Nadezhda Dukhovny
Nadezhda Dukhovny

Ancient and unique Uzbekistan –7 saints of Bukhara

Bukhara is the homeland of the seven great Sufis of the Naqshbandi Brotherhood. The great representatives of Sufism lived and led their religious and social life here. They contributed to the formation and prosperity of the Blessed Bukhara, as well as the upbringing of spirituality, the raising of the emotional spirit. There are preserved Muslim sanctuaries – the burial places of the saints of the Sufis, the so-known Pyrs.

The pilgrimage place of the 7 Pyrs in Bukhara. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.

Most of Bukhara’s pilgrims begin their journey with a blessed visit to the Mausoleum of Khoja Abdul Khaliq al-Ghijduvani, a spiritual mentor who paved the path of the Naqshbandi teachings. Abdul Khaliq al-Ghijduvani is connected by the spiritual links of the tenth generation of the prophets. Iwan of the mausoleum with ten columns and pillars is a symbol of the mentioned dynasty.

Khoja Abdul Khaliq al-Ghijduvani mausoleum. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.

At the time of Khoja Abdul Khaliq al-Ghijduvani, the mausoleum was a chillahona, where people came to pray during the forty-day sweltering heat – chilla. The holy place of supplication then becomes a cherished place of worship. In the recent past, the shrine was abandoned. In order for the mausoleum to acquire its today’s exemplary look, it took several generations. Now the Mausoleum of Abdul Khaliq al-Ghijduvani as a part of the Ancient East shows the connection between earth and sky.

Khoja Abdul Khaliq al-Ghijduvani mausoleum. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.

According to the legend, Abdul Khaliq Ghijduwani was a descendant of a great scholar, Imam Malik. His family moved from Anatolian Malatya and settled in the village of Gijduvan,35 kilometers from Bukhara, during the reign of the Great Seljuks dynasty. Khoja Abdulkhalik was born in this village. Therefore, he became known as Gijduwani. His father Imam Abdul Jamil and his mother came from a noble family.

Abdul Khaliq visited a number of Muslim countries and lived for some time in Syria. The good glory of him spread to all the ends of the Islamic caliphate even during his lifetime. Thousands of people came to see and listen to him. As we do not have full information about the life of Abdul Khaliq Ghijduwani, we also know little about his death.

Khoja Abdul Khaliq al-Ghijduvani mausoleum. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.

The Mausoleum of Khoja Muhammad Arif ar-Revgari is the burial place of the murshid Khoja Arif Revgari. Born in the village of Revgar in the middle of the 12th century, Khoja Arif Revgari was one of the worthy successors of the Khojagon tradition – a follower of Sheikh Abdul Khalik Gijduvani, after whose death he headed the brotherhood. He was the second saint of Bukhara out of seven saints. According to the recollections of his contemporaries, he was a very righteous man. His soulful face resembled the moon, in connection with which contemporaries called him “Mohitobon” – “Clear Moon”. Until the end of his life, he was active in religious activities. He loved to pronounce dhikr aloud. There is a legend that Haji Arif lived for 150 years. He was buried in the village of Shafirkan in the Bukhara region.

Khoja Muhammad Arif ar-Revgari mausoleum. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.

The Mausoleum of Khoja Mahmoud Anjir Fagnavi is the burial place of the greatest Sufi and a spiritual teacher. He was born near the city of Vabkent. At the beginning of his career, he was a craftsman and carpenter. Having passed the student’s path, he became a murshid. Mahmoud Anjir Fagnavi was the first to pronounce dhikr loudly, believing that “those who sleep must wake up.” He was buried in his native village Anzhirbog.

Khoja Mahmoud Anjir Fagnavi mausoleum. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.

The memorial complex of Khoja Ali Ramitani is the burial place of the famous spiritual master of the Sufi school of Hajagan. The people called the Sufi “Azizkhon” – the venerable sheikh. Born at the end of the 12th century in the city of Ramitan, he has been professionally weaving throughout his life. He was a student of Mahmoud Fagnawi.

Khoja Ali Ramitani mausoleum. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.

Ali Ramitani succeeded in the impossible – he converted the Mongols to Islam. He helped to restore the scattered lands after the invasion of the Mongols and was engaged in healing. Legend has it that the Sufi was able to read people’s thoughts and answer questions asked before they were voiced aloud. During his long and righteous life, he had many disciples, among whom were his sons. He bequeathed to his youngest son Haji Ibrahim to continue his teaching.

The memorial complex of Khoja Muhammad Bobo Samosiy is the burial place of a famous Sufi, a follower of Haji Ali Ramitani. Khoja Samosiy made an invaluable contribution to the development of Sufism, predicting the birth of the great Bahautdin Muhammad Naqshbandi. Legend has it that once when he drove past the village of Qasr-i-Hinduvan, a miracle happened. He said that the greatest son of Sufism and enlightenment will be born in this place, and this place will be called the “Village of the Enlightened One.” The teacher died at the age of 95 in 1354. The holy burial is located in the village of Simas, Romitan region. A mausoleum, a mosque, a well, and a beautiful garden have been erected here – everything that this non-trivial person personified with his teaching.

Khoja Muhammad Bobo Samosiy mausoleum. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.

The memorial complex of Khoja Sayyid Amir Kulal Bukhari is the burial place of Sayyid Amir Kulal. During his lifetime, he bore the nickname Kalon, which means “Great”. He was professionally engaged in pottery. Glory overtook him long before he became a Great teacher. He was a famous and talented potter.

Khazrat Amir Sayid Kulal mausoleum. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.

Sayyid Amir Kulal was a spiritual authority and had over a hundred followers, among whom was Bahautdin Muhammad Naqshbandi. He introduced Naqshbandi to the basics of Sufism, the correct reading of dhikr, and the traditions of the mystical path of Hajagan. It is believed that the teacher was introduced to the Great Disciple by Sheikh Haji Samosiy, who already then realized that he trusted the most valuable and dear spiritual son. Sayyid Amir Kulal was buried in 1370 in his native village of Suhar.

The Bahautdin Naqshbandi complex. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.

The Bahautdin Naqshbandi complex (16th century) is a unique memorial complex located 12 km from Bukhara. The complex was built in honor of the cult “Teacher of Sufism” Bahautdin Naqshbandi. There is a museum in the Bahautdin Naqshbandi complex, which presents interesting exhibits and information related to the life and work of this amazing person.

The Bahautdin Naqshbandi complex. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.
Sayings of the wise Naqshbandi on the walls of his mausoleum. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.
Sayings of the wise Naqshbandi on the walls of his mausoleum. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.
Sayings of the wise Naqshbandi on the walls of his mausoleum. This photo is courtesy of the Department of Tourism Development of the Bukhara Region.

Amazing and fabulous, ancient and exotic, undoubtedly, primordially oriental and magical – this is the “Noble abode” – the city of Bukhara. To feel all the antiquity of Bukhara and the magical atmosphere of the East, it is enough to plunge into the labyrinths of narrow streets and examine the ancient walls of houses, or at least feel the sweet air of the old bazaar, saturated with a bouquet of oriental aromas. Falling in love with Bukhara forever is not at all difficult!

About the Author
Nadezhda Dukhovny was born and raised in Uzbekistan and made aliya in 2005. She holds an MA in Linguistics from Tel Aviv University and works in translation. She has a true interest about her motherland and would like to tell more about that fascinating country to make Israeli readers familiar with another culture from other part of the globe.
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