Sep 30, 2015

Great Bosnian mystics

In stories about mystics from the past of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stories about saints (evlija) are especially interesting, the people regarded the stories to be dedicated to people and they made up legends about their powers.  Allegedly, they possessed the ability of astral travel through time, as well as the ability to dematerialise.

When we talk about this, the most interesting characters are yellow Hafiz and Muslihudin Čakrkčija.
If a man would find himself in captivity or exile, saints would help them with their mystical powers to go back to their country. According to legends, yellow Hafiz would suddenly appear at the place where the certain person dwelt and would simply ask of the person to stand on his feet and close his eyes. When he would be allowed to look again, he would see that he is home.
Čakrčija demonstrated his abilities in a similar fashion, but his goal wasn't returning imprisoned or lost persons, but something completely different.
Namely, he wouldn't go to the mosque during the afternoon prayer, instead he receded in his chambers and he would lock himself away. When he would be asked for the reason, he explained that he would transfer himself to Mecca with his powers and he would pray there.
Parts of the legend which speak of their powers of clairvoyance and divination are also interesting. By the way, in the texts which speak of saints, little is written about the kind of attitude the religious followers had, when it came to the saints and their activities, i.e. when the starting point are the principles of Islamic religion.
A certain Ibrahim Bistrigija, from the dervish ranks, is one of those which were known by their prophetic gift. Among other things, he predicted his death. He was once invited to a feast, he promised that he will come but that he will not eat. And so it was. Namely, his dead body was brought before the emperors mosque in Sarajevo, where the guests of the feast had to move because of the rain.
In the records the book called Ilmidžifl is often mentioned, with whose help one can predict, down to a minute, someone's death.
The familiar yellow Hafiz, also, possessed a prophetic gift. There is an interesting event, which somehow represents an anecdote, during which this ability manifested. Once a few jokesters called him to perform a funeral prayer. But, instead of a deceased, they planted a live man. Hafiz tried to reject the call since he knew no good would come out of it. But, he didn't succeed in turning it down. Considering that the Hafiz prayer, like the saints, had special power, the man that they planted in the grave actually died during the prayer.
A similar story exists about a certain Mustafa Ejubović, known as sheikh Jujo. This man was known in Mostar of that time as someone who precisely predicts future events. One day, a wanton young men which didn't believe that sheikh Jujo possesses supernatural abilities, conspired to test him and ridicule him. They invited him to perform a funeral prayer. One of the men laid down in the coffin. Once they lined up to perform the prayer, sheikh Jujo turned around and coldly asked: "Are we saying this prayer for an alive or a dead man?" The men looked at each other confused, but one of them spoke up: "to a dead man".
When the prayer was finished they all moved towards the coffin. The young men were ready to laugh and ridicule sheikh Jujo, but the scene they saw caused everything but laughter. Their friend still laid in the coffin, but this time, dead.
Decades after the death of Mustafa Ejubović, his grave was visited by people which truly believed in mystic powers of that place.
Prophecies of Hasan Kaimija and Gajgus are also interesting. The former predicted a large accident that will strike Sarajevo. Because of unruly behaviour, Kaimija was expelled from the city according to the evaluation of the authorities of that time. Therefore the prophecy could be interpreted as a kind of anger. However, it really happened. In the years that followed, Sarajevo experienced a few different disasters which brought great human and material damage.