Showing posts from February, 2018

It's Springtime for Sufis

Below the snowline violet crocuses and wild strawberries are bursting through the turf of Kosovo’s alpine meadows. Under the tree line opportunist hellebores and purple primroses are reaching for the sun before an all-enveloping tree canopy obscures light to the woodland floor. Snow is slowly melting on the mountaintops, feeding streams to the valleys below – where the rich biodiversity of above is equally reflected in Sufi rituals in the plains below.
There are more than sixty active Tekkes of seven Tarikats (Sufi lineages) in Kosovo: the Kaderi, Rufai, Saadi, Shazeli, Nakshibendi, Sinani and Halveti with an eighth, the Melemi Tarikat, waiting in the shadows. Each Sufi Tarikat occupies it’s own niche, but relates to the same family – Sunni Islam – not as a severed limb, but as a Sufi branch – one with choice, a way in and a way out, without hidden surprises.
Natural symbolism enriches their lexicon:
“We are Muslims and like other Muslims, we are in the same sea. Others swim, we prefer t…