiÐÉm al-
'ÕlamÉ' ilÉ KhÉtam al-AnbiyÉ' (MS TF 136 in the University Library of Bratislava) is translated
by J.J. Witkam.
43
mastered the principles of the sciences in Aqhisār, he traveled to Constantinople
87
where
he studied under many eminent scholars. There, he met Hājī Afandī, and became his
pupil and learned much from his scholarship and experiences. In addition, munlÉ AÍmad
al-AnÎÉrÊ was his great masters in the sciences of hadith, tafseer, aqidah and philosophy.
Next, he studied Quranic commentary and Prophetic tradition with BÉlÊ b. YËsuf, who
was known as Mu'allim al-WazÊr al-KabÊr. Later, he became the pupil of shaykh MÊr
GhaÌanfar b. Ja'far al-HusaynÊ.
After he acquired fundamental basis of Islamic knowledge, he returned to AqÍiÎÉr in the
year 1575-6. He delivered lectures to a group of students, and later on began to compile
his first treatise. This work was RisÉla fÊ TaÍqÊq LafÐ ČalabÊ, a treatise in which the word
ČalabÊ was studied. Then in 1580-1, he compiled a work entitled MukhtaÎar ul-KÉfÊ on
logic. Later, in 1583, he was given the office of judge of AqÍiÎÉr and wrote a
commentary on the MukhtaÎar till the end of the section on the taÎawwurÉt. In 1587-8, he
also compiled a book, entitled HadÊqat al-ØalÉt allatÊ hiya Ra'Ês al-'IbÉdÉt, as a
commentary on MukhtaÎar al-ØalÉt by imam KamÉlpÉšÉzÉda.
88

He then traveled to Constantinople and was appointed the judge for the district of
Srem located between Serbia and Croatia.
89
In spite of his official duties, he busied

86
Sulayiman the Magnificent was the Sultan of Turkey (1520-1566) under whose governance the
Ottoman Empire reached the height of its power. Also known as the Lawgiver, he built bridges,
mosques, aqueducts, and fortresses, and vastly increased the expanse and wealth of the Ottoman
Empire.
87
Constantinople was the former capital of the Byzantine Empire and of the Ottoman Empire,
since 1930 officially called Istanbul. It was founded (A.D. 330) at ancient Byzantium as the new
capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine I, after whom it was named.
88
KamÉlpÉšÉzÉda (873-940/1468-1534) was prolific Ottoman scholar, author of several works in
and on Persian.
89
Syrmia (Croatian: Srijem; Hungarian: Szerémség; Serbian: Срем, Srem) is a fertile region of
the Pannonian Plain in Europe, between the Danube and Sava rivers. It is divided between
Serbia in the east and Croatia in the west. Most of Syrmia is located in the Srem and South
Bačka districts of Serbia's Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. Smaller part of the region
44
himself with writing and dictating, as well as compiling another book, Samt al-WuÎËl ilÉ
'llm al-UÎËl. At the first of the millennium after the hijra, he performed the pilgrimage,
and while he was there, he completed the book and presented it to his sheikh, MÊr
GhaÌanfar. Then he returned to Constantinople and Ottoman officials requested him to
write a commentary on it. As a result of his work, The Ottoman Government made him
the judge of the town and region around Aqhīsār. After a year, however, he resigned and
retired to AqÍiÎÉr, where he taught theological and traditional sciences to his students. A
few years later in 1595-6I, he wrote a commentary on Samt al-WuÎËl.
During his time in AqÍiÎÉr, he compiled the book entitled UÎËl al-Hikam fi NiÐÉm
al-'Alam. In 1596, he departed from AqÍiÎÉr in order to join Sultan MuÍammad KhÉn’s
army. After the victory, he returned safely to AqÍiÎÉr. During this time, he presented the
treatise to the Sultan’s representatives. Then, they ordered him to write a commentary on
UÎËl al-Hikam fi NiÐÉm al-'Alam and bestowed upon him the office of judge at AqÍiÎÉr.
Subsequently, he wrote a commentary on UÎËl al-Hikam fi NiÐÉm al-'Alam. In 1597, after
he had written the commentary, he took leave of his office of judge and went to
Constantinople, where he presented the Sultan with some of his writings including the
commentary. Accordingly, he was appointed as judge of AqÍiÎÉr and given the privilege
of teaching the students there. Subsequently, he completed his two books: TamÍÊs al-
TalkhÊs on rhetorics, and RawÌÉt al-JannÉt fÊ UÎËl al-I'tiqÉdÉt on theology.

III. THE WORK: AzhÉr al-RawÌÉt fi SharÍ RawÌÉt al-JannÉt

around Novi Beograd, Zemun, and Surčin belongs to the City of Belgrade. The westernmost
part lies in eastern Croatia, in Vukovar-Srijem County.
45
AzhÉr al-RawÌÉt presents Hasan Kafi’s beliefs and those Bosnian scholars in the
Ottoman period according to ImÉm Abū Hanīfah. The Hanafite was the official madhab
of the Ottoman Empire. Even though the author was Matūrīdi,
90
he was more inclined
toward the teaching of Imam Abū Hanīfah than to those of Abū Mansūr al-Māturīdī, in
both the fundamentals and the branches. In this book, the author discuses Ibāhiyyah
(deviant Sufism), Materialism and Atheism and refutes them using Qur’Én, sunnah and
reason.
Hasan Kāfī mentions the main masters of Hanafite-Maturīdite Kalām in the
introduction of this book, but does not include Abū Mansūr al-Māturīdī among them.
Mustafa Ceric
91
offers four reasons why al-Māturīdī was neglected and why his K.
Tawhīd not duly acknowledged by Hasan Kāfī in his introduction to Rawdāt al-Jannāt.
First, that al-Māturīdī’s Arabic was abstruse and full of grammatical irregularities and
structure errors. Second, the simplification of al-Māturīdī’s ideas by his later followers.
For example, Hasan Kafi did not see the need to read K. Tawhīd, because he had al-
Māturīdī’s teachings in Umar al-Nasafī’s al-‘Aqā’id, as well as an extensive commentary
on it by al-Taftāzānī (d.1390). Third, the reduction of al-Māturīdī’s Kalām considerations

90
Despite this exaltation of his position al-Maturidi (Abu-Mansur Muhammad ibn-Muhammad
ibn-Mahmud) remains obscure. He must have been roughly a contemporary of al-Ash'ari, since
he died in Samarqand in 944, but virtually nothing is known of his life. The differences between
the Maturidite-Hanafite position and the Ash'arite are conveniently arranged under thirteen
heads: seven of them are verbal (lafzī), and the remainder is ma’navī, perhaps ‘genuine’ or
‘points of substance’. For example, for al-Ash'ari and his followers, as for the Hanbalites, faith
(imān) consists of word and act, that is, profession of belief and fulfilment of the prescribed
duties. Since the level of the performance of duties varies, faith is subject to increase and
decrease. For the Hanafites faith belongs to the heart and its confirmation. It is thus the inner
conviction accompanying the formal profession of belief, and so cannot be said to increase or
decrease. See: W. Montgomery Watt, Islamic Philosophy and Theology (Edinburgh: At the
University Press, 1985), pp. 67-68; the same author, The Formative Period of Islamic Thought
(Oxford: One World, 2006), p.314.
91
Mustafa Ceric, Roots of synthetic theology in Islam (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC-IIUM, 1995), PP.
52-55.
46
to a narrow frame of the comparative Ash’arite-Māturīdite studies. Fourth, al-Ash’arī was
neither a pure traditionalist nor a legitimate rationalist, and this fact attracted the Muslim
masses more than Māturīdism.
92
Nevertheless, we know that Māturīdism is not pure
rationalist such as Mu’tazilah, and the differences between Ash’arism and Māturīdism are
not essential.
Sometimes Hasan Kafi supports his opinion with orthodox consensus on issues such
as Attributes of Allah and these facts that Messengers among the Angels are better than
human, Qur’an is the word of Allah, and the prophets are infallible. The author mentions
the creeds of the Mu’tazilis, Jews, Christians, Philosophers, Ahl al-Hadīth and Ibāhīs,
and refutes them with literary and rational evidences according to each situation. He
frequently mentions Sufis and Ibahi’s creeds. In fact, Ibāhī Tarīqah was widespread in
the Balkans and had many adherences among the Muslims during the first 16th century.
Nevertheless, the author refutes this Sufi sect with unequivocal proofs and cogent
evidences.
However, the Ottoman Empire officially encouraged the Sufism in general and
sometimes sent its sheikhs with the military expeditions contributing to the spread of
deviant Sufi groups like the IbahÊs and HamzawÊs in the Balkans especially in Bosnia and
Herzegovina. Some Muslims were attracted to these sects and the Islamic Community
was concerned about the division among Muslim society.
In 968 H, Hasan Kāfī studied the HamzawÊs’ creed, which had spread in the north of
Bosnia, and find it deviant, and with the support of other scholars declared them
unbelievers, and ordered them killed and their followers jailed. Thus, they ended this type
of Sufism in Bosnia.

92
Ibid, p. 54-56.
47
The author through his book tries to unite Muslims under Islamic creed and to
expose IbahÊs’ creed. Then, the author harmonizes the fundamental creeds based on
Sunnite doctrine. Furthermore, he exposes the deviations that occurred in the Ottoman
period as well as the role of scholars in invalidating the obscurities and the fallacies with
rational and literary evidences. In responding to Philosophers, Sufis and others he also
affirms his argument with orthodox views.
Important books such as al-Fiqh al-Akbar of Imam Abū Hanīfah,
93
ÑAqīdah al-
SanËsī, I’tīqÉdÉt Umar al-Nasaīi, NiqÉyah al-SuyËtī and ÑAqidah al-TahÉwī were studied
in religious schools in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The author describes his intentions in the
introduction of AzhÉr al-RawÌāt and says that he intends “to combine these books in
AzhÉr al-RawÌāt, cleans it from blemish and decorates it with rational and literary
evidences.” The book is considered a main source of MāturÊdÊ doctorine. The author
points to his school of thought in Azhār al-Rawdāt; he says that imān is not an obligatory
duty from shari’ah, as it said by Ashā’ra, but it is obligatory duty by reason, as it said by
Mu’tazila.
94
Hasan Kāfī, like al-Māturīdī, remained faithful to his master Abū Hanīfah by
adopting his view that faith does not increase or decrease and is equal in substance, if not
in degree, with that of the angels and the prophets.
95
This book is not a commentary to
the book of theologians like al-TahÉwÊ and others; it is an independent book, which
portrays the author’s theological views without limiting them to the creeds of some
orthodox scholars.

93
This book is commented by Abū al-Mansūr al-Māturīdī, al-Mighnīsāvī, ‘Alī al-Qārī al-Hanafī,
etc. To Abū –l-Layth as-Samarqandī is sometimes attributed Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar, which is a
commentary on the creed ascribed to Abū Hanīfa. See: Watt, p. 108.
94
Hasan Kāfī, Azhaār al-Rawdāt, (Leipzik), ff. 18a-19b.
95
Ibid, ff. 13a; Abū Hanīfah, al-‘Aālim wa al-Muta’allim, edt. By M. Qal’ahjī (Aleppo: Maktabah
al-Hudā, 1392H), pp. 58-60; Mustafa Ceric, p. 205; Abū Ja’far a-Tahāwī, The creed of at-
Tahāwiyy (USA: Islamic Studies and Research Division, 2003), p. 97.
48
Hasan Kāfī’s adherence to sunnah makes him uses the hadith of Jibril and
Prophet Muhammad as a firm classification of theology. Because of this, the book is
considered a unique among other extant theological books. Hassan Kāfī played a key role
in the cultural and religious development of the Muslims in Bosnia and Sanjak.
I found 7 manuscripts of AzhÉr al-RawÌāt and I have designated the oldest copy as
the original text. This copy was written during the author’s life (1016H). Therefore, it
must have been copied by one of his pupils. I collated the other manuscripts with it and
wrote all variants in the footnotes. I have enriched the book with biographies, some
useful references, and commentaries on the text.
Description of available manuscripts: A number of manuscripts of Hasan Kafi's
are known, in Sarajevo, some 5 copies in The Gazi Husrev Bey Library and 2 copies in
Berlin and Leipzig. The oldest copy, which I have found belongs to Leipzik library
(B159), copied in 1016H. I do not know the name of copyist, but because of some errors
in this copy, it cannot be the author’s autograph. His pupil maybe copied it before the
death of the author. This manuscript is my original copy for editing the book. The second
copy is registered with number 1/3630 at The Gazi Husrev Bey Library in Sarajevo. It
contains 61 pages; each page contains 23 lines while each line contains about 12 words,
and copied by Ibrahim bin Ahmad, known as MurÉd Aghā. It is dated 1645H/1055 A.D.
the third copy is registered with number 1/1514 at The Gazi Husrev Bey Library in
Sarajevo. It has 70 pages, each page with 19-14 cm. It has 19 lines, each lines contains
about 10 words. It is dated 1142 H. and the copyist is not known and it is dedicated to
Hājī Mamsh Aghā, the handwritten is readable. The fourth copy is registered with
number 2/261, also at The Gazi Husrev Bey Library in Sarajevo. It has 81 pages, which
49
each page contains 17 lines, and each line contains about 9 words. It is dated 1255 H. and
copied by Muhammad bin Muhammad Sarāilī from Arab ‘Atīqī place. The fifth copy is
registered with number 902, also at Gazi Husrev Bey Library in Sarajevo. It has 76 pages
with 19 lines, each line contains about 11 words. It has neither date nor name of the
copyist. The sixth copy is registered with number 1842 at Berlin Library in Germany.
The seventh copy is registered with number 1/1930 at Gazi Husrev Bey Library in
Sarajevo. It contains 64 pages, each page contains about 21 or 22 lines. It has no date.
References:
1. Abū Hanīfah, al-‘Aālim wa al-Muta’allim, edt. By M. Qal’ahjī (Aleppo:
Maktabah al-Hudā, 1392H).
2. Adilovic, Zuhdi. the introduction to Nur al-Yaqīn fī Usūl al-Dīn, by Hasan
Kāfī (al-Riyad: Maktabah al-Ubaydkān, 1997).
3. Arući, Muhammed. “Hasan Kafi Akhisari (1024/1615). Turkiye Diyanet
Vakfi Islam Ansiklopedisi. (Istanbul, 1997).
4. ‘Atā’ī, Now’īzāda. Hadā’iq al-Haqā’iq fī Takmelat al-Shaqā’iq al-
Nu’māniyyah (Istanbul: Dar al-Da’wah, 1989).
5. Bašagić, Safvet-beg. Bosnjaci I Hercegovci u Islamskoj Knjizevnosti
(Sarajevo, 1986).
6. Cerić, Mustafa. Roots of synthetic theology in Islam (Kuala Lumpur:
ISTAC-IIUM, 1995).
7. Hājī Khalīfah, Kashf al-Zunūn (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1982).
8. Karacson Imre. Az egri török emlékirat a kormányzás módjáról Eger vára
elfoglalása alkalmával az 1596. évben írta Molla Haszán Elkjáfi, Ford, Budapest,
1909.
9. Kāfī, Hasan. Azhaār al-Rawdāt, (Leipzik Library, 1/1151, 190 or (B159),
copied in 1016H).
10. Kātib Chelebi. Fadhlaka al-TÉrÊkh, (Jarīdah al-Tārīkh, 1286H).
11. Ljubovic, Amir & Fehim Namitak. Izabrani Spisi icinde (Sarajevo,
1983).
12. Montgomery Watt, W. Islamic Philosophy and Theology
(Edinburgh: At the University Press, 1985).
13. Nakicevic, Omer. Hasan Kafija Pruscak Pionir Arabsko-Islamskih
Nauka u Bosni i Hercegovini (Sarajevo, 1977).
14. ____________, _____. The Formative Period of Islamic Thought
(Oxford: One World, 2006).
15. a-Tahāwī, Abū Ja’far. The creed of at-Tahāwiyy (USA: Islamic
Studies and Research Division, 2003).
50
16. Talloczy, L.V. “Eine Denkschrift des bosnischen Mohammedaners
Molla Hasan alkjafi, uber die Art und Weise des Regierens”, Archiv fur slawische
philology. 1911.
17. Witkam, Jan Just. “Hasan Kāfī al-Aqhisārī and his Nizām al-
‘Ulamā ilā Khātam al-Anbiyā’, A facsimile edition of MS Bratislava TF 136,
presented with an annotated index” in Manuscripts of the Middle East 4, Leiden,
1989, pp. 86-92.


Bosnian traveller M. Hancic and his Contributes to Islamic
Civilization

Ali Akbar Ziaee
96


Abstract:
Some Bosnian Muslims known as Bosniaks travelled to
Arabian countries and were affected by Islamic
civilization. One of them is Muhammad Hancic, a well
known writer and traveller in Bosnia and Herzegovina
during the early 20th century. Muhammad Hancic was
born in Sarajevo in 1906. He graduated from primary
school and Madrasah in his native town. Following his
completion of schooling in 1926, he went to Egypt and
enrolled at Al-Azhar University. He obtained a university
degree in 1931. Following his graduation, he performed
hajj, and then returned to his homeland.
In 1932, after completing his military service, he
found employment at Gazi-Khusrow Bey’s Madrasah as a
lecturer. In 1937 he began work in Gazi-Khusrow Bey’s
library. He established cooperation with a number of
magazines and was also a prolific translator. He translated
many books from Arabic to Bosnian. He also translated
into Arabic many of his own texts written in Bosnian.


96
- ISTAC, IIUM.
51
Key Words: Ottoman Period, Boshniak, Saqalibs, Fatimids.


Boshniaks in Egypt during the Ottoman Age

The researchers are of the view that the first contacts between Arabs and Slavs
occurred in North Africa, primarily Egypt and also through Andalusia. The Slavs figured
prominently in the structure of Ottoman authorities and organs of government. It reached
such an extent that some authors wrote numerous commendations honouring the Slavs,
meaning Saqalibs, which was the name Arabs used when referring to Slavs. To be fair,
the Arabs used this term to refer to Slavs, Gauls and Romans—the European peoples
mostly. Historical sources dating from the Ottoman Age abound with names of
Boshniaks who attained vizierial or some even higher dignitary position, indicating here
were many Boshniaks amongst distinguished scholars and learned men.
Čoban Mustafa Pasha was one of the first Boshniaks who reached Egypt in 1521,
four years following the Ottoman conquest of Egypt. He was a stout hearted, brave and
just man who later became the governor of Rumelia
97
and eventually assumed vizierial
position, functioning as muhāfiz (i.e., governor) in Egypt and later, being urged by his
wife, he returned to Diwan. He died in 1528 and was buried in Gebze
98
, in front of the
mosque, his pious endowment.
Muhammad Hancic was born in Sarajevo, in 1906. He graduated from primary
school and madrasah in his native town. Following his completion of schooling in
madrasah in 1926, he went to Egypt and enrolled at Al-Azhar University. He obtained a
university degree in 1931. Following his graduation he performed hajj and then returned
to his homeland.
In 1932, after completing military service, he began a career in the fields of
culture and education in the most important Boshniak educational and cultural
institutions of the period – Gazi-Khusrow Bey’s Madrasah and Gazi-Khusrow Bey’s
Library and later at the Bey’s Madrasah as a lecturer. He also established cooperation
with a number of magazines such as al-Hidaya, Novi Behar and the Islamic Community
Gazette, and for several years he was an editor for al-Hidaya. He was a prolific translator
and translated many books from Arabic to Bosnian. He also translated to Arabic many of
his own texts written in Bosnian.










97
Translator's note: former name for Turkish dominions in Europe, including Balkans; at the end this
territory was reduced to Turkish part of Thrace
98
- Gebze (classical name: Libyssa) is an industrial town in Kocaeli Province, Turkey. It is situated 30
miles east of Istanbul on the northern shore of the Marmara Sea.
52
Fourth chapter: Egypt in Early 20
th
Century in the Eyes of Bosnian
Traveller

Muhammad Hancic demonstrated a particular affection towards the Islamic
world, in other words, Arabic countries. This is borne out by the fact that he transcribed
the literary works of Abdurrahim ibn bu Bkr ibn Ibrahim Iraqui (( ¸- ¸´- _-ا ¸- ¸-=¸'ا --=
_·ا¸·'ا »,ها¸-ا, and Mahajjah ul-Qurb min Muhabbat ul-Arab“ (ª==- ب¸-'ا _'إ ª-=- ب¸·'ا). He
brought this book from Egypt. The book was published in Cairo in 1346, and before that
in Bombay in 1303 Hijrah era. The book was logged in the catalogue of Gazi-Khusrow
Bey’s Library under the number R-662. Another book is also logged in this catalogue
under the title: KitabYasfu fihi Rihlati ila Misr (¸-- _'ا _-'=ر ª,· --, ب'-´), written by
Muhammad Hancic himself. The book has 46 leaves. In this book the author commented
on his previously written book: Rihlati ila Misr (¸-- _'ا _-'=ر).
Muhammad Hancic was exceptionally inclined towards the Arabic language. In
the preface of his travelogue from Egypt, referring to the Hadīth of Prophet Muhammad,
Hancic reveals his love for the Arabic language. He wrote: This Hadīth was taken over
from Hakim’s Mustadrak — =ر----'ا — which is dāīf according to Zahabi, and thus
cannot be used as a real evidence of Arabic superiority over other languages.
It is particularly interesting to establish why Egypt was such a significant
theme for this Boshniak travel writer. If we ask the tourists from 21
st
century why they
chose Egypt as a travel destination, they will probably say because of its pyramids,
oriental bazaars and abundance of various goods, or something like that. However,
Boshniak visitors heading to Egypt in the early 20
th
century surely were not led by such
motives. These folk considered Egypt the country of Al-Ahzar. In his travelogue, Hancic
concludes that God gave each country a particular feature by which it is distinguished
from other countries, and thus was Egypt blessed by Al-Azhar. Therefore, the science
devotees from all around the world came there to acquire knowledge.
Muhammad Hancic wrote that on 24
th
rabī’u l-aval 1345, he set off from his
native town Saray Abad, meaning Sarajevo, and took a Greek ship on Saturday, 1
st
rabī’u
l-āhir in the same year. On Thursday, he arrived in Alexandria, Egypt. He spent a night
there and on the morrow reached Cairo. Referring to the sayings and traditions of the
Prophet, and to the biographies of the great scholars and citing the verses of Arabian
poets, he demonstrates the importance travel for the acquisition of knowledge. But before
he describes Egypt, Muhammad Hancic speaks of his native town Sarajevo first. He
quotes Turkish travel writer Evliya Çelebi, who speaks of the mosques, madrasas, people,
bridges and the pleasant climate. In one of his chapters, he mentions his desire to visit
Mecca and honoured Medina, while in another chapter he lists the advantages of Egypt.
In order to augment these advantages, Muhammad Hancic refers to works such as al-
Suyūtī’s Husn al-Muhadhira (_=,,-'' ة¸-'=-'ا ¸-=); citing it he says that Mịsr
99
in Qur`ān
is mentioned 29 times, and according to al-Suyūtī - 30 times. Hancic also quotes Hadīths
of the Prophet from Muslim’s Sahih (_,=-'ا), some of them passed on by Abu Zar,
alluding to the advantages of Egypt. Hancic indicates other traditions from sources such
as Muajam al-kabir (¸,-´'ا »=·-'ا) by Tabarani and Dalayil an-Nubuva (_-+,-'' ة,--'ا .-`د) by
Beihaqi. According to Hancic, what gives a particular value to Egypt was the presence of

99
Translator's note: Arabic word for Egypt.
53
God’s prophets in this area. One of the chapters in Hancic’s book deals with the poetry
praising Egypt. He quotes the standpoint of Shahabuddin Nuwayri (,¸,,-'ا ¸,-'ا ب'+-)
given in the book Nihayat ul-Arab fi Funuma ul-Adab (ª,'+- بر`ا ¸· ن,-· بد`ا). According
to Nuwayri, the Egyptian ruler is actually lord of the entire world, and Hancic concurs
with that, saying that it seems right to him.
A particular detail in this work of Hancic is his criticism of the population of
Egypt. Hancic says that Jaqut—in his book mu'jam al-buldan (نا-'-'ا »=·-)—argued that
the only flaw of Egypt is the Egyptians. He is surprised by this point of view regarding
Egyptians who have been the heirs of such a rich culture.
Hancic dedicated a particular chapter to the Egyptians. He writes that God, when
creating the people, created their morals as well. Then wealth said it will reside in Egypt
but humiliation also decided to live there. In his interpretation of this tradition, whose
origin one does not mention, Hancic states that the humiliation of Egyptians follows their
wealth. Namely, that foreign rulers have always tried to conquer Egypt in order to reach
her wealth and riches, and that this was also always the aim of Egypt’s common citizens.
Referring to Al Mawaiz wa al-'i'tibar bi dhikr al-khitat wa al-'athar (about the planning
of Cairo and its monuments) written by al-Maqrizi
100
, Hancic describes Egyptians as
impatient and timid people, pessimistic by its nature, malicious and inclined to speak evil
of others to the ruler. Thus, he concludes that a lot of evil is in these people. Naturally, he
finds few Egyptians to be praiseworthy and moral people, not like others. And
furthermore, since this country begets only fear and hopelessness, he states that the lions
had never lived in it, for when they came to this country, they would loose vigour and
were subdued. He points out the verses of Sheikh Abdullah Sharqawi, the sixth sheikh of
al-Azhar, (died in 1171 AH), in which he also criticises the Egyptians.
The editor of this text feels that pinning the label of ‘immoral’ on an entire
people, and prooving that by the verses of the poets is an improper and erroneous
approach. Moreover, we talk about a great nation that belongs to the ummat of the
Prophet of Islam. Although Hancic, refers to certain historical sources and verses of the
poets as portraying Egyptians in such a bad manner, one thing is undeniable however:
anyone who visits present-day Egypt witnesses the generosity, hospitality, and benign
nature of the Egyptian character.
In the next chapter, Hancic writes about the Nile. He submits that if not for the
Nile there would not have been life and agriculture in Egypt, and states that some books
claim Egypt would be gone if the Nile ran dry. Hancic writes that Englishmen threatened
Egypt with blocking the Nile if the Egyptians would oppose Great Britain. In a further
text, Hancic describes the Nile as the longest and the most beneficial river in the world.
The life of Egypt heavily leaned on the Nile and no wonder ancient Egyptians
worshipped her and offered a virgin every year in sacrifice to the river. Only after the
second caliph Omer assumed power did this horrible practice cease.
In one of the chapters, Muhammad Hancic deals with the three great pyramids of
Giza.
101
He wrote that many smaller pyramids surrounded these pyramids, but that

100
- (_-- ¸,-'ا --=أ ¸- _'= ¸- --= رد'-'ا ¸- --=- ى¸,¸--'ا )was an Egyptian historian more commonly known as
al-Maqrizi or Makrizi.
101
- Giza or Gizah (Arabic, ة¸,='ا, transliterated al-Gīzah; pronounced in the Cairene dialect of Egyptian
Arabic eg-Gīza; also sometimes rendered in English as Gizeh, Ghizeh, Geezeh, or Jeezah) is a town in
54
Salahuddin Eyubi ordered them levelled. Hancic reports that he personally visited the
pyramids several times and that each time he felt bad. For him, the pyramids represented
worthless and meaningless edifices that so many people invested huge efforts in vain to
construct. He reminds himself of Al’Qur`ān’s verses which indicate the obedience of
people to Pharaon only increased his arrogance to such an extent that he began to think of
himself as God. After this, Hancic refers to the work of Ibn Fadlullah Omeri Musalikul-
Absar who alleges that the pyramids remained as a moral reminder for men. Following
this, he quotes the verses of Ahmad al-Tifashi
102
, al-Zafir al-Haddad al-Iskandari
103
and
Abu Salt
104
and Mutanabbi
105
, which describe the Egyptian pyramids.
In the next chapter, Hancic writes about the conquest of Egypt at the time of the
second caliph Omer’s reign and mentions the conquerors of Egypt –‘Amr ibn al-‘Āas and
Zubeir ibn Avvam. In this respect, he offers no more information then the regular
historical sources. Thereupon, he mentions Fadlullah Omari’s notes on the Mosque of
‘Amr ibn al-‘Āas in Al- Fustāt.. Hancic records that in his time no lecturing or scientific
activities took place there. Moreover, the Moslem prayers in Moslem congregation were
not performed regularly. Only once a year, at jum’ah prayer, a number of people from all
over would gather there, and this occurred on the last Friday in the holy month of
Ramadan. During his first year of staying in Egypt, Hancic attended the mentioned
jum’ah service and prayer. He chronicles that the high state officials, ministers, religious
high dignitaries and many ordinary people attended this service. Hancic also passed on
data on this mosque from the work of Ibn Deqmaq and mentions some deviations which
he noted amongst the congregation in Mosque of ‘Amr ibn al-‘Āas in Al- Fustāt, and
concludes that these newfangled things cause damage to Islam.
In the next chapter he deals with the life of ‘Amr ibn al-‘Āas. One of the chapters
is dedicated to the foundation of Cairo; another deals with the Fatimid Dynasty; and in
another chapter he speaks of the arrival of Jauhar al-Saqlabi in Egypt and his biography.
Hancic says that in some foreign magazines he learned that Jauhar’s origin was

Egypt on the west bank of the Nile river, some 20 km southwest of central Cairo and now part of the
greater Cairo metropolis.
102
- Ahmad al-Tifashi (or Ahmad ibn Yusuf al-Tīfāchī), born in Tunisia (d. 1253) was an Arabic poet,
writer, and anthologist.
103
- '+,', '- و ءا¸'ا و ء'+'ا ب'- ،¸-'`'ا ء¸='ا ،نا-'-'ا »=·- _· ت,·', ل'· : م'=·'ا ك,'-'ا ر,-· ¸--- ةد,=,-'ا ما¸ه`ا نأ م,· »=زو
_'= '+---- »ه¸آذ _--, نأ ا,=,-و »+-',= ¸· »+-= او¸,-- '-آ »+-'-- -·- ك,'-'ا ¸-'- ¸= '+- او¸,--, نأ او¸`َ ا ¸=ا¸-و ر,ه-'ا لو'=-
ٍ و'+- ª'=اد ¸· -=ُ ,· .,,= ٍ ء'-=و -,-- -+= -·- ط'=--'' ¸,,ذ'=-'ا ¸,-¸+'ا -=أ ---· '-+---- ¸-أ ¸-- _'إ ن,-'-'ا .-و '-'و ،ر,-·'ا
م'=ر ض,= ª=-و ¸·و عرذأ ª,-'-` ª=`-أ ¸- _'- .آ ل,= -·´- -,- 'ه`=أ ¸· -=ُ وو '+,· ك,'-'ا ¸-·,و 'ه¸-أ ل,+, قا¸-و
-=أ _-- ¸·و ،-ا,- '- --- ¸= -´''- ن,-'-'ا ¸-'· ª,''='ا ر,-·'ا '+,'= --أ -· ª,''- ª-ر ¸,= ª,· او-=, »' -ؤ'== --آ '-'· ¸-=-
ير--´-`ا داَ -='ا ¸·'= ل,-, '+,·و ،ª-,¸= ª-,== ¸هو 'ه¸`آأ .-¸'ا _== -·و ª·--- »,== ¸· ¸-د' ةر,- ¸,-¸+'ا :
¸ـ=ـ-او ¸,-¸+'ا ª,-- .-'- ُ -,ـ=·'ا ل,+'ا ,-أ '-+-,-و
ُ -,ـ·ر 'ـ-ـ+-,- ¸,َ-,-=-' .,ـ=ر _ـ'ـ= ¸,َ-,ر'-َ·آ
ُ -,=- '-ه--= _,¸'ا ت,-و ع,ـ-د 'ـ-+-=- .,-'ا ُ ء'-و
104
- Abu-Salt Umayya Ben Abd Al-Aziz (1067-1134), arab philosopher.
105
- Al-Mutanabbi was born in Kufah, Iraq. He was the son of a water-carrier but claimed
to have noble ancestors. When the Qarmatians attacked Kufah in 924 he left with the
raiders and lived in the desert with them, learning their dialect of Arabic which was
closer to classical Arabic.
55
Sakalib
106
. Therefore, Hancic concludes that he was his fellow-countryman. During the
reign of the Fatimids, as Jaqut and Ibn Ayaz report, many Saqalibs had been visiting
Egypt. Some of them assumed high positions in the military, administration and
government.
Muhammad Hancic dedicated a separate chapter to al-Azhar and its history. He
writes that al-Azhar is the true and only reason he came to Egypt, and if asked what al-
Azhar is, he would give a following answer: Al-Azhar is the first mosque built in Egypt,
the oldest centre of dissemination of Islamic science and knowledge, the garden of
trees—one next to another—which endowed Muslims with numerous great scholars, and
until his day had remained a center for knowledge seekers, intellectual sciences, and the
passing on of traditions. According to Hancic, Jauhar the Sicilian, established al-Azhar
on Saturday, the 24
th
of Jumaada-ul-Awwal, 359 AH. It’s construction took thirty months
and were completed on the 23
rd
of Ramadan, 361 AH. The University was named al-
Azhar in honour of late Sayeda Fatima al- Zahrā (AS), from whom, as it is believed, the
Fatimids descend. Hancic writes that additional construction has been carried out at al-
Azhar for centuries, and that its annexing and enlargement were ongoing. After writing
the chapter on al-Azhar, Hancic decided to abandon any further description of Egypt and
concludes his book with the following words: “This is a note dedicated to Allah the
Merciful (ar-Rahīm), from the poor Muhammad Hancic; this work is not complete but it
ends here.“


















References:



106
- Saqaliba (Arabic: ª-''--, sg. Siqlabi) refers to the Slavs, particularly Slavic mercenaries and slaves in
the medieval Arab world in North Africa, Sicily and al-Andalus. The Arabic term is a Byzantine loanword:
saqlab, siklab, saqlabi etc. is a corruption of Greek Sklavinoi for "Slav".
56

- Mirza Abdurahman Malić, Poznati Jugoslaveni izvan domovine (Famous
Yugoslavs abroad), Glasnik VIS-a, br.7-8, 1967.
- Muhammad Hancic, Teme bitne za historiju književnosti (Topics important
for history of literature)
- Rukopisni primjerak djela Muhammada Hadžića o Egiptu (Handwritten book
of Muhammad Hancic on Egypt), R-622, Gazi Hureff Bey’s liberary
- Catalogue of Gazi Hureff Bey’s liberary, no. 6774, R-662.9