29. pro 2016.

JOURNEY TO BLAGAJ / ON AN ANCESTORS STATION, TEKKE

 Sead Delić: Blagaj, Tekija


Ibrahim Kajan

ON AN ANCESTORS STATION, TEKKE


Bektashi Tekke in Blagaj, as it used to be called in the beginning. And when was this beginning, the moment the builder brings the truss to the finial, actually no one knows. We neither inherited a precise verbal memory, nor an unambiguous written testimony. Yes, we talk about the secret origin of the Tekke in Blagaj.


It is quite clear that the Tekke dates not from 1644 when it was first registered by Evliya Čelebi in the descriptions of the world that he has seen on his travels. It was not built, he says, by the former Mufti of Mostar, nor was it erected by the followers of Khalwatiyyah dervishs, because no graves in the turbeh leaning on the Tekke are of Khalwatiyyah origin. Turbeh is not even mentioned as if it never existed, but apparently, there had to be. The turbeh is a paradox: "content” is linked to the mythical-historical figure of Sari Saltuk from the 13th century, we talked about previously, and based on that it was questionable how, this tomb, 250 years after the legendary Saltuk's vain for his body to be in one of the seven coffins - and then to be carried in seven countries and be buried there. If there were no tombs in its past, not even in the Tekke, under a large cave at the source of the Buna, was something sacred, sublime and fascinating: first Islamic pilgrimage site that has absorbed dualistic, Bogumil spiritual gathering in the face of his Lord. That is what is taught by the unknown, until the recent, posthumously published article about the Tekke and turbeh in Blagaj written by the credible Muhamed Hadzijahić.


Sari Saltuk's and Ačik-baša's graves


Sari Saltuk’s appearance on Christian sanctuary is very common (in Albania, Macedonia), so this reasonable doubt that Saltuk’s grave in Blagaj is in fact on the old sanctuary of the Bosnian Church is not surprising. This is supported, as Hadžijahić thinks, by a charter that dates back to June, 1st, 1454, given to Herzog Stjepan by the King of Aragon and Naples, Alfonso. Since in it the Aragonian king particularly values the cave in Blagaj, it is obviously a strategic site or cult place of particular importance. The author cites the legend which says that there used to be a "room" where Saltuk laid down weapons, "an indication that his tomb should be built there." River sources even in the Illyrian times were "attractive cult places".


The cult of Sari Saltuk, apparently, originates from the fall of Herzog’s land to the Turks, in the great period of rise and power of Bektashi spiritual and military tariqah. But there was a twist!


P. Ricaut writes that to Bektashis  "belonged all the janissaries, and Janissaries were reprimand for not being devout." Extremely sharp conflict Bektashi blaze was during Sultan Osman II (1618-1622) governance. In such circumstances, Hadžijahić underlines, "was strictly taken care of suppressing all heterodox teachings in Bosnia." Certainly, the Tekke in Blagaj did not remain outside the ideological “cleansing”, so it is no wonder that Čelebi, a favourite of the court, in Blagaj registered "Khalwatiyyaha Tekke" completely blind for enormous Bektashi presence as Saltuks tomb with a number of additional signatures in the Bektashi Tekke architecture.


Hadžijahić indicates a still visible detail in typical Bektashi Tekke inventory. "In Semahane the left from the entrance, but also in the room adjacent to the doors side of the entrance to the right, in the wall  in the form of niches, a taboot (coffin) is presented. The purpose of this "memento mori", or according to Sufi teachings is: "mutu kable ente mutu " - "Die before you die." Such a presentation, the author holds, developed only in Bektashi. Reminders of Bektashis are also inscriptions above the entrance to semahana, the existence of the spa in the tekke, regardless of the fact other Tekkes may have spa - it is here related to the ritual itself, i.e. it is necessary.


The tekke is, apparently, restored as Khalwatiyyahs, with Khalwatiyyah  dervishes including the mufti of Mostar Zijaudin which Čelebi mentions as a "builder", instead of  an"adaptat". Just its prehistory, tangible and not just significant, deepening the lower limit of the historical building of the Blagaj Tekke, touching upon the realms of folk traditions and folk beliefs. And on them, from whichever side you observe it, rest not only people’s dreams, but also their national history.

Prijevod na engleski: Amina Imami

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