The Baktashi Qadhi

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is a story by Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak al-Jerrahi (q.s.), from his book, Adornment of Hearts.  He related this story word for word as he heard it from his own teacher, who was present on the occasion.

A qadhi, magistrate, was once appointed to the town of Sivas, and the local dignitaries went to bid him welcome.  In the course of the friendly gathering, conversation turned to the question of affiliation to various Sufi orders.  Some of those present said they were Rifa’is, some Khalwatis, some Naqshbandis, and others Mawlawis.

This discussion left the qadhi laughing cynically, for he did not believe in the Sufi path.  When everyone had stated his affiliation, the new magistrate decided to make fun of his host by claiming to be a Baktashi.  They were all at a loss to understand how a graduate of a formal academy could have become a Baktashi, but politeness restrained their curiosity.

The time was getting rather late, so the session broke up and everyone dispersed.  The qadhi was aggravated by the evening's conversation, to which he had listened with concealed animosity.  He performed his night prayer and then lay down to sleep.

During the night he had a terrifying dream.  The Resurrection had come and he was being summoned to the Court of the Almighty.  Convicted of many miscarriages of justice, the qadhi was Condemned to Hell.  He wept and screamed as the responsible angels dragged him away.  Just then, a noble being of radiant countenance entered the Divine Court, prostrating himself as he said, “My Lord, this person is my dervish, a follower of mine.  I am Your friend, Your saint, Hajj Baktash.  If You Consign this qadhi to the Fire, I shall not enter Paradise.  Either let me accompany him, or let him come with me into Paradise!”

The All-Glorious Answered, “Take him!  I Pardon this sinful magistrate for your sake.”

The venerable saint then took the terrified and shaken qadhi by the hand, and leading him off to Paradise, he said, “This is the consideration we offer to one who merely pretends to be a disciple.  Had you been a genuine follower of mine, I would have enabled you to reach the Garden of Essence.”

The qadhi awoke as if he would never go back to sleep again.  He had difficulty concentrating on his early morning prayer.  “I only pretended to be a Baktashi and yet I entered Paradise, saved from the Fire by the intercession of saint, Hajj Baktash.  If I really became his disciple, who knows what exalted station I might attain?”

After the morning prayer, he sought out the group who had welcomed him the night before.  He told them of his experience, adding, “If there is a Baktashi shaykh here in Sivas, I shall immediately pledge my allegiance to him.”  True to his word, found the local Baktashi Shaykh and became a member of the Baktashi Order.


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