Arabati Baba Tekje - Derviški manastir
Арабати Баба Теќе - Дервишки манастир
Sacred heritage \ Monastery \ Tetovo, Macedonia
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Arabati Baba Tekje Dervish monastery
On the road out of Tetovo on the way to Gostivar, under the Shar Mountain, there is the Dervish Arabat Baba or Sersem Ali Baba Teke.
Arabati Baba Teke was built in the second half of the 18th Century by Redzep Pasha and his son Abdurahman Pasha, who were also involved in the construction of the Painted Mosque in Tetovo and the Tetovo Fortress. There is also a theory that says that Sersem Ali Baba was the one who began the construction of The Teke.
The Arabati Teke is a complex of religious objects around the grave of Sersem Ali Baba, a dervish who belonged to the Bekteshi Order. Some of these religious objects that still exist today are: "sadrvan", "bogomolja", "turbe", the tower, the drinking fountain, the kitchen and the dining room, the guest bedroom, "dervishane" and "haremlak".
The Arabati Baba Teke was abandoned in 1945 and is now used as a museum.
The Bekteshes lived in the Teke for 120 years. They learned the secrets of their cult, one of the most significant among over 20 known Dervish cults.
The Dervishes are known for their particularly cherished cult towards the late "babas" and "shehs". Once a year, in memory of the Imam Hussein and his family that was slaughtered in Kerberi, Syria, the Dervishes have their religious service. The service includes a prayer with rhythmical music and movement, during which they mention God, sway from the left to the right, back and forth and fall into a mystical trance. At the end they poke themselves with needles and other sharp objects all over their bodies.
The active Dervish life in the Teke existed until 1912. In 1914 it was reintroduced and lasted until 1945, when the Teke was completely deserted.