Thursday, June 28, 2012

Shrines in Uzbekistan


Prophet Daniel's Tomb
Situated on the outskirts of dusty Samarkand, among rolling hills and bordered by a quiet stream, the Tomb of the Prophet Daniel is a much-visited holy place for Islamic, Christian and Jewish pilgrims. Known locally as the Mausoleum of Khodja Daniar, the crypt is believed to contain the arm of Prophet Daniel. According to local legends, this ancient relic was brought to Samarkand by the warrior king Tamerlane after he stole it from Makkah. The length of the crypt, being over 18 meters long and far larger than is necessary for a simple arm bone, is explained by a curious legend stating that the arm bone miraculously grows larger with each passing year.


Shahr-i-Zindar : Another important pilgrimage site in Samarkand is Shahr-i-Zindar, a mausoleum complex dating from the 7th century. Shahr-i-Zindar stands for 'The Living King' and refers to the grave of Qusam ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Mohammed, who is said to have first introduced Islam to Central Asia in 676. Under the Abbasids his tomb was venerated and the legend developed that he did not die but was miraculously engulfed in a cliff, hence the name 'The Living King'. According to the great Islamic traveler Ibn Battuta, the shrine was so famous that it was not destroyed during the Mongol invasions. Today the shrine is in a much-dilapidated condition but is still visited by many hundreds of pilgrims each day. Other nearby tombs, dating mostly to the 14th and 15th centuries, belong to the family and friends of Tamerlane and Ulugh Beg. In the Samarkand region there are two other pilgrimage shrines called Khodja Abdi Darun and Chupan Ata. 


Shrine of Imam al Bukhari Samarkand Uzbekistan
Twelve kilometers north of Samarkand stands the recently renovated shrine complex of the 9th century Islamic saint Muhammad Ibn Ismail al-Bukhari. Born in Bukhara in 810 AD, he made a pilgrimage to Makkah as a teenage boy, spent 12 years living there and then traveled widely throughout the Muslim world collecting Hadith, these being the traditional sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Nearly 3000 of these were compiled into a book known as Al-Jami al-sahih, which is considered by many Sunni Muslims to be the most authoritative collection of Hadith and a religious book second only to the Quran. Al-Bukhari died in 870 and his tomb became a celebrated place of pilgrimage for Muslims from throughout Central Asia.


The shrine of the Sufi saint Baha al-Din al-Naqshbandi, Bukhara
The Naqshbandi Sufi order, which traces its lineage back to Ali, Abu Bakr and other central figures in early Islam derives its name from that of a 14thcentury Central Asian mystic named Baha al-Din al-Naqshbandi. Born in 1317 AD, in the village of Qasr al-'Arifan near Bukhara, he experienced profound visionary revelations in his youth, became a brilliant Islamic scholar before the age of twenty, made the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah three times and became a greatly venerated holy man during his life time. Visitors from across Central Asia came to Bukhara to see the sage, seek his advice, and receive teachings in the school he had established. Following his death in 1388, Sheikh Baha al-Din al-Naqshbandi was buried adjacent to his school, directly upon the site of an ancient pagan temple.
Historical records from the medieval era indicate that Naqshbandi was revered as a saint and a protector of craftsman and artists, and that pilgrimage to his grave was considered an adequate substitution for the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah. Successive kings of Bukhara expanded the school and mosques surrounding Naqshbandi's grave and over the centuries the complex became the largest center of Islamic learning in Central Asia. During the Soviet period, the mosque was turned into a "museum of atheism" and pilgrims were forbidden to visit. In 1989 the shrine was reopened and the entire complex, with two mosques and a 16th century khanaka (a domed hall where the Sufis lived and studied), has been carefully restored. Lovely shaded gardens surround the shrine and the entire site radiates a palpable feeling of religious devotion and peaceful relaxation. Dressed in colorful traditional clothes and speaking a variety of languages, pilgrims from distant parts of Central Asia flock to the saint's grave throughout the year.
The Naqshbandi Sufi order is one of the oldest living traditional Sufi orders. The early members of the order rejected outward shows of religious expression and concentrated upon the inner spiritual life while engaged in the affairs of the world. With followers throughout Central Asia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, the Naqshbandi Sufis, as both traveling merchants and mystics, played a major role in the introduction of Islam across Asia. Believing that piety is better expressed by social activity than retreat from the world, the Naqshbandi masters often became actively involved in politics. By the 15th century they had become the dominant Sufi order in much of Central Asia and actively influenced politics from China to India to the Middle East. Today the Naqshbandiyya is the foremost Sufi order in the world and is experiencing an unprecedented period of growth, not only in its traditional heartlands of Central Asia, Turkey, the Middle East and South Asia, but in nations of the Western world, particularly the United States and Great Britain.


Aq-Saray Palace
Timur's Summer Palace, the “White Palace” was planned as the most grandiose of all Timur's constructions. It was started in 1380 by artisans deported by Timur from the recently-conquered Khwarezm. Unfortunately, only traces of its gigantic 65 m gate-towers survive, with blue, white and gold mosaics. Above the entry of the Ak-Saray are big letters saying: "If you challenge our power - look at our buildings!"

Kok Gumbaz Mosque / Dorut Tilyovat Complex
A Friday mosque built in 1437 by Ulugh Beg in honor of his father Shah Rukh, its name meaning “Blue Dome”. Located immediately behind the Kok Gumbaz Mosque is the so-called “House of Meditation”, a mausoleum built by Ulugh Beg in 1438 but apparently never used for burials.

Hazrat-i Imam Complex
East of the Kok Gumbaz is another mausoleum complex called Dorussiadat (Seat of Power and Might), which contains the Tomb of Jehangir, Timur’s eldest and favorite son. The adjacent mosque is said to house the tomb of a revered 8th century imam from Iraq, Hazrat-i Imam, "Holy Imam".

Dorussiadat mausoleum Tomb of Timur
Behind the Hazrat-i Imam Emsemble is a bunker with a door leading to an underground chamber, discovered by archaeologists in 1943. The room is nearly filled with a single stone casket, on which inscriptions indicate that it was intended for Timur. However, the conqueror was buried in Samarkand, not at Shahrisabz, and mysteriously, his tomb in Shahrisabz contained two unidentified corpses.

Also of interest are medieval baths and an 18th century bazaar.



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. 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 shari'a 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 shaykh appeared to him and rescued him from the water. He woke up and Sayyid 'Amir Kulal (qs) looked at him and said, "Did you witness my power in wrestling and my power in intercession?"

One time his shaykh-to-be, Muhammad Baba as-Samasi (qs), 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 shaykh is standing here in this wrestling arena?" The shaykh 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. People 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 Sayyid 'Amir al-Kulal (qs) gazed at him, was attracted and abandoned the sport of wrestling. He followed Shaykh Muhammad Baba as-Samasi to his house. Shaykh Samasi taught him the dhikr and the principles of the distinguished tariqat and told him, "You are now my son."


Khwaja Ubaidullah Ahrar (Q) was born in the village of Shash in Ramadan, 806 AH., or March 1403 A.D. His father was a prominent dervish. He was brought up in Tashkent by his uncle Ibrahim Shashi, a great scholar of his time who gave him early education. When he graduated in the worldly sciences, his uncle sent him to Samarqand for acquiring heavenly knowledge.
The signs of sainthood were visible in him since his childhood. Khwaja Ahrar (Q) used to say: "from the age of three years, I was in the Presence of Allah. When I studied the Qur'an with my teacher my heart was in God's Presence. I used to think that all people were like that."

Sayyid 'Amir al-Kulal followed Shaykh 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 shaykh. He would come to see his shaykh 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 became the teacher and mentor of Turghai (Trush) (died 1356 AD) the head of Berlas tribe and his son 'Amir Timur (died 807/1405). One of his most famous disciples was Muhammad ibn Muhammad Baha'ud-Din al-Uwaysi al-Bukhari (qs) who used to work as an executioner in Bukhara under the rule of King Qazan. One day Baha'ud-Din (qs) was ordered to execute a man who had angered the ruler of the state. However, right before his execution the accused called upon Shaykh 'Amir al-Kulal (qs), identifying him as his teacher. Shaykh 'Amir al-Kulal (qs) intervened and the accused was set free on his intercession. This was Baha'ud-Din's first encounter with Shaykh 'Amir al-Kulal. Impressed by him, Baha'ud-Din became his student.

Shaykh 'Amir al-Kulal had four children, as-Sayyid al-'Amir Burhanuddin, as-Sayyid al-'Amir Hamza, as-Sayyid al-'Amir Shah, and as-Sayyid al-'Amir 'Umar. Shaykh Sayyid 'Amir Al-Kulal (qs) died in the same village in which he was born, Sukhar, the 8th of Jumada al-Awwal, 772 AH/1370 and was buried in Shahrisabz (Kesh); the Green City. His tomb was completed by 1374 AD under the orders of Timur. Majority of Timur's family is also buried at the same place.

Shaykh al-Kulal's descendants moved to India with Mughals establishing an empire there and majority of them remained as teachers and mentors of Mughal Princes and Kings or their close friends. To know more about the life and works of Shaykh Sayyid 'Amir al-Kulal (qs), one can read Maqamat-i-'Amir al-Kulal composed by his great grandson Shihab ul-Din. It consists of 70 tales about him.

About Shahrisabz is a city in Uzbekistan located approximately 80 km south of Samarkand with the population of 53,000 (1991). It is located at the altitude of 622 m. Once a major city of Central Asia, it is primarily known today as the birthplace of 14th century Turkic conqueror Timur. Its name means "green city" in Persian.


The tomb of Sheikh Sayyid Amir Kulal.

Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral) was born in the village of Qasr al-Arifan near Bukhara in the year 711 AH/1317 CE. He is reported to have had miraculous powers even during his childhood. When he was still a youth Muhammad Baba as Samasi, a Sheikh of the Naqshabandi Tariqa asked for him and to fulfill this request he went to the village of Samas in order to serve him. Of this period of time Shah Bahauddin (ral), has this to say,

“Rising in the morning hours at least three hours before fajr I would perform the sunnah prayers and thereafter in the position of sajda (prostration) ask Allah Almighty to give me the power to carry the pain of His Divine love. Thereafter I would pray salat ul fajr with my Sheikh. It seems that my Sheikh was aware of my supplication, for he told me, “You will have to change your method of supplication as Allah Almighty does not like His servants to ask for difficulties. He might however in order to test his creatures give them some difficulties. This is different. The servant should not however ask to be in difficulties because this will not be showing proper respect to Allah Almighty. Therefore change your supplication and instead say “to this weak servant of Yours, oh my Lord grant Your pleasure”.

“After the death of Sheikh Muhammad Baba Samasi I went to Bukhara and also got married there. I lived in Qasr al-Arifan near Seyyid Amir Kulal in order to serve him.” It is related that Sheikh Baba Samasi had a long time ago told Seyyid Amir Kulal to take good care of shahBahauddin Naqshaband.

Shah Bahauddin (ral) relates of a vision that he had. “When I was in seclusion with a friend of mine the heaven suddenly opened and a great vision came to me. In this vision I heard a voice say, “Leave everyone and come to Our Presence alone”. I began to tremble and ran away from that place to where there was a river and threw myself into it. I
washed my clothes and then prayed two rakaat’s of prayer in a manner that I had never prayed before as I felt that I was praying in the very Divine Presence. Unveiling was taking place in my heart and it was opening to everything. The entire universe vanished and I was not conscious of anything other than praying in His Divine Presence”.

There is also a very unusual story about this very great saint Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral). Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral) relates about this incident, “At the beginning of my state of attraction I was asked as to why I was entering on this path. I answered “so that whatever I say and want will happen” I was answered, “It cannot be like
that, whatever We say and whatever We want is what will happen” to which I replied, “I cannot agree to that”. I must be able to say and to do whatever I like; if this is not going to be the way then I have no need for this path”. Then I received the answer, “no it is whatever We desire to be said and whatever We desire to be done, that must be said and
done”. To this I replied again “whatever I say and whatever I do should be the way”. After this I was left alone.

For fifteen days I was left alone. This made me go into a deep state of depression. Then suddenly to my joy I heard a voice saying, “Oh Bahauddin, it is as you wish We will grant to you whatever that you wish”. I asked for my wish which was “give me a way which will lead all who travel on it directly to the Divine Presence.” Then I experienced a great vision and heard “You have been granted what you have asked for”. This story is unusual as everyone complies with the Divine Orders and does not ask for what they wish. Generally it would be considered discourteous to refuse to accept the Divine Orders and insist on
wanting what one wants. Yet after the initial refusal Shah Bahauddin (ral) was granted his request. It may be that because he asked on behalf of others and not for himself that what he wanted was granted. This then was the consideration that Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral) had for others and this we assumed was the reason that this request was granted.

 The tomb of Sheikh Muhammad Baba as Samasi.
There is another interesting story about how Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral) was tested by his Sheikh. This test was a heavy one. Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral) relates this incident, “Once I was in a state of divine attraction where I was not conscious of myself and I was moving about not knowing what I was doing. At nightfall I found myself
bleeding in both my feet which were torn and pricked with thorns. Then I felt that I should go to the house of my Sheikh, Seyyid Amir Kulal. It was biting cold in the night and the night too was dark with no moon or stars. To prevent the cold I had nothing on me but an old leather cloak. Then I arrived at my sheikh’s house and saw him together with his friends and followers. He saw me and told his followers, “take him out of my house, I do not wanting him in my house”, so the followers came and put me out of the house. I could not bear it”.

“I felt that my ego was going to defeat me and that it would take over my feelings by trying to poison me concerning the trust I had in my Sheikh. How could I carry this disgrace and humiliation? Then the Divine Mercy came upon me which made me able to carry this insult in the cause of Allah and in the cause of my Sheikh. I firmly told my ego, “I am not
going to allow you to make me lose the love and trust for my Sheikh”.

“I then felt a deep depression overcome me. I held fast to the state of humbleness, put my head down on the entrance of my Sheik’s house and swore that I would not remove it from there until he accepted me one more time. I could feel the snow and the cold wind going right through my bones which were making me shiver and tremble in this cold dark night.
There was not even the light of the moon or the stars for consolation and warmth. I almost froze. It was only the warmth of the love that I had for Allah Almighty and my Sheikh that kept me warm.” 

The Tomb of Sheikh Abd al Khaliq Gujadawani.
“I waited in this condition until the break of day. Then my Sheikh stepped out and without seeing me his foot trod on my head. When my sheikh saw that this was me, he quickly took me into his house and with great concern and care he started pulling out the thorns from my feet, he said “Oh my son you have been today dressed with the dress of
happiness and the dress of Divine Love. This dress which your have been adorned with neither my Sheikh before me nor I have been dressed in such a manner. Allah is happy with you and the Prophet Muhammad (sal)is happy with you. The Saints of the Golden Chain are also all happy with you”.
“While pulling the thorns out of my feet and washing my wounds my Sheikh poured into my heart such knowledge that I had never before experienced. Then in a vision I saw myself entering into the secret of Muhammad ur Rasolullah. This was entering into the secret of
the verse that is the Reality of Muhammad. Thereafter this led me on to enter into the secret of la ilaha illallah which is the secret of the Uniqueness of Allah. This in turn led me to enter the secrets of Allah Almighty’s names and attributes that are in the secret of the
Oneness of Allah. It is not possible for words to explain this state. This can only be experienced by tasting through the heart”.

Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral) was trained by Baba as Samasi and Seyyid Amir Kulal both of whom are great Sheikhs of the Golden Chain of the Naqshbandi order. He was also trained by another very big Grandsheikh of this very same Golden Chain. This incident is referred to by Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband in the following story, “At the start
of my journey on the Sufi way I used to wander at night from one place to another in the suburbs of Bukhara. In order to learn a lesson from the dead I used to visit many cemeteries in the darkness of night and this was also specially during the winter. One night I went over to visit the burial place of Sheikh Ahamed al Kashghari and to recite fatiha for him. When I went to his grave I found there two men waiting for me. I had never met them before. They had a horse with them. They made me sit on the horse and tied on my belt two swords, then they directed this horse to the tomb of Sheikh Mazdakhin. We then dismounted from our horses and entered the tomb and the mosque of this sheikh
and started meditation.

“While meditating I saw in a vision the wall facing the kabah come crashing down. A big made man was seated on a huge throne. He was gigantic. I felt familiar with him as if I had met him before. Whichever way I turned my face I would see this person. Around this
person were my Sheikhs Baba Samasi and Seyyid Amir Kulal together with a large crowd. I felt a love for this huge man and at the same time I felt afraid of him. I had awe and fear of his presence and love and attraction for his beauty. I was asking myself who could this
great and gigantic man be. Suddenly I heard a person from the crowd around this man saying “this man is your Sheikh and he looked after you on your spiritual path. He looked at your soul when it was still an atom in the Divine Presence. You have been under his training. His name is Abdul Khaliq Al Gujadawani and the crowd that you see around him
are the Saints who carry his great secrets, the secrets of the Golden Chain. Then this Sheik began to point to each Sheikh and say, “this is Sheik Ahmed, this is Arif Rawakri,this is Sheikh Ali Ramitani, this is your Sheikh Baba as Samasi who gave you his cloak during his lifetime. He asked me, “Do you know him”. I replied “yes”. Then he said, “The
cloak that he gave you is still in your house and with his blessings Allah Almighty has removed from you many troubles”.

“Then another voice said “the Sheikh who is sitting on the throne will be teaching you something that you will need while traveling on this path. I asked them whether they would allow me to touch his hand. This was allowed and I took his hand. Then he began to tell me about the path, its beginning, middle and end”. He said, “You have to adjust the wick
of yourself so that the light of the invisible can be strengthened in you and its secrets can be seen. You have to show constancy and you have to keep firmly the Divine Law of the Prophet Muhammed (sal) in all your states”. He also said, “You have to dispense with comfort and keep away from innovation and make your kiblah the traditions of the Prophet
Muhammad (sal). You have to go into and investigate the life of the Prophet Muhammed (sal)and his companions. You must ask people to read and to follow the Quran both during the day and night and to do the compulsory prayers and all the sunnah worship.
Do not overlook even the tiniest thing of the Prophet Muhammad’s (sal) deeds and good works”.
“As soon as Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujadawani (ral) finished, his khalifs told me “so that you can be certain of this vision he will be sending you a sign”. He was told that certain things and incidents would happen and as to what he had to do, as and when they happened.

Likewise these incidents took place in the manner described to him and Shah Bahauddin (ral) also acted in the manner that he was instructed to act, thus fulfilling the truth of this vision. He was also asked to take the cloak of Azizan to Seyyid Amir Kulal (ral). After this vision ended I went to my house on the next day and looked for the cloak and asked my
family as to its whereabouts. They told me, “it has been here for a long time”, and brought and gave it to me. I started crying inside when I saw the cloak.

After the fulfillment of all the things that was said in his vision, as ordered I took the cloak of Azizan to Sheikh Seyyid Amir Kulal (ral) and gave it to him. After some silence Sheikh Amir Kulal told me, “I was told about this cloak of Azizan last night and that you would bring it to me. I have been ordered to keep it in ten different layers of covering”. He then asked
me to come into his room and taught me and placed in my heart the silent zikr. I was asked to keep to this zikr day and night. I kept to this silent zikr which is the highest form of zikr. I also went to the external scholars to study the Divine Law and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (sal) and also to study about the character of the Prophet
Muhammad (sal)and his companions. I followed the orders that were given to me in my vision and my life took on a big change. All what was taught to me by Sheikh Abd al-Khaliq al-Gujadawani (ral) in the vision benefited me and bore fruit. His spirit always accompanied me and taught me”. Sheikh Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujadawani (ral) was also one
of the masters of Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral) although he lived a long time before the time of Shah Naqshaband (ral). This connection is known as the Uvaisi Connection which means that the guide is spiritually connected and guides, although he is from another time. Sheikh Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujadawani (ral) is also a Master of the Golden Chain of Masters.

Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband's (ral) Mausoleum.

Shah Bahauddin Naqshband (ral) also followed and learned from Mawlana Arif ad-Din Karani for a period of seven years. After which he followed Mawlana Kuthum Shaykh for many years. He also kept the company of Dervish Khalil Ghirani about whom he said, “in
his company new unseen knowledge was opened to my heart and he always looked after me, praised me and lifted me up”. There was another lover of Allah about whom Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral) talks, “He ordered me to help and serve the poor and needy
and to help the broken hearted. He asked me to be humble and to keep to tolerance. He also told me to take care of animals and to cure their deceases and to clean their wounds and also to help them find their food”.

Shah Bahauddin Naqshband (ral) refers to another incident regarding the cloak of Azizan. “One day I was in my garden and around me were my disciples. I was wearing the cloak of Azizan. I suddenly felt overwhelmed by heavenly blessings and attraction and I felt that
I was adorned and dressed with Allah Almighty’s attributes. I began shaking in a way that I had never experienced before so much so that I could not remain standing. I then saw a great vision in which I was totally annihilated and I could not see anything other than the Existence of my Lord.

Then I saw myself coming out from His Divine Presence reflected through the mirror of Muhammad ur Rasoolullah which was in the form of a star in an ocean of light without beginning and without end. My external life ceased to be and I saw the meaning of la ilaha
illallah Muhammad ur Rasoolullah. This in turn led me to the meaning of the Essence of the name “Allah” which led me to the Absolute Unseen which is the Essence of the name “Huwa” (He). As soon as I entered this ocean my heart stopped beating and my life ended. I was in the state of death. All those around me started crying thinking that I had
died. However after about six hours I was ordered to return to my body. I could see my soul re-entering my body slowly and then the vision ended”.

Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral) also says that he received secrets from all sides and specially from Uways al-Qarani (ral) who he says influenced him to give up worldly things and to attach himself to spiritual matters. He says, “I did this by keeping to the sunnah and the orders of the Prophet Muhammad (sal)until I began spreading the unseen
knowledge and the granted secrets from the Unique Oneness that no one before me had ever shared”.

There is another interesting story related by this great Saint Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral) regarding his spiritual power. He says, “I went one day into the desert with one of my sincere disciples named Muhammad Zahid. We started digging with a pick axe and working but at the same time also discussing very deep states of knowledge. We
threw away the pick axes as were got deeper and deeper into this subject. Then he suddenly asked me, “to what limit does worship reach,” I replied, “worship reaches to such a level that you will be able to point out at someone and say “die” and then he will die.” As I said this I unconsciously pointed at Muhammad Zahid. When I said the word “die”, to my horror he fell down dead. From sunrise up to mid day the time passed and he still remained dead. At mid day it got very hot and the body started deteriorating due to the intense heat. I did not know what to do and was afraid and confused. All I could do was pull him towards the shade under a tree. I then sat down and started thinking and
contemplating as to what I should do in this situation. Suddenly Divine Inspiration came to me and I said pointing to him “Oh Muhammad Live!” three times. To my joy his soul slowly started to return to his body and then he gradually returned to his original state. I quickly went to my sheikh and told him about this incident to which he replied, “Oh my son, Allah Almighty has given you a secret which he has not given to anyone else”.

In his last days Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral) was confined mostly to his room.Many were the people who came to see him. Crowds thronged to see him as his illness became graver. When his time began to draw near he ordered the sura yasin to be recited. When this was finished he raised his hands to Allah Almighty and then also raised
up his finger and recited the Shahada Kalima, bearing witness to the One God and the messenger hood of the Prophet Muhammad (sal). With this his soul returned to Allah.

The date was the 3rd of Rabi-al-Awwal, 791 AH/1388 CE, on a Monday night. As he had requested, he was buried in his own garden. Regarding this a great Saint of the time Abd al Wahab ash-Sharani said, “when the sheikh was buried in his grave a window to paradise was opened for him, making his grave a paradise from heaven. Two beautiful spiritual beings came and greeted him saying, “We have been waiting to serve you from the time that Allah created us and now the time has come for us to serve you,” to which Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral) had replied, “I am not in need of looking at anything other than Him. I do not need you, I need Him”. This is how the passing away and the burial of this great Sheikh has been described. Such was the greatness of the Pir or the Pillar of the most distinguished Naqshabandi Tariqa. This Tariqa was before his time called “Siddiqiya”. After Shah Bahauddin Naqshaband (ral), however it came to be known as the Naqshbandiyya Tariqa.

Shrines In Syria

Shaykh al-Akbar Sidi Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi al-'Hatimi al-Andalusi
(rehmatullah alaih) (d. 636/1221)

The Venerated Qutb, Sidi Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi al-‘Hatimi, known throughout the Islamic world simply as the "Greatest Master" (al-Shaykh al-Akbar) as his master Sidi Abu Madyan al-Ghawt (d. 594/1179) used to call him, is acknowledged to be one of the most important Sufi teachers in the Islamic world. A vastly prolific writer and visionary, he is generally known as the prime exponent of the concept of the Unity of Being (wahdat al-wujud), even though that particular term, by which his teachings came later to be designated, was hardly used in his own milieu. His emphasis, as with any mystic, lay rather on the true potential of the human being and the path to realizing that potential, which reaches its completion in the Complete Man (al-Insan al-Kamil). Shaykh al-Akbar wrote at least 300 works, ranging from minor treatises to the huge thirty-seven-volume Meccan Illuminations (al-Futuhat al-Makkiya) and the quintessence of his teachings, the Bezels of Wisdom (Fusus al-Hikam). Approximately 110 works are known to have survived in verifiable manuscripts, some 18 in Shaykh al-Akbar's own hand. He exerted an unparalleled influence, not only upon his immediate circle of friends and disciples, many of whom were considered spiritual masters in their own right, but also on succeeding generations, affecting the whole course of subsequent spiritual thought and practice in the Arabic-, Turkish-, and Persian-speaking worlds. In recent years his writings have also increasingly become the subject of interest and study in the West, leading to the establishment of an international academic society in his name.

Mazar Mubarak Moazzin-e-Rasool, Hazrat Bilal Al Habashy (May Allah be pleased with him) in the Bab al-Saghir Cemetery to the south of the old city in Damascus, Syria.

Mazar of great Sufi Shaikh-e-Akbar Hazrat Muhyyuddin Ibn Arabi encased in glass in the lower level of a mosque at the bottom of Mount Qasyun in Damascus. There are Mazarat of other Aulia Allah.

Shaykh al-Akbar's thought is characterized by a profound visionary capacity, coupled with a remarkable intellectual insight into human experience and a thorough knowledge of all the traditional sciences. It has been tempting for scholars to characterize him as a mystical philosopher, a formulation that is rather at odds with his own teachings on the limitations of philosophical thinking. He was as much at home with Quranic and hadith scholarship as with medieval philology and letter symbolism, philosophy, alchemy, and cosmology. He could write with equal facility in prose or poetry, and utilized the polysemous ambiguity of the Arabic language to great effect—the characteristic resonances of rhymed prose (saj’), which are to be found in the Quran, abound in his works. The complexity of his writings makes him one of the most demanding of authors, and difficult to comprehend, leading some Islamic scholars to oppose and even reject his positions. Among his admirers, his writing was always considered to be the most elevated exposition of mystical thought in Islam, and therefore unsuitable for the untrained mind. He combines a detailed architecture of spiritual experience, theory, and practice, with descriptions of the attainments of other masters he met and of his own personal visions, insights, and dreams. It is his propensity to recount stories from his own direct experience, primarily in order to make a teaching point, that allows readers to gain such a detailed insight into his inner world, and also allows us to reconstruct his life and times with some accuracy.
Shaykh al-Akbar’s life
Born on July 28, 1165, in Murcia, Muslim Spain, Abu Abdellah Sidi Mohammed b. Ali b. Mohammed Ibn Arabi al-‘Hatimi al-Ta’i al-Andalusi al-Maghribi, as he signs himself (often shortened to simply Ibn Arabi), was brought up from the age of seven in Seville, the provincial capital of the Moroccan Almohad Empire during the heyday of Andalusian Muslim culture. His father served as a professional soldier in the sultan's entourage, and for a time the son seemed destined to follow in his footsteps. Contrary to the romantic picture painted by later writers, the family was well-off, but neither noble nor very religious. He seems to have been blessed with an extraordinary visionary capacity from a very young age, and the seminal experience of his youth took place when he was about fifteen or sixteen years old. Without having had any formal training and apparently under the impulsion of an irresistible inner demand, he undertook a retreat alone just outside Seville, probably in the ruins of the old Roman city of Italica, where he had a remarkable dream-vision of the Prophets, Sidna Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him), Sidna Musa (Moses, peace be upon him), and the Chieftain of the Universe: Sidna Mohammed ibn Abdellah (peace and blessing be upon them). According to his own testimony, each of them is said to have given him a piece of advice: Jesus, whom he referred to as his first teacher, exhorted him to follow the spiritual life, and instructed him to practice renunciation and detachment; Moses, whom Shaykh al-Akbar regarded as epitomizing the reception of divine inspiration, promised that he would be given knowledge by God directly, without any intermediary; and, finally, Sidna Mohammad, who rescued him from a host of assailants, told him: "Hold fast to me and you will be safe". As a consequence of this instruction, Shaykh al-Akbar says, he began his study of the Tradition of the Prophet (al-‘hadith al-sharif).
This triple vision also had one other direct result: the great philosopher, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), who was nearing the end of his life in Cordoba, asked to meet him, and their celebrated meeting included a most extraordinary exchange, touching on the very nature of the spiritual quest: in response to Ibn Rushd's question about whether mystical illumination produces the same results as rational inquiry, Shaykh al-Akbar replied: "Yes and no, and between the yes and the no spirits take wing from their matter, and necks are separated from their bodies", leaving the philosopher dumbfounded. This response not only indicates Shaykh al-Akbar's understanding of the gulf between the philosophical and the mystical, between intellectual reflection and spiritual retreat, but also his appreciation of how mystical thought can include and accommodate apparently contradictory notions.
Within two years, Shaykh al-Akbar had irrevocably dedicated himself to a rigorous spiritual life, turning his back on the military career that his father had wanted him to pursue, and entrusting everything he possessed into his father's keeping. From this time he began to frequent other spiritual masters. An account of the many Sufi teachers, male and female, that he met in Seville, Cordoba, and other major cities of Andalusia and the Maghreb is given in one of his most accessible books, The Spirit of Holiness (Ruh al-quds fi munasahat al-nafs), which provides a wonderful insight into spiritual teaching in his time. Some of his teachers were poor and illiterate and referred to Shaykh al-Akbar as their spiritual son, like his first master, al-‘Uryani, or one of his female teachers in Seville, Fatima bint Ibn al-Muthanna, who was already ninety-six years old when they met and appeared superficially as a simpleton, "though she would have replied that he who knows not his Lord is the real simpleton". Others, such as Sidi 'Abderrahman al-Tamimi al-Fasi (d. 1206) and Sidi Abu Yaqub ibn Yakhlaf al-Qumi al-Abbasi were more apparently learned, and introduced Shaykh al-Akbar to the teachings of the Moroccan poles: Moulay Boushayb as-Sarya(d. 561/1146), Sidi Abu Yaaza Yalnur (d. 572/1157), and Sidi Abu Madyan al-Ghawt (d. 594/1179), and to central texts of Sufism. Shaykh al-Akbar reports in Ruh al-Quds fi munasahat al-nafs,


Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi (ra) in Damascus, Syria


Ibrahim Bin Adham  was popularly known as Abu Ben Adhem. His full name was Sultan Ibrahim bin Adham, Bin Mansur al-Balkhi al- Ijli, Abu Ishaq.

His Life He was born in Balkh on the east of Khurasan. His family was from the Kufa and were descendants of the second Caliph Omar bin Khattab. He was the king of Balkh but abandoned the throne to become a Sufi saint. According to the Arabic and Persian sources like al- Bukhari ( d. 870) and many others, Ibrahim Bin Adham received a warning from God and abdicated his throne to take up the ascetic life in Syria. He died in 777-8 and is believed to be buried in Syrian town of Jabala.

His Legend His legend enlarged gradually from al-Bukhari to Abu Nu'aym al-Isfahani and after its full formation around the eleventh century, expanded to central Asia under the Mongols, Anatolia under the Ottoman rule, North India in the age of the Tughluqids, and Malaysia during the seventeenth century as revealed in the works by R. Jones.

His Clans Although his children continue to rule Central Asia, the kingdom came to an end after Farrukh Shah Kabuli's son was killed fighting Mongols and the uprooted family moved East to Punjab (now part of Pakistan and then to India and up to Bangladesh. Baba Farid Ganj Shakar the famous Punjabi poet and Sufi Saint was one of his descendants. Adhamies of South Asia call themselves Farooqi.
His Masters and Students His master was Fudhail Bin Iyadh whose master was Abdul Waahid Bin Zaid whose master was Hasan al-Basri. His successor was Huzaifah Al-Mar’ashi.


Abu Ishaq Shami . A Sufi Sheikh Abu Ishaq Shami is one of the first among the sufi order, namely Chishti Order to call himself Chisti. This indicates that he belongs to the Chishti Order.The name Shami implies he came from Syria or even from Damascus (ash-Sham). Abu Ishaq Shami is supposedly to have met a Sufi who directed him to settle in Chisht,and acccordingly he is known as Abu Ishaq Shami Chishti. He died in 940 C.E. in Damascus and lies buried on Mount Qasiyun, where later on also Ibn al-Arabi was buried. Looking at the date of his death it is considered that the Chishti Order is one of the oldest, if not the oldest now still existing sufi order. However according to most of the Sufi orders it is considered that their orginations are directly from the time period of the Prophet Mohammad and the Prophet him self.
His Masters and Students Shaikh Ilw Mumshad Dinwari was his Master. He may had many Khalifa's but Abu Ahmad Abdal carries the Chisti Chain to South Asia. 


Moulana Sheikh Abdulah Faiz Dhagistani 


Sayyid Muhammad Amin ibn Sayyid Úmar ibn Sayyid Ábd al-Áziz ibn Sayyid Ahmed ibn Sayyid Ábd ar-Rahim ibn Sayyid Najmuddin ibn Sayyid Muhammad Salahuddin widely known as ‘Ibn Áabidin’ is praised in these words: the prominent, praiseworthy and noble scholar; an ocean of knowledge; the master scholar [jahbadh]; the great jurist [faqih]; the genius; the finest among the later scholars and the last of the research scholars; one with an exalted ancestry [hasib,nasib]; the erudite Imam; the litterateur. 


he Syrian city of Aleppo is famous for its rich history of Islamic scholarship; hence, it is often referred to as ‘the city of scholars’. Aleppo is the cradle of many pious and leading scholars of Islam. Amongst them was the Friend and Gnostic of Allah `azza wa-jall, `Allama `Abdallah Sirajuddin al-Husayni radiallahu `anhu, an extraordinary scholar who dedicated his entire life to the service of Islam.
For his full biography, click on his name below and repeat this on the website:
Shaykh `Abdallah Sirajuddin
The light of Aleppo


 It is not a dargah or a shrine, it is actually a "sufi temple" (as they call it themselves) of a I think a dutch sect that is inspired by Hazrat Inayat Khan RA. I think you are aware of this movement that have created some kind of universal religion. They call themselves Sufi movement Netherlands. on this site there is information in dutch about that movement, and somehwere in the middle of the page you can see another photo of what is actually inside of the building in Katwijk, the Netherlands. So I think it is more a building in which they meditate and have gatherings.



HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES [ABO AMER OWAIS BIN AMER BIN HARB BIN MORAD BIN KARN BIN AL-MORADEE] (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) was born in a small village called karan, situated in yemen he was tall, thin and weak his complexion was wheatish and his eyes were blue his body was very hairy and he had a dense beard.
HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) led a very simple and lonely life, spending most of his time in worship and the remaining tending and caring for his aged mother who was blind. he was very obedient and never went against the wishes of his mother his clothing consisted of a pyjama and a blanket make from camels hair food was never important, he would go on for days eating only dates and fasting.
People considered stones mad, they teased and pelted stones at him when children stoned him, he would tell them to throw small stones at him so that he would be able to worship ALLAH despite the injuries he led a solitary life and was never worried about worldly affairs.
HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) clearly loved and followed the sunnats of PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace And Blessings Of ALLAH Be Upon Him) his desire to meet the PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace And Blessings Of ALLAH Be Upon Him) personally was never fulfilled because his mother needed constant care. inspite of this fact HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) loved PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace And Blessings Of ALLAH Be Upon Him) more than all the SAHABAS.
On a instance it is said in Hadis that on hearing that PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace And Blessings Of ALLAH Be Upon Him) had lost a tooth. HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) broke all his teeth a gesture which none of the SAHABAS showed.

Few people were aware of HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) existance as he did not like fame once a man by the name of Rabi-Bint-A-Khatim waited patiently with the intention of meeting HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) three days passed by, HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) did not spare him a moment as he was totally engrossed in pray the man returned without meeting him.
Before the end of PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace And Blessings Of ALLAH Be Upon Him) he sent his Salaam and request to HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) asking him to plead to ALLAH almighty for mercy and forgiveness of all mankind HAZRAT UMER FAROOQ (May Allah Be Pleased With Him), HAZRAT ALI (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) and HAZRAT BILAL (May Allah Be Pleased With Him)inquired a lot about HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) during haj. with the help of the description given to them by PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace And Blessings Of ALLAH Be Upon Him) they found HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) in a jungle in yemen. they greeted him and presented the Kurta PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace And Blessings Of ALLAH Be Upon Him) had sent for him.
Taking the kurta HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) went away deep into the jungle to ask ALLAH to spare mankind of his sins. his head bent in pray, HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) did not rise, HAZRAT UMER FAROOQ (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) disturbed his prayer otherwise it is said that HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) would have made ALLAH forgive mankind of each and every sin.
HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) invited HAZRAT UMER FAROOQ (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) the next day for fajr namaz he asked him to get along with him the king and his noblemen on reaching the mosque on friday fajar. the king, his noblemen, HAZRAT UMER FAROOQ (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) saw HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) wearing rich and fine clothes, sitting on a throne it is said that the clothes, finery and throne were brought down by angels from heaven. this was a small Miracle of the lost capabilities of HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him).
Towards the end of his life he lived in a cave and worshipped ALLAH day and night he joined the army and fought the “Jung-a-Safin” he died a martyr, fight Islam or is mujahedeen did not have to dig a grave for HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) as it was already present. the burial clothes “Kafan” did not look like they belonged to the world.

One of the Outstanding, Islamic & Archeological
Monuments in Yemen
Saleh Abdullbaqi
Cultural Editor - Yemen Times

Casting an eye over the Islamic monuments in Yemen, you will be amazed to discover that they are indeed great and far from any kind of description. These Islamic landmarks had been centres of illumination and enlightenment for the establishment for the establishment of one of the greatest civilizations history have ever recorded. They also became a tourist bridge that receive local as well as international attention. They are perfect examples of the deeply-rooted civilization of Yemen.

In this cultural article of this issue, I will be focusing on an important milestone of our Islamic culture at Zabeed, Al-Fakeeh House in Hodeidah. It is the grave of the Holy Man, HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES [ABO AMER OWAIS BIN AMER BIN HARB BIN MORAD BIN KARN BIN AL-MORADEE] (May Allah Be Pleased With Him). His grave is a pivotial monument highly Appreciated and admired by Yemenenis as well as Pakistani and Indian muslims. Who have annual festivals in this place. When writing this article, I also made Use of good book called “The Feature Layers of the Honest and Faithful People” by Aboo Al-Abass Ahmad Al-Zabeedi.

Owais Al-Qarnees whole name was Abo Amer Owais bin Amer bin Harb bin Morad bin karn Bin Al-Moradee then Al-Qarnee. He is considered to be one of the noble, virtuous people who had done a lot to serve Islam. The PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace And Blessings Of ALLAH Be Upon Him) talked about him and said that there would be someone called Owais from Yemen who will be known for his sincere followship. He is from the “Karn”, Indicating his nickname, who will come suffering from leprosy. He would ask God to cure him from this disease except for a small spot and God shall not turn him down. The PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace And Blessings Of ALLAH Be Upon Him) also said that if he swore by ALLAH, ALLAH would carry out what he swore for. Then, he pronounced the name OWAIS and when they inquired about his identity, he said that he suffered from leprosy, had bluish-black eyes, broad shoulders, a long beard, he used to always look at his prying place and cry over himself.
There was a bright spot under his left shoulder, which was a unique mark of his. However, he was very well known to be among the most faithful in heaven, so the PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace And Blessings Of ALLAH Be Upon Him) asked OMAR BIN AL-KHATAB as well as ALI BIN ABO TALEB (May Allah Be Pleased With Them) if they could meet him one day and ask him to ask God to forgive their sins. When the PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace And Blessings Of ALLAH Be Upon Him) passed away, HAZRAT OMAR and HAZRAT ALI (May Allah Be Pleased With Them) kept looking for him for almost ten years. however, they could Not find him at all. In the same year of HAZRAT OMAR's death, a person called Abo Kaiss Went at the top of a mountain in Yemen and shouted as loud as he could Asking whether the natives know someone called OWAIS. They told him that there was no one called so, then a person turned up and said that he had a poor nephow called Owais but he was a mere camel peasant.

HAZRAT OMAR(May Allah Be Pleased With Him) asked him then about his distention. He was told that he was living in Ba’arak Arafat. Therefore, they rode quickly to Arafat. When reaching there, they could see him praying and his camels were around him they greeted him and then they asked his name. When he saw their insistence to know his name, he told them to leave him alone. Only then they told him that the PROPHET MOHAMMED (Peace And Blessings Of ALLAH Be Upon Him) told them that there would be someone called OWAIS, who suffered from leprosy and had bluish-black eyes. They told him that they wanted to make sure of another thing to prove that he was the right person. They told him that there was a bright spot under his left shoulder. When they saw it they started kissing him and asking for his blessing. They asked him to pray to God to forgive them and he refused.
Then, he asked them who they were. Realizing that the two inquirers were not more than the CLAIF OMAR and ALI BIN ABI TALEB, he stood up and agreeted them and asded God to forgive and have mercy on them. When HAZRAT OMAR (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) tried to give him some money and clothes he refused and said that he earned his living from his work and he was content with what he had. Then, he asked them to go back to where they were and leave him to lead the same life style. However, interstingly after this incident, Owais give up his career as a camel peasant and devoted his life to worshipping God.
During the caliphate of HAZRAT ALI(May Allah Be Pleased With Him), he participated in Islamic conquests. He was said to have died in Safeen during the caliphate of Ali bin Abi Taleb rule in 37. It is also said that he used to pray for long periods of time to the extent that he used to spend the whole day and night praying to God and asking for his forgiveness.
Many people are used to visiting this place, especially Pakistanis who used to stay there for some days upon their getting back from Al-Haj (Islamic primilage) season. They stay there to perform some rituals. They also used to distribute some presents and gifts to the people living in the region. They also rebuilt and renewed the shrine several times. It is said that the French Orientals who visited Yemen in the nineties visited this shrine. However, today the people in the area feel very sorry because this shrine has not been appropriately cared for lately, and is suffering from ignorance and carelessness.
The dome which appears in the picture was rebuilt after it was destroyed in the 12th Century (1320). When I inquired why the shrine was mostly visited by Pakistani and Indian Muslims, I was told that when Indians used to go to Al-Haj in the past, they used to moor their ships at Mocha, in Hodeidah. Then, they walked the rest of the way to Saudi Arabia through Yemen, as there were no means of transportation at that time. On their way, they used to pass by this holy shrine. They were very attracted to it for it was eloquently decorated. They used to stay there for many days before continuing their journey to Makkah. Thus, Indians and Pakistanis inherited the conventions of visiting this shrine. Today, visiting HAZRAT OAWIS AL-QARNEES (May Allah Be Pleased With Him) has become a practice done every year.
To sum it all up, this Islamic shrine of this virtuous and holy man should be given some attention and care. We pronounce this plea for those in charge to keep and preserve such Islamic, historical and archaeological monuments for we will never achieve anything in the future without preserving our past which was very fertile and rich