The margins of the early, verbal conflict of sunism (Islamic orthodoxy) and sufism (Islamic mysticism)

  • Omer Nakićević, dr.


Sufism, as a form of Islamic mysticism, early found a way to spread through the regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its spreading was parallel to the development of oultural and economic centre« such as Sarajevo, Mostar and Prusac. The activity of Sufism was especially distinct among those dervish orders that spent their live« outside the tekya (religious sanctuary) walls. The verbal conflict between Ehli Sunna and Sufism (the orthodox and the mystical) was far stronger than assumed until now. The violence of that conflict was dependent on the power and the acuity of the Sunna, especially of the Fakihs (Islamic jurists).
Mostar, as a rather prominent centre which was developing under the direct influence of Arabic-Islamic culture and science, showed affinities toward Sufism from the very beginning of its acquaintance with it, and, thanks to Derviš-pasha Bajazidagić, Ali-dede and others who spread and defended it. Sarajevo, the administrative centre of the Bosnian vilayet of that time, accepted the attitude of Ottoman rule toward Sufism. So, when it was condemned by the Ottoman authorities in Istanbul (as in case of the Hamzevi order e. g.), Sarajevo submitted to such attitudes as well. On the other hand, when the official policies assumed an attitude of reconciliation toward Sufism (and the teaching of Ibn Arabi) Sarajevo, also, was in a position to defend Sufism, thanks to Hadji Halil-effendi Sarajlija (the only knowan source until now) who openly defended the ideas of Ibn Arabi. The school of Prusac remained loyal to the ideas of its founder. It didn't accept any compromises. When the teachings of Hasan Kafi, based on rational judgements, were put to question by the official attitude of the representatives in Istanbul and Sarajevo, the people of Prusac reacted. Ebu Abdullah Nevabadlija Pruščak supplemented the written word of his master Hasan Kafi, englightened the attitude of the school of Prusac, pointed to the most sensitive points of Ibn Arabi and Abdulkadir Gilani and classified all tarikats in the same category, even the Halveti order whose sheikh was appointed by Gazi Husrev-beg to be the leader of his Hanikah. By such an attitude he wanted to point out the non-reconciliation between Sunna and Sufism; i. e. between tarikats in general, imposing a need to reinvestigate the claim that Hasan Kafi built a tekya in Prusac doing the zikr (ritual) there.
Finally, it is important to emphasise that the thinkers in these regions, according to the presented data, were presenting, in theorethical treatises, the officially-posed questions of doctrinal character at the highest level of the Ottoman Empire and were quite open and sharply stated in their opinions.

How to Cite
Nakićević, O. (1987). The margins of the early, verbal conflict of sunism (Islamic orthodoxy) and sufism (Islamic mysticism). Anali Gazi Husrev-Begove Biblioteke, 8(13-14), 179-192. Retrieved from