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Home \ Historical sights in Uzbekistan \ Imam al-Bukhary Complex

Imam al-Bukhary Complex


      The memorial complex of Imam al-Bukhari is located twelve kilometers from Samarkand, in the village of Hortang. The burial place of Imam al-Bukhari is considered to be sacred, and visiting the tomb of al-Bukhari is said to be equated as a small Hajj pilgrimage. Imam al-Bukhari was born into a family of educated parents, immigrants from Persia. Muhammad was intelligent since his childhood, he had an extraordinary memory for his age. At the age of 7 he studied and memorized the entire Koran, at the age of 10 he knew several thousand hadiths by heart.
In his youth, Imam al-Bukhari spent 4 years in Mecca after performing the Hajj. He had visited the centers of Islamic sciences known at that time: Baghdad, Basra, Balkh, Egypt, Damascus, Hijj, Nishapur and Medina. He studied with the most famous muhaddis of the time.
Imam Al-Bukhari devoted his entire life to collecting hadith. He himself recorded 200,000 hadith from his teachers and informers. Of this large number of hadiths (800 thousand), he collected the most reliable, of them only 7275, including repetitive ones. They compiled his book "Al-Sahih", which became the most popular among all other gatherings. The book is one of the six major Sunni collections of hadith. Some theologians consider Sahih al-Bukhari the most authentic Islamic book after the Koran.
However, during his lifetime Imam al-Bukhari often became a victim of distemper and conspiracy. Because of this, he was expelled four times from Bukhara. So by the end of his life he was forced to leave Bukhara and settle in the city of Hortang. Imam al-Bukhari passed away in 870, and was buried in the village of Khortang, near Samarkand.
In the 16th century, during the reign of the Sheibanid dynasty, the first memorial complex appeared on the village cemetery on the outskirts of the village of Hortang, including a small mausoleum above the tomb of al-Bukhari and the Juma mosque. In this form, the complex retained its appearance until the beginning of the 20th century. In 1997, already in the period of independent Uzbekistan, in connection with the imminent 1225th anniversary of Imam al-Bukhari, it was decided to erect a new memorial complex from the grave of a particularly revered religious figure.
Entrance to the complex is through a one-story building made of burnt bricks, including three portal-domed volumes with through arched passages. The mausoleum of al-Bukhari is in the center of the complex. The building is in the form of a cube, decorated with marble and onyx, which is crowned by a seventeen-meter dome. Here is the grave of the Imam with a tombstone made of light blue onyx. To the left of the mausoleum is a mosque with a hanaka. The mosque is designed for fifteen hundred believers. To the right of the entrance there is an administrative building with a library and a museum, where rare hand-written and lithographed books on Islamic theology are exhibited. In the decorative design of the complex, materials typical of medieval Islamic architecture - mosaic, majolica, ganch, and carved marble - are used. Masters of folk crafts from all over the country took part in decorating the complex's facilities

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