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A little history of the organization of Bektashism in Albania

Josef Balliu or Ballëm Sultan was born on 1452, in the town of Dimoteka, Bullgaria. He was raised with a broad culture, and became well-known for his religious knowledge. Since in early age he was going often with his father in the tekke of Sejjid Ali Sultan. He was raised there, made the solemn oath and won the Bektashee dress, as a virgin dervish (myxherret). There, he was inspired with the bektashee mystic soul, and was promoted as “father” and later on as “”grandfather”. Later on he started his journey to the tekke of Haji Bektash together with 40 friends also dervishes. Travelling, he passed by to Istanbul, where Bajazit II was the king, who happened to be sick during those days. Ballëm Sultan paid a visit to him and he started to pray to God when he saw the king was sick. The prayer of Ballëm Sultan was accepted and the king got better. When he was totally healed, he remained much exited from Ballëm Sultan. While Ballëm Sultan was leaving, the king gifted him with a special decree for the tekke and many lands given by the state. Ballëm Sultan with 40 dervishes started working and reorganized the tekke of Haji Bektash, and he spread and multiplied the Bektashee tarikat

BALLËM SULTAN (1452-1517)

He made great services to the Bektashee tarikat, by reorganizing it, systemized it with tekkes, fatherhoods and grandfatherhoods in many places of the world. He established the system of virginity for clerics in the tekke of Haji Bektash. His fame was spread as much during those times as on 1509, the king of that time Sultan Bajazit II called him in Instanbul and received him with great honours. He remained as a guest of the court for a long time, where the king himself and many personalities of the palace mori dore. The Bektashee tariqat owes a lot to the services of Ballëm Sultan, because he made its voice to be heard all over the world, because it had a great basis and excellent organization, and because he was the greatest personality after Haji Bektash and a mystic versifier. He continued the religious duty till the end of his life on 1517. The figure of Ballëm Sultan became a symbol, a saint, as he was called the Pir II of Bektashee.


The re-establishment of the Virginity System, because that would set free the dervishes from all other attentions and they would focus only on religious matters. He established the practice of the right ear-piercing and putting the Virginity Ring in a special ceremony in order for the bektashee dervishes to be distinguished from the others.

  1. The reorganization of the Bektashee tekkes everywhere in the world, lead by the Kryegjyshata, Fatherhood tekke, till the smallest institutions dervishes.
  2. Changes made in the cleric’s wearing.
  3. The establishment of the rules and discipline for the welfare of the religious activities and of the internal life of the tekke.
  4. Removal of the right of the hereditary of the Celepia Dynasty.

Ballëm Sultan is called the Pir II of the Bektashee Tariqat