Friday, October 14, 2022

Uzbekistan | Seven Saints of Bukhara



According to the thirteen-century Persian historian Ata-Malik Juvaini, Bukhara, the city in what is now the country of Uzbekistan, “is the cupola of Islam and is in those regions like unto the City of Peace [Baghdad] . . . Since ancient times it has in every age been the place of assembly of the great savants of every religion.”


In the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries seven remarkable men lived in Bukhara and the surrounding Bukhara Oasis. These men were known as the Khwajagan, or Masters of Wisdom. The Seven Khwajagan are: Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (1103–1179); Arif ar-Riwakri (1136-1239); Mahmud al-Injir al-Faghnawi (d.1317);Ali ar-Ramitani (d.1315/1321); Muhammad Baba as-Sammasi (d.1354); Sayyid Amir Kulal (1287?–d.1370); Bahauddin Shah Naqshband (1318–1388?)

The Khwajagan remain to this day revered as the Seven Saints of Bukhara, and their mausoleum complexes continue to be visited by pilgrims and travelers from all over the world.

Chingis Khan Rides West



Since the time of the Xiongnu two thousand years ago the nomads of the Mongolian Plateau traditionally looked south toward China for both plunder and trade. In 1215 Chingis Khan turned his attention westward and by 1219 he had decided to invade the Islamic realms of Inner Asia, unleashing a sequence of events that would result in the sack of Baghdad in 1258 by his grandson Khülegü and the fall of the 508 year-old Abbasid Caliphate. The dissolution of the Caliphate by Khülegü dealt a blow to the Islamic world from which some might argue it has never fully recovered. We are still to this day living with the consequences of the Mongol invasion.  

Chingis Khan Rides West examines the motivation behind Chingis Khan’s ride westward to attack the Islamic world and recounts the fall of the great Silk Road cities of Bukhara, Samarkand, Termez, Gurganj, and others.