Muslim relics located in
There are more than 160 Muslim relics
located in Uzbekistan. This proves the special importance of Uzbekistan for the
whole Islamic world. In the Middle Ages the territory of Uzbekistan was not only
a large political and cultural power, but also an important religious center.
The religious scientist-theologians of Bukhara like Mukhammad Imam al-Bukhari,
abu Khavsi Kabir, Sayf-ad-Din Bokharzi, the founder of the Tarikat Nakshbandiya,
and Mukhammad Bakha-ad-Din Nakshband are widely known in the Islamic world. In Bokohoroi-Sharif, sacred
Bukhara, in the Rome of Asia -
Khiva, among the hundreds of religious structures the numerous and most
interesting from the point of view of architecture are mausoleum, mosques, medreses and other structures.
Three periods can be mentioned in the
evolution of the architecture of religious structures: the 7th-12th cc, the
period of formation of religious construction; the 15th-17th cc, the period of
its flourishing and finally the 18th-20th cc, the period characterized by the
decrease in the construction of mosques.
The Soviet period was characterized
by almost full stagnation in Islamic religious construction; most of the
religious relics and structures were ruined. Only after independence were the
mosques and relics reconstructed to achieve their original appearance and
The Ensemble of Bakhaaddin Nakshbandi of the 15th century
Being very esteemed in Bukhara, Sheikh Bakhaaddin Nakshbandi (died in
1389) was the tutor of Timur, and a tailor in his early life. He produced silk
textiles with golden embroidery and subsequently became the protector of all
crafts. Worshiping the holy grave of the sheikh was equal to the Hadj to Mecca.
In the 1980s the Bukhara adherents of Bakhaaddin (the protector of Bukhara)
reconstructed the memorial complex by khahshar (collective working without
Before Islam there was a pagan temple here, with which the holiday
of the red rose is related. This holiday was celebrated annually near mazar. In
1544 by the order of the khan Abdulaziz I, in honor of the sheikh, a dakhma with
carved marble fencing and a great structure of khanaki (42.5 x 38) were
constructed. After many years the dakhma was moved to a distinct courtyard with
a khauz (pond) in its center and with painted mosques of Muzaffarkhan and Khakum
Kushbegi. On the bank of the khauz there is a picturesque four-flat chartak
(sakkhana). A minaret and a small medrese are located in front of the facade of
the Kushbegi mosque. Westwards from the dakhma in a distinct courtyard there is
a large necropolis, the burial-vault of the governors of Bukhara.
spirituality of expressive architectural structures, and the calmness and
seclusion of the ensemble attracted religious people, encouraging them to pray
Read more about the Ensemble of Bakhaaddin Nakshbandi...
Chor Bakr (16th-18th centuries)
The mazar on the grave
of the founder of the djuybar khadjes, Abu Bakr Sad, known as Chor Bakr, was
very popular in Bukhara. This grandchild of a famous Bukhara sufi, khadji Islam
Djuybari (16th c) made an important contribution to the accomplishment of the
mazar. In the four parts (charbag) of this garden there are other trees as well.
6 km from the gate of the city two aryks were laid and trees were planted along
them. This green path, Khiaban, connected Chor Bakr with Bukhara. The
construction of Chor Bakr continued for a long time. A group of family funeral
yards, khazira, appeared along the traditional corridor. The front central
complex of khanaka, mosque and medrese is directed towards it. The space between
them is taken up by a medrese. And the importance of the structures is
emphasized by the minaret.
A narrow path leads to the family crypts. The
entrance portals, darvaza and ayvans of the memorial mosques are built in the
brick walls of the yards.
Read more about Chor
The ensemble of Shakhi Zinda (12th-15th
The modest and chaste wives and sisters of Amir Timur
expressed their wish to be buried on the threshold of this place, which is
guarded by angels, wrote Abu Takhir Khodja. The structures here rise up to the
azure sky. They are decorated and beautiful structures, as if the sky-blue
cupola opens its eyes to the Moon and the Sun. The blue shining burial-vault
lies along the ancient hills of Afrosiab. The major relic is the mazar on the
top of the hill, which is believed to belong to Kusam, the son of Abbas, who is
the cousin of the prophet Muhammad. The ritual of worshiping his grave was
formed in ancient times. There is a legend about him, about Shakhi Zinda, the
living king. This personage is known in Central Asia from ancient times and is
related to the figure of Siyavush, the suffering deity. This originated in the
ancient cult of suffering and dying deities.
According to archeological
research, the territory of the necropolis was a part of the ancient city till
the 11th c. The bases and crypts of the first structures of the ensemble are
from the 12th c. In the 13th c, after the Mongolian conquer, the people
abandoned the old fortress and Shakhi Zinda was empty for a long time. At the
beginning of 14th c, mausoleums began to arise on the lands of Shakhi Zinda. By
the time Timur died (February, 1405) the structures of Shakhi Zinda were located
within the borders of ancient Samarkand. Later, during the reign of Ulugbek the
structures of the lower group were built on the remains of Afrasiab. A wide
staircase was built to reach the top of Afrasiab. The structures of the lower
group were completed in the period of 1434-1435. The writing on the portal says:
This great building was founded by Abdulazizkhan, the son of Ulugbek Guragan,
the son of Shakhrukh, the son of Amir Timur Guragan in 838/1434 AD. The complex
of mausoleums Shakhi Zinda is very popular among religious people. Even at the
beginning of 20th c, every Thursday zeals of dervishes of the Kadiriya order
were held here. The ceremony djarkhiya (a loud zeal) began in the upper mosque;
then spelling the word kho or khu, the participants came down along the long
stairs to the lower mosques. Before the end of the ceremony the singing of
religious poems (khofiz) was performed.
Read more about
ensemble of Shakhi Zinda...
The Ensemble of Zangiata (late
Islam became a widespread state religion in the 19th
c. Nevertheless along with the official Islam, some popular mystical sects also
developed. The preachers of these religious movements were the sufis, the
founders of the sufi sects and the dervish orders.
According to the legends,
the two one-chamber mausoleums of the popular Tashkent sufi Zangiota and his
wife Ambar bibi were built by Timur in the 14th c. His name was Aykhodja
nicknamed Zangiota, which means the black. Born in the settlement of Sham and
being the descendant of Khozrat Arslanbaba he was the fifth murid of the sufi
Khoja Akhmad Yassavi, who was considered to be the religious patron of all the
Turkic tribes of Central Asia. Worshiping the cult of Zangiota on holiday turned
into a mass celebration with performances of acrobats, magicians and dervishes.
Read more more about the ensemble of Zangiata...
The Ensemble of Ismail Bukhari
The mazar of Mukhammad ibn Ismail Bukhari is
located 12 kilometers from Samarkand. It is known as the mazar of Khedja Ismail.
Here near the grave of Ismail a cathedral mosque was built.
Bukhari lived in the 9th c and is known as the collector of 7275 khadises - the
legends about the life and activity of Muhammad and the author of Saikh, i
Bukhari. This collection of khadises is the fullest, the most authentic and
canonical in Islam. In Samari Abu Takhir Khodja tells about the miraculous
influence of this sacred person on epidemics. The grandfather of imam Muhammad
was a fire-worshipper. He accepted Islam and his son was a good narrator of folk
tales about the life of the prophet, which consequently were included into Sunna, which gave them the status of laws for Muslims.
Mazar of Khadja
Akhrar (15th-19th centuries)
Khodja of Khodjas - he who understands the
point of the matter. This is how Abdurakhman Djami described one of the most influencial sheikhs of the Temurid epoch, Ubaydulla Khodja Akhrar. He bent the
people's will with his perfect power. He had a handsome appearance and wonderful
spiritual qualities. His spiritual power applied not only to his followers, but
also to governors. The sheikh himself was an educated theologian and wrote
poems. He died in 1490 and was buried in dakhma in a mausoleum with a facing
made of white carved marble. In the khazir of khadja Akhrar other important
religious people are also buried.
In 1638 by the order of Nadir Divanbegi,
the architect Dostmukhammad a large medrese, was built near the tomb of the sheykh. It was considered as the mirror Shyr Dar. Later, a summer mosque with
patterned ceiling and khanaka was built near the ancient khauz. A small minaret
was raised in the shadows of chinars. Even now the call to pray which comes from
the minaret can be heard.
Read more about the
Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah...