The country that is now called Bosnia and Herzegovina, informally called Bosnia, is located in the Balkan region of Europe. The modern state became independent in 1992. The capital and the largest city of Bosnia is Sarajevo.
The history of the Naqshbandi Order in Bosnia and other Balkan states is quite old. Many tekkes (khānqāh in Persian) of the Naqshbandi Order are still functional in Bosnia, and followers frequent them for receiving spiritual training and performing dhikr. However, many such tekkes have lost the original methods and teachings of the Naqshbandī masters, and adopted methods of dhikr and other practices over time.
Bosnia was conquered by Ottoman Empire in 1463. Very soon, the Ottomans sent scholars and shaykhs of different tarīqas to the newly conquered Balkan lands to spread Islam and Sufism in the local population. The first Naqshbandī tekke in Bosnia was constructed very soon after the conquest, in the same year 1463, by Iskandar Pāshā, who was the governor of Bosnia. It was built in a village near a river bank, on the site where the modern city Sarajevo stands. It was called the Tekke of Shaykh Musāfir.
Probably the first Naqshbandi Sufi master who entered the Balkan states and firmly established the Order there was Haḍrat Mullā ʻAbdullāh Ilāhī (d.896 AH), who was a khalīfa of Khwāja ʻUbaydullāh Aḥrār qaddas-Allāhu sirrahū. After learning the tarīqa from Khwāja Aḥrār, who came to Istanbul where he established a tekke and had many followers, including some from the ruling elites. Soon, he moved on to Greece where he lived and died in Vardar Yenicesi in northern Greece, where his tomb was a place of pilgrimage for the next two centuries (until Greece was recaptured by the Christians). Continue reading