During my recent visits to Kosovo and Albania, I had the honour to be invited to visit the Halveti, Saadi and Bektashi Tekke’s and to meet the various Masters. This led to some research and the writing and subsequent publication of this paper with the Philalethes Journal last year. I had previously presented the paper to the online lecture series for the S.R.I.A. (Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia). I have thus posted it up on my Academia profile where it can now be downloaded for free as a pdf, via the link immediately below. I hope you enjoy it.
A recent visit to Kosovo in the Balkans gave me a glimpse into three Islamic Sufi Orders; the Bektashi, Saadi and Halveti. It was interesting to talk to the Masters of these Orders, and to learn how they use initiation and a culture of secrecy, while also providing a journey of spiritual discovery and development for the initiate in a learning environment of signs and symbols, achieving levels of spiritual knowledge—a journey that is perceived by some nineteenth century writers, such as John Yarker, as being reminiscent of the spiritual journey some may experience within Freemasonry. Indeed, Bektashi, Saadi and Halveti are but three of the twelve Sufi Orders that can be found in Kosovo, other examples being Bajrami and Mevlevi. This short paper attempts to explore and examine the perceived Masonic similarities to the Islamic Mystical Movements that can be found in the Balkan region, and will also discuss how the views of nineteenth century Orientalist writers assisted in popularising this view.