The construction of
Mir-i-Arab Madrasah ( Miri Arab Madrasah) is ascribed to Sheikh Abdullah Yamani of Yemen - called
Mir-i-Arab - the spiritual mentor of Ubaidullah-khan and his son
Abdul-Aziz-khan. Ubaidullah-khan waged permanent successful
war with Iran. At least three times his troops seized Herat. Each of such plundering raids on Iran was accompanied by capture of great
many captives. They say that Ubaidullah-khan had invested money gained from redemption of more than
three thousand Persian captives into construction of Mir-i-Arab Madrasah.
The war with Iran, heated up by ideas of holy war between two historical branches of Islam (Shi'as and Sunni), was considered as piety. Persian military man wore
turbans with 12 red stripes in honor of 12 Shi'a Imams. Therefore, Turkic-speaking Sunnis gave them
contemptuous nickname "kizilbashi" (red-headed).
Ubaidullah-khan was very religious. He had been nurtured in high respect for Islam in the
spirit of Sifism. His father named him in honor of prominent sheikh of the 15-th century
Ubaidullah al-Ahrar (1404-1490), by origin from
The portal of Miri Arab Madrasah is situated on one axis with the portal of the Kalyan Mosque. However, because of some lowering of
the square to the east it was necessary to raise a little an edifice of the madrasah on a platform.
By the thirties of the 16-th century the time, when sovereigns erected splendid mausoleums for themselves and for their relatives, was over. Khans of Shaibanid dynasty were
standard-bearers of Koran traditions. The significance of religion was so great that even such famed khan as
Ubaidullah was conveyed to earth close by his mentor in his madrasah. In the middle of
the vault (gurhana) in Mir-i-Arab Madrasah is situated the wooden tomb of Ubaidullah-khan. At his head is wrapped in the moulds his mentor - Mir-i-Arab.
Muhammad Kasim, mudarris (a senior teacher) of the madrasah (died in 1047
hijra) is also interred near by here.