The City of Bukhara & Its Gifts to the Civilization -Ahmad Ullah
Bukhara is one of the few cities in Central Asia that survives with fond memories. The magnificent architectures are silent witnesses to the city’s rich history. Ibn Battuta, the great traveller of history, visited this city in 1330 AD. He then called the city “the most beautiful city in the world.” The city’s ancient architectural style, vast palaces and gardens easily captivate and fascinate tourists..
The light of Islam once has spread worldwide from this city, the birthplace of Hadith. Once upon a time, Bukhara was the center of Islamic learning. Bumblebees of knowledge from all over the world used to come here to receive religious education. Bukhara alone had a large number of madrasas with between 30,000 and 40,000 students. The central madrasa of Bukhara was so vast that there were about four thousand students studying Sahih Bukhari together.
Born in Bukhara are Imam Bukhari, the author of Sahih Bukhari, the most accepted book of Hadith, Ibn Sina, father of medicine, and Bahauddin Naqshbandi, a famous Sufi. In the history, Bukhara is known as the holy city of Muslims.
Bukhara is the capital of the Bukhara Province of Uzbekistan and the second-largest city in the country. The Jarafshan River flows past this city, 225 km from the historic Samarkand. Being an important port in the historic Silk Road, it was a busy economic hub of the time. Bukhara’s contribution to civilization is remarkable as it had sheer patronage in education, culture and religion. There are many myths about Bukhara. It has been favorite to various dynasties since ancient times. However, in the middle Ages, Bukhara became the most prosperous. Numerous magnificent structures of that era still profoundly stand today.
According to the famous Iranian epic Shahnamah, it was founded by Siavash Bukhara, the son of King Kaikaus. Two religious movements took place in Bukhara before the Arabs came to power and enriched the Muslim civilization. Manichaeanism during the reign of one Sassanid Empire, another Nestorian Christianity in the Assyrian Church of the East. Several coins and crosses were found in Bukhara as witnesses to these incidents.
Obaidullah bin Ziad was the first to bring the message of Islam to Bukhara. He was the governor of Khorasan during the time of Hazrat Moabia. However, the final victory of Bukhara was in the hands of Qutaybah Ibn Muslim. He was the ruler of Khorasan during the reign of Caliph Walid Ibn Abdul Malik. In 750 AD, it became the capital of the Samanids. In the golden age of the Samanids, Bukhara became the center of Islamic knowledge, science and culture.
In 1220, the city fell victim to the ruthless destruction of Genghis Khan. Later, however, the city was rebuilt, and it was ruled by the successors of Genghis Khan until the rise of Taimur Long. During the Russian Civil War, the Red Army occupied the Emirate of Bukhara. During this time, it became part of the Uzbek Socialist Republic. After Uzbekistan became independent in 1991, Bukhara became the capital of Bukhara province.
Bukhara has a very rich stand in the architecture, for which It’s called the city of museums. The city has around 200 gigantic mosques and more than a hundred madrasas. Due to the tradition of Bukhara for fascinating architectures, UNESCO has declared Bukhara a World Heritage Site. let’s get acquainted with some of the famous installations;
One of the most famous monuments in Bukhara is the Poyan Kalyan Mosque Complex. It was built by the Karakhanid ruler Mohammad Arsalan Khan. This forty-five meters circular minaret made of sun-dried bricks has become narrower at the top. It was also used as a watchtower during the war. The minaret is also known as the ‘Death Tower’, because criminals were executed by throwing from the top of the minaret. In the 20th century. Beauty and death are strangely intertwined in the history of this minaret.
The fort is located in the northwestern part of present-day Bukhara. It was built in the fifth century. It lasted a long time from its construction until the Russian invasion in 1920. The Red I bombed and blew up a large part of the fort, but the splendor of the arc did not diminish much. Yet the arc is no less interesting to look at. The arch was originally used as the residence of the Emirs of Bukhara. There is a Jame Mosque at the entrance of this beautiful architecture.
The source of water in ancient Bukhara was some open ponds. Although water was readily available, the ponds were notorious for spreading germs. For this reason, almost all the ponds were filled in 1920s. But Lab-e-House survived for the beauty of having three beautiful architectures in its three sides.
This aesthetic building was built in the sixteenth century. The madrasa is associated with the memory of Shaykh Abdullah Yemeni, the religious guru of the Shaybani rulers. The dazzling design of the Mir-i-Arab Madrasa features mosaic work, geometric workmanship and moderate use of calligraphy.
Kalan Mosque is one of the most beautiful and scenic structures in Bukhara. Archaeological excavations have revealed that a mosque was built here during the Karakhanid rule. However, it was destroyed by the Mongols. Later in the fifteenth century, another mosque was built here on the ruins of that mosque, which is known as Kalan Mosque. The structure of the Mosque is similar to that of other ten mosques in Central Asia. There is a square courtyard in front of the mosque. There is a gallery with pillars. There is a carved blue minaret on the top of the mosque. n