The 'Bektashi Pages' of Naim Frasheri NOTES


  1. In Albanian the text is called Fletorë e Bektashiniet. The original text is of thirty two pages in two parts: The prose and poetry. The first expounds on the faith and practices of the Bektashi Tariqat and is the part included here. This translation was done from a Greek translation of the Albanian which Hasluck had done by a Greek priest hostile to Albanians and to Islam (and Bektashism) in particular. Due to this, I have had to rewrite several passages to take the Christian renderings of the Albanian Bektashi thought from the text and try to return it to what would be truer to the original text. German translations were done by Prof. Gustav Weigand of the State Institute of Romance Languages and by Norbert Jokl (in Balkan Archives 1926). A French translation was done by H. Bourgeors in Revue du monde musulman (1922). These translations have allowed for a smoothing over some of the difficulties which were found in the version by Hasluck.The author of Fletorë e Bektashiniet was Naim Bey Frashëri. Naim was a speaker of the Tosk dialect of Albanian and brother to the historian Sami Bey and the Albanian Nationalist poet Abdul Bey Frashëri. As the author was an Albanian patriot as Haji Bektash Veli taught love of Family, God, and Country. If you read the text closely, you will notice in at least a half dozen places love of country is listed as a virtue and our Muslim brothers must realize that another part of love of country is spreading the messages of Haji Bektash Veli, Imam Ali, and Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Peace be upon him and his family). 

  2. The introductory blessing is usually rendering in the name of the King instead of in the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful (Bismillah ir Rahman ir Rahim) in Albanian and Turkish Bektashi texts.

  3. Saints or Holy Men.

  4. Spiritual leaders of an age.

  5. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), his cousin and son in law Ali, his daughter Fatimah, and Ali and Fatimah's sons Hassan and Hussein.

  6. Ali and Fatimah.

  7. Ali and the one of the sons of each generation of his direct descendants from his son Hussein after him. The twelve are: Ali, Hasan, Husayn, Zayn ul-Abidin, Muhammad Baqir, Ja'far as-Sadiqk, Musa Kazim, Ali Riza, Muhammad Taqi, Ali Naqi, Hasan Askeri, and Muhammad al-Mehdi.

  8. The Path of the Prophets (Shari'ah) is the laws of how to live a descent pious life as revealed from God to man through his Prophets.

  9. Jesus, son of Mary, and deliver of the Gospel.

  10. The deliverer of the Children of Israel from bondage in Egypt and revealer of the Torah.

  11. Author of the Maqalat. He is the legendary founder of the Janissary corp and of the Sufi mystical order which has his namesake.

  12. The Prophet Muhammad was the revealer of the Holy Qur'an and leader over the city-state of Madinah (formerly

  13. Yathrib). All the Pirs and Awliyah of Islam derive their teachings and inspiration from him.

  14. H.Q. 3:110.

  15. H.Q. 2:30 & 6:165.

  16. see note #13.

  17. H.Q. 21:97 103.

  18. H.Q. 4:79, 13:22, 23:96, 41:34, & 10:27.

  19. The Path of Haji Bektash is not limited to people of any one nationality, nor is the path from which it derives other than the Path of Islam.

  20. H.Q. 7:189.

  21. H.Q. 2:228 232, 236 237, 241, 65:1 7, & 4:35.

  22. H.Q. 24:30 31.

  23. This saying of Imam Ali may be in a collection I do not, at present, have access to.

  24. The Baba of a tekke is the spiritual father for those of the order and they must follow his orders and example as long as they chose to follow the path.

  25. The Baba of a tekke is the spiritual father for those of the order and they must follow his orders and example as long as they chose to follow the path.

  26. This is from a saying of Jesus and is found in Matthew 5:39.

  27. A greatly misunderstood teaching in Islam is that of chastity and marriage. No where in Islamic law does it say that every person must marry. Only those with the desire and ability to marry must marry. Yet at the same time the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) did encourage every Muslim to marry, have a family, and work.

  28. A building where Sufis meet to perform their Zikr rituals. In some instances it is an extended complex having a kitchen, residence hall, and school. Usually a formal masjid is in a separate building.

  29. Turkish for great grand father.

  30. Silsilah is the spiritual chain that links all Saints back to the Prophet. When you come into the company of the Saints in Zikr many orders do a slowly turning dance with arms linked rotating in a circle.

  31. Zikr circle or circle of those that remember Allah.

  32. The first of the four Spiritual Stations: muhib (devotee), dervish, baba, and dede.

  33. The first month of the Arabic/ Islamic lunar calendar. During the first ten days prayers and remembrances of the life of Imam Hussein are held along with a fast. On the tenth day night a feast is held. Here Naim Frashëri adds, "In these days some do not drink water, but this is excessive, since on the evening of the tenth day the warfare ceased, and it was not till the tenth after midday that Imam Hussein fell with his men, and then only they were without water."

  34. The tenth day of Ashura.

  35. A bow of reverence before a Baba.

  36. One of the fallacious charges leveled against the Bektashi is that they reject Shari'ah. This is not true. The first of the four spiritual stages in Bektashism is Shari'ah (the others being Tariqat, Ma'rifat, and Haqiqat).

  37. John Kingsley Birge, The Bektashi Order of Dervishes (Luzac & Co., London, 1937), page 167.

  38. ibid., page 171.

  39. ibid., page 172.

  40. ibid., Page 172.

  41. ibid., page 172. They verses are 3:167, 2:285, 3:182, and 21:93.

  42. The feast to celebrate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

  43. A feast in remembrance of Ibrahim and his son Isma'il and the sacrifice that Allah asked Abraham to make of Isma'il to show his faith (of course Allah substituted a ram in its place).

  44. Persian New Year.

  45. A name of Allah rejected by those who oppose Sufism and others who are not in the revered Tariqats or the respected seventy two sects. This name is found in the Bible and several places in the Qur'an. The most outstanding is in Sura Ikhlas where it says: "Qul Hu Allahu Ahad." or "Say He Allah is One." (H.Q. 112:1) This does not go against the Bektashi "trinity" since Allah, Muhammad, and Ali are all spiritually one. This is much in line with the mystical ideas of Ibn al `Arabi and Mansur al-Hallaj. Ali and Muhammad were the physical representation of that divinity and Allah the Spiritual. Allah is the creator of Nur Muhammadiyyah from which both Muhammad and 'Ali (commonly referred to as Muhammad Ali in Bektashi circles) emanate. Also Bektashis worship Allah, not Muhammad or Ali. Muhammad and his young cousin, Ali, are mirrors and the supreme representatives of Allah on earth and in the hereafter. 

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