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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Visit to Imam Bukhari Complex, Samarkand

Recently, I visited Imam Bukhari Complex, 30 km north of Samarkand in Uzbekistan. It was Friday and there were many people. I had the opportunity to do Friday prayer here.

This complex has 3 main components : Mosque, Mausoleum and Museum (3M). On  arrival, we were led to a long wide footpath which finally lead to the complex. The so called boulevard has road side trees, and upon reaching the gate there is a big fountain. This complex is maintained by the authority.

At the entrance, you need to pay if you bring camera in. Inside, besides the 3M, there is a big court yard, where century-old big tree were kept and preserved.

Our group posing in front of the mausoleum.

I was told that this complex was built in 1998 by the authority on the occasion of commemorating the 1225 birthday of Imam Bukhari. He was born in 810 in  Bukhara (i.e. 178 years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad saw) but died in 870 in this village at the age of 60. He had compiled more than 600,000 hadis (the phophet's saying) and was a renowned scholar in his years.His contribution to Islamic knowledge is really superb.

The mable slab with Quranic verses being inscribed on it. Underneath is the real tomb of Imam Bukhari.
The waiting area or holding area for the ladies while the men went for Friday prayer. On the left standing is the guide, Farruh from Abask Travel. The far end is the museum.
The mosque which can accommodate 500 people or more at a time.
The wide footpath leading to the complex. View from the gate of the complex.

My group was large enough comprise of 20. Since the visit was on Friday, the men had to pray Jumaat prayer first. While the ladies had to wait in one of the corners in the complex. The mosque is big enough to accommodate at least 500 people at a time.

After the prayer, all of us was ushered to the mausoleum of Imam. The mausoleum comes in good shape and design. It has a tower which has turquoise dome on top of it  with beautifully designed wall tiles mostly in geometric. The upper grave looks grand with marble slabs with Quranic verses engraved on it. While the real grave is at the bottom. We were lucky that day, the caretaker allowed us to go underneath via small staircases to view the real grave. We spent sometime here. There were other visitors too especially from other regions.

Lastly, we visited the museum on the right corner. This museum seems very new as there are few collections there. This includes Quran that were presented by the world Islamic leaders who happen to visit this complex. I saw Quran that were presented by the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the President of Indonesia.

By 3.00pm, we left this complex to make way to the city centre.The travel time to the city took 40 minutes.

If you wish to visit this complex, it is open daily from 10.00 am to 5.00pm.

Happy travelling.


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