220th anniversary of Shtuf tekke, Gjirokastra (1800-2020)
Bismilahi Rrahmani Rrahim!
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful!
Dear brothers, clerics and Bektashi believers of the South of Albania!
Dear clerics, myhibans and benefactors of the Tufa tekke!
As today, 220 years ago, on that small but beautiful hill of Gjirokastra, in front of the stone houses, the tekke of Shtuf would lay its foundations, adding a new dimension to the mosaic of religious harmony of city. It was father Hajdër Plaku, who, with the spirit of his holiness, but also with the help of the citizens of Gjirokastra, laying the foundations of the house of Haxhi Bektash Veliu, really paved the way for the wisdom and love of our sect.
The line of fathers and dervishes of this tekke is undoubtedly long. But in the historical memory of the people of Gjirokastra, as well as in the history of Bektashism, the names of father Hajdër Plaku, father Selimi, father Kapllani, father Bektashi, father Ismail, father Sulejman, etc. will remain for a long time, who, in a special way, together with the light of faith in God, knew how to spread the boundless love for our nation. Their lives are pages of glory not only in the memoirs of world Bektashism, but also examples of inspiration at the patriotic level.
Ruined three times, first by the Turks, second by the Greeks and third by the atheist regime we went through. The Tufa tekke is being rebuilt today with the care of our father, Skënder Dervishi, of hundreds of believers in the South of Albania. Its former glory, not only did not fade, but was preserved and transmitted today from generation to generation, with the love that lasts for God, the nation, the family, our Albania full of troubles. It is being rebuilt today, with that pathos and spirit, like 220 years ago, because the mission of the tekkes is as follows: unity and brotherhood among Albanians, unity to face the wars of this world.
Sisters and brothers!
Yesterday we received the long-awaited news that the Tuf shrine was declared a “Cultural Monument.” Let there remain a monument of our loyalty in the path of Haxhi Bektash Veliu, a monument of that love we had for God and for this tekke, even in those difficult times we have gone through.
Honor and respect to all the dervishes and fathers who served in the Tufa tekke!
Honor and respect to all those myhib and benefactors who kept alive the memory of this tekke!
God bless you all!
THE WORLD GRANDFATHER OF THE BEKTASHINS
HAXHI DEDE EDMOND BRAHIMAJ