Of the many tombs found throughout BiH, one of the most famous is Jedileri (Turkish = the tomb of the seven), in Bistrik, and locally known as the Tomb of the Seven Brothers.
This does not refer to brothers by birth, but rather “brothers by faith”, all of whom were buried during different periods.
The history of this tomb goes back to the founding of Sarajevo, for it is assumed that a certain Sheikh, who had come with the army of Sultan Mehmed II el-Fatih, was the first to be buried in this very spot. It was for this reason that the area around the tomb was once called Šejhove duge njive (the Sheikh’s extensive fields), later shortened to Šejhove
dugonje by locals. The Sheikh built his house among the fields and in his will he asked to be buried at the base of his garden, with the remaining area used as a Muslim cemetery.
Later on, two dervishes were buried here. They were foreigners who were unjustly accused, tried and killed in 1494, when a large sum of money went missing from the city treasury. Right after their deaths, word reached Sarajevo that the thieves who had stolen the money had been caught in Čajniče.
More than two centuries later, four Bosnian Army captains from Bosanski Brod were also buried. Mustafa-pasha Dalbatan accused them of being late in reporting Prince Eugene of Savoy’s passage over the Sava, which had enabled him to attack, burn and destroy Sarajevo in 1697. The doubts which many Sarajevans had had about the captains’ actual guilt in the whole matter were later confirmed by reports that “heavenly lights descended” upon their graves.
As a result, a wooden fence with a roof was built around the graves. The tomb that stands today was made from an endowment created by the Bosnian Vali, Sulejman-pasha Skopljak. In 1815 he gave the order that a wall with seven windows be built around the graves and that a room be added for the tomb keeper, which was to also serve as a small tekija. As the room was soon too small to accommodate all of the dervishes, Jedileri Tekija was built near the tomb. Unfortunately, the tekija was knocked down in 1937 to make way for the Čokadži Vakuf building, which still stands to this day.
It is a custom among Sarajevans to visit Jedileri and offer sadaqa (charity in the name of God) and to seek guidance during various difficulties, from problems in love to health issues. If you are seeking a solution to some dilemma, elderly Sarajevans suggest that you pray to God at the door of the tomb, then drop some coins into the slots in each of the seven windows and offer “selam” (peace and blessings) to each of the deceased. On your way back, you should pay close attention to what others around you are saying, for the first words that you hear will contain the answer to your quandary!
Also, if you have come to the tomb asking for help, you must not go back the way you came, so when you leave, you should go in a different direction.