From Dervish, Hajdar Gurina
Memorie.al / The dervish of Luzhë, the patriot and cleric of Tropoja, the more time passes, the more he is valued and exalted in the minds and hearts of believers. He was born on 15.07.1904 in the village of Luzhë in the district of Tropoja, in a simple peasant family. Luzha is an almost plain village, with a gentle ridge running through the village, the highest point of which is 295 m. above sea level and descends to 240 m. above sea level in the lowest part, from where is the main car entrance to the village. It is crossed by two Vitalinas, small rivers, which join at the end of the village. The hills of Bukova separate it from Llugaj and Dunisha. Mount Dobrej, separates it from the villages; Tpla, Degë, Berishë, Bytyç and Maja e Dhinë, from the village of Mejdan.
It is in the “heart” of Tropoja, but it is not directly bordered by any of its villages. Luzha is a natural wonder, a gift from God, as is Tropoja, a gem in the Albanian Alps area. The village has great natural resources above and below ground, which makes life easy for the villagers. In winter, it is the last to be covered by snow. The rich soil, the climate and the hard work of the people of Luzhjan, make that many agricultural crops are cultivated there and cattle are bred. During the summer, most of them travel to the mountain of Balcina. The history of today’s population originates from Botusha in Kosovo and begins in 1555. A prosperous country, patriotic, loyal, hospitable, generous, hardworking, intelligent people and with a history that for all past generations makes to feel proud
In this village with patriotic, religious, educational, cultural traditions, etc., dervish Rexhep Tarçuk Bala was born who, by the will of Allah, grew up, was formed and exalted with his piety in worship and service in the way of God. He grew up an orphan, after his parents died and left him small. He was taken care of by his uncle (uncle) Bajram Sefe Bala, who treated him like his own children. From his childhood, the signs of the future dervish were visible and gradually Allah filled him with the necessary knowledge and power to be pious in the divine path of the Ahlitarikat, of charity towards the believers who turned to him. In the Qur’an, surah al-Baqarah, verse 21, page 33, it is said: “O people, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you so that you may be pious.”
And this worship of father Dervish began as soon as he opened his eyes for the first time in this life until he passed into the Hereafter, in the neighborhood of his Lord. In Surah a Nisa verse 1 page 109 it is said: “O you people! Fear your Lord, who created you from one self and from it created its mate, and from them many men and women were added. And fear Allah, by whose name you swear, protect your relatives because Allah is watching over you”. For me, for all of us who have known Dervish Luzha closely, this Quranic verse sounds very accurate and original. He was fond of cousins, villagers, tribal and friendly ties. He was there at the right time and place and helped them with whatever they needed. How necessary does this Quranic verse sound today, where there seems to be “coldness” in the family and society, to say the least…?!
He dedicated his whole life to this religion, calling himself a simple servant, without bragging, without words, but with few words and more in silence, he preached faith in one God who is Allah. In some cases, he mentioned the name of a person who was “unwanted” even by the opinion, who opposed the people with the “cloak” of power, a servant of the regime in power at the time. Very young, Rexhep Tarçuk Bala, takes the path where God leads him to Teqe e Çaja in Kukës. There, at the age of 17, he dresses as a dervish of the Halveti order, where he sees Rexhepi, who completes him with the necessary services. Dervish returns to his beloved hometown, Luzhë, from where he got the name Dervish of Luzhë. His mother Fate was lucky and blessed as God gave her son, saint, leader, leader and keeper of the original appearance of dervish and dervishism, in the conditions of a fierce war of the communist state, against the clergy and religion in Albania.
They persecuted him and tried to turn him away from the path of religion and tariqa, but they did not achieve their dark goal. The people who consciously opposed him (adults) God has judged and is judging them. I have known the Dervish of Luzhë closely, since my first steps in life. He often came to our house, as we were neighbors of a brotherhood, but he was also very good with my father, Sali Sadri Gurina, who was the myhyb of the tariqat. Luzha’s dervish was simple. He always kept the uniform of the Halveti Dervish. The taja, which is also reflected in the photos we have today, and the hirka, whose role was played by the black cape and which he never took off, were part of His body. God willed and for my generation, that we knew him closely, satisfied and obedient in spirit, we talk about His genius qualities, about knowledge, power, and wisdom in solving the problems and problems of believers, wherever and whenever. In the Islamic religion, it is said: “When God speaks with the mouth of man, miracles (miracles) occur.”
And through the mouth of Father Dervish, God always spoke. He was fond of children, believers and His tariqat brothers. He is appreciated for the “model” leader of the dervish, who worked for the pleasure of God, to gain His paradise. The dervish traveled from village to village, preaching faith in Allah, finding love and compassion for people and their problems, obviously their solution. The facts are thousands and the miracles of Father Dervish are passed down from generation to generation. We Tropojans know and know them well. His gaze expressed the depth of thought, meditation, certainty in what he believed, served and accomplished. I personally, as a believer, have vivid, extraordinary evidence of his religious charity, which has helped me and my family. He has made the chiefs (intercession) to Allah Almighty, Merciful and Merciful, so the problems have been solved in the right way, and for this, we are satisfied and grateful.
This is how all believers speak. If he came to your house, he was “hidden”, as the people say, he gave you good luck, he never asked for anything in exchange for service, he did not take for granted the expectation and respect given. Folk music, songs, dances, he liked very much. This is shown by the lute that he never separated from himself. He played the lute and sang; he liked men’s dancing and often danced himself at weddings. Completed by Allah with the necessary knowledge, the gift of prediction, determination of events, telepathy and foresight, have made him an immortal religious, difficult to reach by others. Dervish of Luzhë, never ranked after the pleasures of this world. The only goal for him was to worship and work for His pleasure, good deeds for which I am sure that with them, he has earned and will be rewarded by Allah in eternity.
Mysticism or Tasawwuf as it is known by the Islamic world is the spiritual vitality of man. It is the fruit that comes out when a person eradicates his egoism and material existence, with the help of religious rules; he becomes the owner of the throne of the heart. Islamic mystics base this thesis on the high divine expression: “Neither the sky nor the earth moves me; only the heart of the obedient believer moves me. By purifying the heart from all evil, a person is sanctified, reaches the highest moral levels, all hidden treasures are revealed to him, he remains merged in the throne of God, which in the religious language of Islamic mystics say: “Beka Billah” (rest in God). I, who write these lines, am sure that Baba Dervish was like that and that he lived, served, for the pleasure of Allah, abandoning all the pleasures of this material life.
Dervish Rexhep Tarçuk Balaj, is the saint who, by the will of God, achieved the full realization and at the highest level of reliance on these four pillars, principles, guiding laws knowing and respecting them. In the long way as a charity, he has served without religious differences, without other differences, never asking for anything in exchange for services. He was a patriot and a fighter for the liberation of Albania and Kosovo from the foreign invaders. With His wish and request, he joined the XXV Partisan Assault Brigade of Tropoja. In one hand he held our national flag and in the other the teber (sword). He led the liberation brigade to the border with Serbia.
I, who am writing on this 109th anniversary of the birth of Dervish of Luzha, am a history graduate, but I have great emotions and I am afraid of making mistakes in His biography. The purpose of the writing is to commemorate with love, respect, gratitude, humility, faith and hope the life of the Dervish of Luzha and to educate young people in respect and faith in religion and God. The dervish made his life a “nursery”, to spread the divine light, the laws of God wherever he passed, his whole life, he spent it to help people in need, poor’s, for those whose eyes, mind and soul guide him with submission to Allah, our savior. I don’t think about the wealth and “luxury” of the real world.
I am a witness when the communist party and state asked them through me to agree to build a house for them in Luzhë. At that time I was the chairman of the village council. I found the dervish at Shiqer Uka’s house in Matoshaj and presented their opinion to him. He told me that; they want to build me a house on the “yellow line” and they refused. He carried all his “wealth” with him in a sack. In his hand, he usually carried a wooden stick, with 72 knots. With this he alluded to the martyrs of the Qerr-Bela War (my opinion). The Halveti sect has an obligation in special cases, with the duty of the sheikh of Teqe, that the believer closes himself for 40 days in solitude, inside Teqe. During this time, zikr is performed, the Qur’an is read and prayers are addressed to the great God. Baba Dervish made Halveti in his special way, in a “grave pit” in Cerrnica. He spent his last years in his beloved village of birth, in Luzhë.
First to Shiqer Uk Matoshi, then he comes to my father, Sali Sadria and tells him that; I came as a dead person, to “give up my soul” to your house. The father tells him that; I am a communist and your arrival is frowned upon by the party and my children remain without school. You know my joy and desire Dervish – says father to Dervish. Yes, that’s right says the Dervish and I don’t want to hurt you. After that he gets up and runs away. Placed at Hysni Halit Bala, until the end of His 81-year-old life. There he found the respect and service he needed. You often hear people say that I kept Dervish at home. It is true that the Highlands of Gjakova loved Baba Dervish, like no one else, but we must admit that Dervish kept himself and us, kept us, keeps us and helps us even today as we speak.
Where his Tyrbja is, about a year before he died, Hysni Bala planted a sturgeon, at the Dervish’s request, in the meadow of Sefa, the Dervish’s grandfather Rexhep Tarçuk Balaj. I had the great fortune, with God’s will, to be a spiritual follower of the holy path of Ehlibeit, having the continuous help of the saints of Tropoja, especially Baba Dervish. I am the only intellectual of Tropoja, who participated in His burial. It has been difficult for that political period. All roads were controlled by State Security and spies to document the participants, but of course none resulted in state punishment. He had chosen the burial place himself.
The activity of Dervish Luzhë was very dimensional: in height as it is related to the divine activity and the exalted Allah, in time as it is eternal, in space as it extends to Tropoja, the Albanian territories and beyond. Believers of different peoples honor light candles with respect and faith in His anger and pray to God. Man is a guest in this life and the long one is then. Baba Dervish, full of faith surrendered to God, always worked that on the Day of Judgment in the Field of Mahsher, the prophet Muhammad (a.s), will open the door of paradise. In the war with the Yazidi, with the evil, with the vices, the stains on the conscience, with the ugly sides of the society and moreover fought by the communist regime, he came out victorious and is a martyr of Allah. In this short article dedicated to the true benefactor of Tropoja, I think we should give some messages that have also been His constant advice:
– The family is sacred, let’s keep it clean. May love, respect, sincerity, cooperation, halal and peace rule there?
– Children should love their mother and father with respect, always be humble towards them, serve them with piety. Do not forget that God “begins” with the mother and the father.
– To respect the neighbor and help him in times of need.
– To expand religious knowledge by respecting God’s institutions (mosques), by reading the Qur’an, Sharia laws, to be cultured and pious for family and society.
– Political and state institutions should serve with purity, humanity and respect for the laws in force and the problems of the people.
– The written and visual media should do more in the service of the religious and patriotic education of the generations.
– Religious institutions should work more and connect directly with believers wherever they are without pretensions, but with piety for the pleasure of Allah. Religious literature should be more social and go to the believer without material interest, but only spiritual, for God’s sake.
By closing the writing, I hope I have influenced your religious feelings of faith a little, so as not to forget our saints, but to remember them with love, respect and faith. Let the life and bright work of the Dervish of Luzha be a model of simplicity, piety and dedication to be fulfilled in our family, social, state, political duties and for us Dervishes, on the religious path, on the path of Imam Ali, in the way of Prophet Muhammad (a.s), in the way of Allah, our Almighty God. For me he was, is and remains the father, the leader, the irreplaceable spiritual leader.
In my path as a benefactor and healer, I am sure with faith in God, that I will continue with complete dedication and piety the mission and the rank of Dervish, given by the great Teqeja of Halveti of Albania – Pazari. May God have mercy, forgive and send dervish Rexhep Tarçuk Balaj to the highest paradise. The faithful, the dervishes of the Hak, do not bury the saints in their bodies, but in their hearts and souls. May God bless Albania and Albanians wherever and whenever they are? God forgive me if I have unintentionally made any mistakes in my writing. Amen. Memorie.al