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Baba Mondi (one who opens doors), by Nemanja Pančić

Dervish orders are pillars of  Islam. Dervish  in Persian language means “one who opens doors”. Bektashi are unique dervish order, founded about 800 years ago by Islamic saint Hajji Bektash Wali, when they became autonomous within Islam. They are one of biggest and oldest of the dervish orders.
Neither the Shiites nor the Sunnis by the canonical structure – it simply dervishes, “gate keepers” or servants of God in their tariqat (path). Guardians of Islam and the Koran, philanthropists, tolerant and not aggressive. During its 800 years of existence, they were met with various challenges and misunderstandings, because of its uniqueness and peaceful preaching.

Vow of celibacy (when someone decides to join Bektashi order he must give up relationships with women, because only through such physical and spiritual ”purity” can fully devote himself to God). In other dervish orders all members are relatives, however Bektashi are not blood related, but believe in mutual spiritual connection which makes them brothers forever. Lighting candles on the graves of ancestors in Islam is forbidden, but only Bektashi light candles on the graves of their spiritual ancestors when they pay homage. Alcohol is strictly forbidden in Islam but Bektashi say, man shows his true colors after a few glasses of alcohol. Dervish orders are known for their rituals which demonstrate their commitment to God, Bektashi, unlike all other orders do not have this ritual because they say that their commitment to God is complete and constant throughout their lives.

Baba Edmond Brahimaj(Baba Mondi) , a Bektashi leader,  the man who has about 100 million followers worldwide, today in the 21st century Europe is trying to preserve this unique religious order.

This is the story of one man’s faith, his commitment to his God, his people and his holy place.

2010