Visit of the Maqams of the Great Sufi Saints of Bukhara: Sayyid Amir Kulal. During his lifetime he was nicknamed Kalon, which meant “the great one”. He was a potter by trade. He was famous long before he became the great teacher. Sayyid Amir Kulal was and had a spiritual authority over a hundred followers, including Baha-ud-Din Naqschband Buchari à Baha-ud-Din Naqschband Bukhari, the famous “teacher of Sufism”. Zikr with Sheikh Mehmed Effendi. Back to Bukhara and continue the sightseeing tour with some shopping in Bukhara. First you will visit the oldest citadel in Bukhara from the 4th century called Citadel Ark which served as a palace for several dynasties of the Bukhara Empire. Then visit the Poi-Kalon Ensemble, a unique example of Bukhara architectural art. It consists of three Structures built in the 12th – 16th centuries: Kalon Minaret, Kalon Mosque and Mir Arab Madrasa. Free time after the sightseeing tour. Overnight in Bukhara
Amir Kulāl (1278–1370), Persian: امیر کلال, Arabic: امیر کلال, birth name Shams ud-Dīn (Persian: شمس الدین, Arabic: شمس الدین), was a Persian Sufi Islamic scholar, widely considered to be one of the most influential in history. He was a member of the mystical Khajagan order. His father was the Sufi scholar Saif ud-Dīn Hamza (سیف الدین حمزہ), a sayyid descendant of Prophet Muhammad. Saif ud-Dīn Hamza was amir (chieftain) of the Persian Kulal-Tribe, his full title being Amir-i-Kulal. After his father’s death, Shams ud-Dīn became the amir and head of the tribe. By this time his reputation as a scholar and religious figure had spread through Chagatai Khanate and the title Amir-i-Kulal, had become his common name. Shams ud-Dīn was named after his grandfather, the spiritual mentor of the Barlas tribe and of Turghai, the father of Amir Timur. Because he made earthenware, he was popularly referred to as “Kulāl”, which means “potter” in Persian.
Kulal had a number of students who later became prominent figures in history, including Baha-ud-Dīn Naqshband and the conqueror Amir Timur. After rise of the Timurid Dynasty, a close relationship began between the houses of Amir Timur and Amir Kulal and continued through the Mughal line in India. Kulal is buried at Sokhar, near Bukhara, Uzbekistan.
Sayyid Amir Kulal is known as the Rose of the Characteristics and Attributes of the Prophet, the Furthest Lote Tree of Desire for the Ultimate Stations, the Owner of the Throne of Guidance, the Attractor of Heavenly Blessings, and the Teacher with his holy breath of the Secrets of the Divine. He is a mujaddid or Renewer of the sharica (Law), a Master of the tariqa (Way), a builder of haqiqa (Reality), and a guide for khaliqa (Creation). He was distinguished for mastery among the saints of his time, who applied the following saying to him: “The Saints of Mastery are the Masters of all Saints.”
He was born in the village of Sukhar, two miles from Bukhara. His family were sayyid, descendants of the Holy Prophet . His mother said, “When I was pregnant with him, whenever my hand went towards doubtful food, I would be unable to convey it to my mouth. This happened to me many times. I knew that I had someone special in my womb. I was careful and chose my food from the best and assuredly halal (lawful) food.”
In his childhood he was a wrestler. He used to practice all of its arts, until he became one of the most famous wrestlers in his time. All the wrestlers would gather around him to learn from him. One day, a man watching him wrestle had the following thought come to his heart: “How is it that a person who is the Descendant of the Prophet and who is deeply knowledgeable in sharica and tariqat, is practicing this sport?” He immediately fell into a deep sleep and dreamt that it was the Judgement Day. He felt that he was in great difficulty and that he was drowning. Then the shaikh Sayyid Amir al-Kulal appeared to him and rescued him from the water. He woke up and Sayyid Amir al-Kulal ق looked at him and said, “Did you witness my power in wrestling and my power in intercession?”
One time his shaikh-to-be, Muhammad Baba as-Samasi ق, was passing by his wrestling arena, accompanied by his followers. He stopped and stood there. An evil whisper came to the heart of one of his followers saying, “How is it that the shaikh is standing here in this wrestling arena?” The shaikh looked at his follower immediately and said, “I am standing here for the sake of one person. He is going to be a great Knower. Everyone will come to him for guidance and through him people will reach the highest states of Divine Love and the Divine Presence. My intention is to bring this person under my wing.” At that moment Amir Kulal ق gazed at him, was attracted and abandoned the sport of wrestling. He followed Shaikh Muhammad Baba As-Samasi to his house. Shaikh Samasi taught him the dhikr and the principles of this most distinguished tariqat and told him, “You are now my son.”
Shaikh Kulal followed Shaikh Samasi for 20 years, spending all his time in dhikr, seclusion, worship, and self-denial. No one saw him in these 20 years except in the company of his shaikh. He would come to see his shaikh in Samas every Monday and Thursday, although the distance was five miles and the journey difficult, until he reached a state of unveiling (mukashafa). At that time his fame began to spread everywhere until he left this world.
He had four children, as-Sayyid al-Amir Burhanuddin, as-Sayyid al-Amir Hamza, as-Sayyid al-Amir Shah, and as-Sayyid al-Amir ‘Umar. He also had four khalifs, but he passed his secrets to only one of them, the Master of Masters, the Knower of Knowers, the Greatest of Arch-Intercessors (al-Ghawth al-Aczam), the Sultan of the Saints, Shaikh Muhammad Baha’uddin Shah Naqshband ق.
Shaikh Sayyid Amir Kulal died in the same village in which he was born, Sukhar, the 8th of Jumada al-Awwal, 772 H.
Ensemble of Naqshbandi near Bukhara
The Memorial Complex of Khoja Bakhouddin Naqshbandi is one of the most important Muslim shrines. Every self-respecting Muslim knows and reveres this name. The great theologian of the XIV century, founder of the Sufi Order “Naqshbandia” was buried 12 km from Bukhara in his native village of Kasri Orifon. Some time ago there was the pagan temple of the site of current tomb of Naqshbandi.
Naqshbandi was the spiritual teacher of Amir Temur and made hajj to Mekka 32 times. He appealed people to be modest and rejected the luxury. His philosophy was based on the principle: “Dil ba joru, dast ba kor” (“The heart – with the God, hands at work”).
The main building of the complex is the khanqah. Before the frontal of the mosque there is the minaret and small madrassah. To the west from dahma, in separate courtyard there is the large necropolis, where Naqshbandi is buried. Graves of his mother and his teacher – Said Mir Kulol, are situated not far from his grave.
The Mausoleum of Saint Bakhouddin Naqshbandi is considered as the Central Asian Mekka. Believers from different muslim countries come here to ask for the fulfilment of wishes and healing.
The complex also includes the museum, which keeps the true information about Sufi and Sufism: Sufi wearing, books and other expositions.
Muhammad Baha’uddin Shah Naqshband
He is an Ocean of Knowledge that has no shore. Its waves were woven with the pearls of Heavenly Knowledge. He cleansed humanity with his Ocean of Innocence and Piety. He quenched the thirst of souls with the water of his spiritual Support. The whole world, including its oceans and continents, were within his grasp. He is a star decorated with the crown of Guidance. He sanctified all human souls without exception with his holy breath. He adorned even the remotest corner with the secrets of Muhammadun Rasul-Allah . His light penetrated every dark lair of ignorance. His outstanding proofs cast away the least whisper of doubt from the hearts of humanity. His powerful miracles brought life to hearts after their deaths and provided souls with their provision for the spiritual realm. He was nursed in the Station of the Arch-Intercessor when he was a child in the cradle. He sipped the nectar of Unseen Knowledge from the cup of Reality. If Muhammad were not the last of the Prophets , he would have been a prophet. All Praise to Allah for sending such a Reviver of Religion (mujaddid). He uplifted the hearts of humanity causing them to soar in the sky of spirituality. He made kings to stand at his door. He spread his guidance from North to South and from East to West. He left no one without heavenly support–even the wild animals in jungles. He is the greatest Ghawth, Arch-intercessor, the Sultan of Saints, the Necklace of all the spiritual Pearls that were bestowed on this world by the Divine Presence. By the light of his guidance Allah caused the good to be the best and transformed evil into goodness.
He is the Master of this Tariqat and the Shaikh of the Golden Chain and the Best of those who carried this lineage from the Khwajagan.
He was born in the month of Muharram, in 717 H./1317 CE, in the village of Qasr al-’Arifan near Bukhara. Allah granted him miraculous powers in his childhood. He had been taught about the secret of this tariqat by his first teacher, Sayyid Muhammad Baba As-Samasi (q). Then he was given the secret and the mastery of the Order by his shaikh, Sayyid Amir al-Kulal (q). He was also Uwaysi in his connection to the Prophet, as he was raised in the spiritual presence of Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q), who preceded him by 200 years.
The Beginning of His Guidance and the Guidance of His Beginning
Shah Naqshband (q) was eighteen years of age when he was sent by his grandfather to the village of Samas to serve the Shaikh of the Tariqat, Muhamad Baba as-Samasi (q), who had asked for him. From the beginning of his companionship with the Shaikh, he perceived within himself countless blessings and the urge for great sincerity and devotion. Of his youth he relates: Read more here
Diner sultan ul awliya shaykh Muhammad Adil
Ark Fortress, Bukhara
Ark-Citadel is a residence of Bukhara khans. According to the last excavations, it was determined the citadel was on this place from 4 century BC. For many years of building and destruction, 20 meters height artificial hill was formed; its upper layers were built over in the time of last bokharan emirs. The wooden part of Ark building was burnt down during the fire of 1920. The general planning is being reestablished by historical documents. Ark included the whole city, consisting of closely accreted houses; courts and yards with state institutions, emir, his wives, and relatives and officials lodgings. Inside the trapeziform outlines of citadel walls the planning was right-angled with traditional cruciform crossing of main streets.
Ark included: emir lodging, throe-room, police department, stables, stores of clothes, carpets, utensils, treasures, armoury, jail, jeweler’s and other workshops, mint place, mosques, mazars and other buildings. The first, you can see it is massive fortress gates of Ark – portal with two-storey towers by sides from arch aperture and latticed architecture gallery on top. Behind it there is a musical pavilion, built in 17 century, two-coloured audience chamber, surrounded by gallery. Here during a day there was performed a series of makoms – it is a musical work; through it people could know the time (it is tradition left from zoroastrizm time). From ayvan, tsarevitches was looking at solemnities and executions at Registan Square before Ark. To citadel inside leads from Ark gates the gloomy, arched and raising up passage-dalon. By its side there can be seen 12 niches, leading to damp dungeons, where prisoners were lauguishing. There were awful casemates and in dungeons under bridge of planks and Ark gates towers.
To the south of entrance from the dalon, there is the most interesting of reserved monuments – throne-room of Bukharan emir, drawing room for ceremonies and festivals. It was vast, brick-paved yard surrounded by ayvans on well-proportioned wooden pillars from 3 sides. On the long axis yard in deep ayvan there is emir throne. This marble “takht” dated to 1669, under painted, wooden canopy on fretted marble pillars, was made by Nuratian masters.
Poi-Kalyan Ensemble, Bukhara
It is the main ensemble in Bukhara center, situated on the way to trade crossing of “four bazars” and Poi-Kalyan means “the pedestal of the Great” (it means “the pedestal of Kalyan minaret”). Ensemble consists of 4 monuments: Kalyan mosque and Miri-Arab Madrasah – faced to each other with main fronts; between them is Kalyan minaret; to the south of Miri-Arab there is small Amir-Allimkhan Madrasah.
Kalyan Minaret – it is a great vertical pillar, rising above the city. To proclaim the appeal to the pray – azal, it was enough to rise mosque roof, as it was in first centuries after Islam establishment. The word “minaret” descends from “minor” – it is a place, where something is on fire, the fire was set in leading light like this, between them in ancient world there were vast many-storey towers, like Phaross light-house of 143 meters height, dating to 283 BC.
Minarets played an exceptional role in architectual ensembles creating the city peculiarity.
In the beginning of 12 century – Arslan-khan ordered to rebuilt the minaret of old mosque. When the construction works had been finished, minaret fell and 2/3 of it was damaged. For the second time Arslan-khan ordered to built minaret. By inscription in turquoise majolica, under light cornice of Kalyan minaret, it was determined that it was finished in 1127. You can read “the name of Arslan-khan” on the half weight of stem. And it was found the name of master – Bano, whose burial place, local inhabitants pointed out between the next blockhouses. Kalyan minaret represents characteristic Maveranahr style of roundtrunk brick tower, decorated by the arch light. Its lower diameter – 9 meters, up diameter – 6 meters, total height is 45,6 meters. There is a brink-winding staircase inside trunk. Sixteen-arch light rotunda hangs over minaret trunk leaning on running out laying rows, decorated as stalactite cornice.
Kalyan Madrasah is dated to architecture masterpiece; it is a monument of 5 century, raised from the ruins during the years of Soviet power. In the beginning of 16 century, the mosque was partly reconstructed. The shapes of amazing arches and portal decor have already carried the features of new style, developed in Bukharan oasis in 16-17 centuries. The inscription under arch portal dates time of reconstruction. This is a poem from Koran, at the end of which we can see the date 1514-1515. In 1541 at the entrance of main portal was fixed a marble board with cut text of Abdullaziz I, this order runs that Bukharan inhabitants were free of some taxes payment.
Miri-Arab Madrasah, Bukhara
There are two big blue domes of the Miri-Arab madrasah towering above the surrounding buildings in the center of Bukhara. Along with the Kalyan mosque and minaret, this religious educational establishment forms the whole ensemble Poi-Kalyan that is the spiritual center of the city.
Construction of the Miri-Arab madrasah dates back to the 16th century and is related to the sheikh Abdallah Yamani (from Yemen), the spiritual pir (guide) of sheybanids. The exact date of the beginning of the construction is still unknown. According to one version, scientists believe that the building was erected in the period of 1530-1535/1536. The other version states, that the madrasah was built to celebrate the victory of the sheybanid army over the troops of the Sefevid shah Ismail I in the battle of Gijduvan in 1512. It is also supposed that the final construction works were carried out on the funds of Ubaydulla-khan; the money received from the sale of 3000 captive Iranians to slavery.
This madrasah is considered one of the most interesting monuments of Bukhara, and is still an acting institution, where future imams and religious mentors receive their education.
Traditional national architecture is peculiar to this building – a square yard, surrounded with two floors of cells, two big domed halls in the left and right corners. There are two-store loggias adjoining the main façade in the center highlighted with a portal. The inner yard is adorned with composed carved mosaic. In the center of the madrassah, there is a shrine of Ubaydulla – emir of Bukhara, who had ruled the city in the period of 1533-1540. In the head of the building, you will see a burial place of the spiritual guide of the khan – Miri Arab (sheikh Abdallah Yamani), in whose honor the building got its name. The senior teacher of Ubaydulla – MukhammadKasimwas also buried there.
The décor of the Miri-Arab madrassah has dominance of different stone mosaics of exquisite work with geometric, vegetative and calligraphic writings and patterns. The portal, tympanums of loggias of the main façade, tympanums of hujra arches in inner facades and dome drums are adorned with artistic works. External domes are covered with calottes of blue tiles. In the inner decoration of the building, it is important to pay attention to the colorfully arranged mausoleum. Its panels and grates are decorated with carved mosaic from colorful stones and walls and shade are adorned with ganch (ganch – material similar to gypsum building plaster).
Miri-Arab madrasah was the only spiritual educational establishment in the USSR that had begun to function after the WWII. All leading imams of those times had graduated from this religious center.
Décor and architecture of the building are done in exquisite oriental taste. The monuments had gone through many destructions, but restorers managed to reconstruct the large part of the building, returning its initial look. As in the ancient times, grand façade makes any visitor admire its beautiful layout.
The Kalyan Minaret, Bukhara
From the beginnings of Islam, there have been three types of mosques: Djuma mosques, which are intended for the large crowds that come to Friday services, Namazga country mosques (musalla idgoh), which are used by the male population of both the city and the surrounding countryside to celebrate the two Muslim holidays Qurban and Ramazan, and Quzar mosques, which are designed to be used as daily mosques in residential neighbourhoods.
We know very little about the thirteenth century Djuma Mosque in Bukhara, for it has been rebuilt completely since the time of its original construction. In any case, it had a vast courtyard surrounded by galleries. However, the minaret which was built in 1127 A.D. and called the Kalyan (Great) Minaret, has survived. It still dominates the skyline of Bukhara, astonishing all who see it with its magnificent and flawless shape. The minaret was designated to summon Muslims to prayer five times a day. Normally, each mosque had its own minaret, but the main minaret was situated near the Djuma Mosque. It was from the gallery, at the top of the minaret, that the muedzin summoned the believers to prayer at the top of his voice.
The Kalyan Minaret was built twice. The fact is it collapsed just before it was completed the first time, probably because of the builders did not take into account the soft ground underneath, due to the many cultural layers beneath the city. A new, more durable foundation was laid for the minaret and, by 1127, construction of this second minaret was completed. According to someone writing at the time, «there was nothing like this minaret, for it was built very beautifully». Indeed, the forty-eight m tall Kalyan Minaret is a flawless example of both civil engineering and superior architectural creation. The baked bricks it is made from form a monolithic circular tower that narrows from its thick base to its top.
The body of the minaret is topped by a rotunda with 16 arched fenestrations, from which the muedzins gave the call to prayer. In times of siege or war, warriors used the minaret as a watchtower. Earlier, the minaret apparently had another round section above the rotunda, but now only the cone-shaped top is left. The baked bricks, from which the minaret is made, are the main feature of its architectural design. The body of minaret is belted with narrow ornamental strings made of bricks. They are arranged in a chessboard order, either straight or diagonally. A frieze with inscriptions goes around the minaret upon a muqarnas (stalactite) cornice. The frieze is covered with blue glaze, which was used widely in the architectural decor of Bukhara at that time.