Sufism – Tasawwuf

Sufism (Arabic tasawwuf, from suf wool) – a mystical and ascetic teaching in Islam, began to emerge as a protest against wealth, but the protest is passive. Religious  left the city and went to the countryside, had an ascetic way of  life: constant prayers, fasting, getting food for only one day, helping someone on the household chores . Gradually, mysticism was mixed with asceticism, and people began to think about the righteous life. Groups of ascetics  began to appear  who called themselves “zahidami” (beggar, poor man). They wore clothes made of camel’s wool – “hirka” – a robe with long sleeves tied with a rope. By the XII century 12 main brotherhoods were founded  in which there was a strict hierarchy: sheikh (feast) – from the Arabic word “shah” (“elder”) – the honorary title of Shiite and Sunni theologians. Sheikh is a mentor in Sufism, under the guidance of which beginners are trained. There were three stages in the preparation of murids (pupils): sharia – the state of internal self-discipline, tarikat (“the path to truth”) – a method of mystical cognition; Hakikat – “truth”, real, authentic being. Only after passing this stage could you become a deputy of the sheikh. Over time, the sheikhs became wealthy and influential people in the state. Their murids (disciples) were khans, sultans, big feudal lords.

Sufism in Central Asia

A specific feature of Sufism in Central Asia was that it did not act as a heresy or opposition to Islamic doctrine, but acted within the framework of the Sunnah and Sharia, that was absolutely legal. In the beginning of the XII century  an independent mystical current in Islam  emerged , which received the name HODJAGON (from Persian – praise – lord, master). In the countries where Islam is spread, Hodge is an honorary title of clergymen, wealthy officials, feudal lords, and in some cases – poets and writers; Form of contact with the teacher. The rank of the “walker” was given by the members of the brotherhood of Khojagon (not to be confused with the -haji-the Muslim who committed the Hajj).

Abd al-Khalik al-Gijduvani

   The chain of spiritual succession (silsila) in the brotherhood of Khojagon was founded by Abd al-Khalik al-Gijduvani (1103 – 1179). He reached great achievments in the Islamic sciences, holiness and piety. According to written sources, the famous theologian consistently sought to ensure that in the Maverannahr (Arab – the territory between the Syr Darya and the Amudarya rivers) the confrontation among  muslims of different movements  ceased, focusing on the purity of religion. He called followers  to  become  enlightened, nobleness of thoughts, honesty in deeds and  humanism. They created a strict rules for their followers: avoiding  Lies, sending namaz with their community, not striving to be imams or mueddinas, being modest, taking care of their appearance, not quarreling with anyone, not striving for fame. Gijduvani largely developed the spiritual teachings of Yusuf al-Hamadani, the follower and associate of which he became, formed the rules that underlie Tariqata Hojagon, under which the spiritual chain (silsil) of the Dervish order of Naqshbandiya is listed in the world Islamic literature. Al – Gijduvani is buried in Gijduvan at the feet of his mother. Near to his grave in 1433 by the orders of Mirzo Ulugbek (grandson of Tamerlane) were built madrassas, a mosque and a minaret. Mazar Abd al-Khalik al-Gijduvani has become a place of pilgrimage of world significance.
The Mystical Movement of Khojagon, was founded  in Bukhara, united the majority of Sufi communities, won the dominant positions, and its postulates became the main spiritual guide in the life of society. His ranks were rallied by a huge number of followers, most of whom were extraordinary people and left a bright mark in the history of the state. These are the famous “seven Khojagon – Naqshbandi feasts”, born in the district of Bukhara, who lived here their glorious life and are buried in their homeland. Their graves today are places of pilgrimage for orthodox Muslims from all over the world.

Hodja Muhammad Arif al-Rifgari

One of the most worthy continuers of the tradition and practice of Tariqat Hodzhagon, as well as the follower of Sheikh Abd al-Khalik al-Gijduvan was Khoja Muhammad Arif ar-Rifgari or the holy Hoxha Arif “Mohi-tobon”, which became the second of seven sheikh of Bukhara. He lived a long and righteous life, died at the age of 103 in 1259 and was  buried in his hometown Rivgar at 38 km from Bukhara. On the site of his repose, the memorial complex has grown.

Hodja Mahmoud Anjir – Fagnavi

The third sheikh of Bukhara was the recognized authority of Maweronnahr – Khoja Mahmoud Anzhir – Fagnavi, who was born in the village of Fagnavi, 20 km away from Bukhara. Fagnawi became the successor of the spiritual Sufi tradition after Arif ar-Rifgari. It is said that  famous Sufi was calm and modest (he was compared with the Prophet Musa). He perfectly mastered the craft of a carpenter and this earned his living even after he took the place of his teacher Arifa-Rifgari and gained the right to instruct people on the path of truth. According to various sources, Khoja Mahmud died either in 1286 or in 1307 and was buried in the village called Anzhirbog (“fig tree”), where he was born and spent his entire righteous life. At the present time a strict mausoleum is erected over the grave of the saint, a mosque has been built nearby.

Khoja Ali Romitani

One of the most famous spiritual instructors of the Hodjagon school, popularly known as Azizon (“The Honorable Sheikh”) – Khoja Ali Romitani or Hodja Azizon was born 20 km from Bukhara in the rather large town of Ramitan in 1195. He lived all his life in the village of Kurgon, where Perfectly mastered the skill of the weaver. Ali Ramitani was a spiritual student of Khoja Mahmud of Anjir-Fagnavi, received spiritual initiation from him and subsequently became the fourth of seven sheikhs of Bukhara. Hodja Azizon was widely known for his extraordinary wisdom and giftedness. He said a lot of wise words which, carefully passed  from generation to generation, both verbally and in writing. So one of his words : “Watch yourself in two kinds of actions – when you talk and when you eat.” There are legends about the medicinal talent of Ramitani, however, he himself claimed that he did not treat people at their request, but did so at the direction of the Almighty. The great Sufi for the rest of his life was feeding exclusively on weaving craft, invariably responding with a refusal to the requests of the students to leave their wretched dwelling. Hodzha Azizon died at the age of 126 in his native village in the hands of his two sons. Over the grave of the sheikh, a mausoleum was erected, a Friday mosque and a number of other buildings for the reception of pilgrims were built.

Hodja Muhammad Baba – and – Samasi

The fifth in the spiritual chain of holy sheikhs of Bukhara was the famous Sufi – mystic, the adherent of the school Khojagon – Khoja Muhammad Baba – and – Samasi (in some sources – Simashi). He was born in 1259 in the village called  Simas in 15 km. from Bukhara. One of the main achievements of the Teacher is the prediction of the arrival of one of the remarkable Sufi scholars, the founder of one of the most popular currents of Tariqat Hodjagon Bach ad-Din Naqshband. He instructed Amir Kulal, who by that time was his successor, to teach and dedicate Bach ad-din to the sacraments of Tariqat Hodjagon. Khoja Baba – and – Samasi died in 1354 at the age of 95, surrounded by his disciples and followers. He was buried in the village of Simas, in the Romitan district. A mausoleum was erected over the grave, a mosque and a number of buildings for the reception of pilgrims were built.

Khoja Sayyid Amir Kulal Bukhari

Sixth sheikh in spiritual continuity Tariqat Hodzhagon by Khoja Sayyid Amir Kulal Bukhari, called Kalon ( “Great”) – a scientist – theologian Hanafi wing-Sufi Murshid (Arabic -. Mentor), spiritual director Baha ad – Din Naqshband. He was born in 1287 in the town of Suhar at 11 km. From Bukhara in the family of hereditary potters. Until 15 years, the young man was engaged in the people’s struggle of kurash and achieved considerable success in this field. On one of his fights and became acquainted with his future spiritual guide Sheikh Muhammad Baba – and – Samas. The next day, Amir Sheikh Kulalsprosil permission to become a novice and he spent 20 years in the service of his sheikh, twice a week, overcoming the distance of 25 km. Between Samas and Sukhar, to accompany his beloved teacher. As time passed, Syed Amir has reached a certain perfection and was dedicated, and soon became the fourth deputy, Sheikh Muhammad Baba – and – Samas. It was then that the sheikh entrusted him with the further education of his “spiritual son” Bach ad – din Naqshband. Having a huge number of followers, Amir Kulal often spent time in precepts and sermons. After living for about 90 years, he died in 1370 and was buried in his homeland, where he lived all his life. Today, on the site of his burial – a memorial complex.

Sheikh Bahaaddin Naqshbandi

Baja ad – din Naqshband is the largest representative of Central Asian Sufism. The name of the mystical Sufi brotherhood of Naqshbandiya was given  from the craft, which he was engaged in (Naqshband – carver-chaser). Naqshband laid the foundations of the brotherhood, although, according to tradition, it is not considered its founder, being only the seventh sheikhs. Simultaneously with the attainment of Sufi wisdom, Bahaaddin was engaged in crafts. He did not follow the path of most of the dervishes who led a wandering lifestyle and existed on alms. Becoming the spiritual leader of Tariqat Hodjagon, Bahaaddin took on the role of the reformer of the Order of the Dervish – Sufis. He opposed asceticism, against renunciation of worldly affairs, called for work and knowledge. In his native village he started farming, sowing a small plot of wheat, barley and mache. One of his utterances says: “Heart is to God, hands are to work.” Ad-Din allowed only food earned by his work to be able to feed Bach. He had no home, no wife, no landed property, and when asked about the reason for his lack of a slave, he replied: “Being a slave of God and a master is incompatible.” Most of the time Bach ad – din spent reading Sufi literature, as well as books on history and philosophy, mathematics and astronomy, medicine. Analyzing the Sufi movements, he came to the conclusion that the more Sufi theorists talk about ways to unite with God, the further they take away the true Muslims from Islam. Baha ad – din decided to build his Sufi path strictly according to the scriptures. He abolished ostentatious piety and ritual, leading to the true mystic: forty-day posts, vagrancy, begging, public rejoicing with music, singing, dancing. Baha ad-din revived and continued the traditions and views of Abd al-Khalik Gijduvani, adding to his basic 8 rules of interpretation of another 3. He attached great importance to the difference between the simple error of man and the willful unwillingness to follow the righteous path. The last he considered the greatest sin. He did not tolerate deception and those people who put themselves above others. Suffering and anticipating death, Baha ad – din went to one of the caravan – sheds of Bukhara, where he died in March 1389. Around the grave of Sheikh Bahaatdin Nakshbandi from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Formed a huge memorial complex, which is a place of visiting believers and tourists.


The brotherhood of vagabond preachers – the Sufis – YASAVIA,  formed in Central Asia to the beginning of the XIII century. It is believed that the founder of the brotherhood was Ahmad al – Yasawi ( 1105 – 1166.) – the Central Asian Sufi poet, the founder of the Turkic branch of the Central Asian school of Sufism. The cult of Yasawi was widespread among the settled and nomadic population of Central Asia, the mass of believers visited the majestic complex in the town of Yasy (mausoleum, mosque and monastery), erected over his grave by Timur (Tamerlane) in 1398-1401. Hence the name of Yasawi – “Hazrat-i Turkestan” (“Lord of Turkestan”).

During the reign of Amir Timur over the mazar (place of worship) Zain ad-Din Kui-Arifani (Zaynad-din Baba) in Tashkent, a mausoleum is also erected. His real name is Aikhodzha, and his nickname is Zengi-ata. He was a disciple and follower of Ahmad al-Yasawi. The year of his birth is unknown, and the year of his death is 1258.

In the middle of the XVI century. Qasim-sheikh Azizan Carmagni became  the head of the Sufi brotherhood of Yasaviya who was  very revered in Central Asia was a religious and political figure. He was born in the city of Carmina, which was part of the Bukhara Khanate. After the death of the head of this brotherhood of Sheikh Hudaydad (1532-33), his responsibilities for leading the brotherhood went to Qasim Sheikh. He became the spiritual instructor of the Bukharian ruler Abd Allah Khan (1557-1598 gg.). Qasim-sheikh became famous for his peacekeeping activity during the internecine struggle of descendants of Sheibani Khan. In the last third of the XVI century. Was erected a memorial complex at the tomb of Qasim-Sheikh, who died in 1578-79. The architectural ensemble located in the southern part of the city of Karman, next to the ancient cemetery, is named after Kasim-sheikh.


Sufi brotherhood – SUKhravardiya – was formed in Baghdad at the turn of the XII – XIII centuries. The actual founder was Omar al-Suhrawardi (died 1234), a Sunni theologian who preached moderate Sufi views and actively participated in the political life of Baghdad. In Central Asia, the follower of the theory and practice of Suhrawardiya is Shamsad-din Kulal. During the Hajj to Mecca, he joined the Sufi centers of Iraq to Tariqat Suhrawardiya and began to disseminate this teaching in Maverannahr. Most sources agree that Sheikh Kulal was the spiritual mentor of Amir Timur (Tamerlane) in his young years. Kulal lived and preached for a long time in the cities of Karshi and Kesh (Shakhrisabz). He played an important role in bringing the Chagatai families who lived here to Islam. In the first years of his reign, Tamerlane erects a mausoleum in Shakhrisabz over the grave of the sheikh. This meant the canonization of the Sheikh-Sufi Shams al-Din Kulal as a Muslim saint and the institution of the cult tradition of his worship. Almost simultaneously Amir Timur erects a mausoleum in Samarkand for another Sufi sheikh Nur ad-din Basir. From birth he was blind. According to legend, Nurad-din, thanks to his holiness, gained sight. He preached the Sufi doctrine in Samarkand during the revival of the city after its destruction by the Mongols. He had a higher spiritual degree of Sufis – Kutbi Chahar – duhum, which means “Fourteenth Pole of the World”. Nurad-din Basir died in 1249. He was buried in Samarkand. In the middle of the XIV century. The veneration of Sheikh Basir by representatives of traditional Islam was so great that according to contemporaries, pious people and religious figures passed by his burial on foot and even took off their shoes.

Sheikh Burhan ad-din Sagarji

One of the largest personalities of Suhrawardiya in the middle of the 14th century. – Sheikh Burhan ad-Din Sagardji. In the years 1345-46. The famous Arab traveler Ibn Batuta met with him in China, in Beijing, in the palace of the Mongolian khan, the ruler of China. Here, the sheikh was recognized as the “head of Muslims” (Sadr-i Jihan), here he died. Sagardji left his son to transport his ashes to Samarkand and bury him near the mausoleum of Nur-ad-din Basir, “below his feet”. The personality of the Samarkand sheikh Nur ad-din Basir was of great importance for Sagardji. In the 80 years of the XIV century, considering the sacredness of sheikh Burhan ad-din Sagardzhi universally recognized, Amir Timur erects a mausoleum over his grave, known as the mausoleum of Rukhabad. A number of researchers noted that it is no coincidence that the mausoleums of Sheikh Basir, Sagardji and Gur-Emir were on the same axis.

What’s included in the tour



Arrival in Tashkent International Airport. You will meet our representative holding a sign. Tourist vehicles will take you to the hotel. Accommodation on arrival.


After breakfast at the hotel of your pilgrimage tour starts with a visit to the cult-memorial complex Zangi-Ata (60km). The ensemble was formed in burials Sheikh Zangi-ata and his wife Ambar-bibi (XIV-XIX centuries). Upon returning to Tashkent, you will go to the grand ensemble Sheikhantaur cult that formed around the mausoleum of Sheikh Havendi Takhur (XV-XIX centuries). You will visit madrasahs Barakhana (1531-32gg), where he currently is the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Uzbekistan and the Islamic University.  In the special library holds rare meeting of the Qur’an and hadith collections. Nearby is the mausoleum of the prominent lawyer Shafi-leaning, Hadith scholars and commentator of the Qur’an, revered cleric Mohammed Abu Bakr Kaffal-Shashi (d. In X a) built in the 2nd half of the XVI century.


After breakfast – transfer to / Railway station. You will go to Bukhara by train (approx. 4 hours on the way). Transport will take you to the hotel. Accommodation on arrival. Then you will go to the suburban cult memorial to the necropolis of Saint Sheikh Bahaaddina Naqshbandi.


Breakfast at the hotel, you will go to the mazar (shrine) “seven sacred Sufis” Bukhara: Khoja Sayyid Amir Kulal (5km), Khoja Mohammad Baba and CAMAC (55km), Khoja Ali Ramitani (35km), Khoja Mahmud Angirey Fagnavi (12 km), Arif Rifgari Hodge (20km), Abd al-Khaliq Gijduvani buried Gizhduvan in (50km). Then your way is in the town of Karman (80km), where you will visit Mazar-Qasim Sheikh Azizan Karminagi. Transfer to Samarkand (160km). Accommodation at the hotel on arrival.


Finished breakfast in your pilgrimage tour will continue with a visit to Mazar-known in different countries of the East prominent representative of Sufism 2nd half of XV century and the beginning of XVI century – Khoja Ahmad Azam Koson or Makhdumi Dahbeti (18km). In opposite side of  mazar is a majestic cult complex Al-Bukhari, erected around the burial place of Imam Ismail al-Bukhari (810-870gg) – luminary of the science of hadith (the memory of the words and deeds of the Prophet), which honors the entire Islamic world. His famous arch Hadith “Al-Jami al-Sahih” ( “True Assembly”) is considered second after the Qur’an the basis of the Muslim faith. ’42 Bukhari traveled to East and Hadith collected. The “Al-Sahih” included 7215 hadiths of the 600,000 that were then in vogue. Al-Bukhari Hadith 300000 knew by heart, wrote more than 15 works on Hadith, fiqh (law), the history and philology.

Returning to Samarkand, you will go to the grave of the saint Sheikh Nuriddin Basir or Chohardahum Qutb (d. At 1242) in the cemetery of Shah-i-Zinda. Then you will visit the Gur-Emir (1404-1405gg, XV-XVII centuries additions) – a dynastic tomb of the Timurids in the male line. Here are buried Amir Timur (Tamerlane), his sons and grandsons, and the ashes of a spiritual mentor of Tamerlane – Mir Sayyid Baraka, who died and was buried in the city Andhud 1404 in Afghanistan. Bequest Timur ( “bury it at the feet of his feast”) were reburied the remains of his mentor Mir Sayyid Baraka. Nearby Gur Emir is another revered by the people mazar – mausoleum Rukhabad ( “Abode of the Spirit”), erected over the burial of a mentor of Timur saint Sheikh Burhan al-Din Sagardji in the 80s of XIV century. Then you willvisit  the mazar holy miracle worker – Hodge Ubaidullah or known among the people under the name of Khoja Ahrar Vali (1404-1489gg). The tomb is located on the territory of Saint-cult memorial Khoja Ahrar ensemble 5km from Samarkand.The complex was founded in the XV century, the restructuring carried out in the XVII and XIX-XX centuries. Khoja Ahrar was considered a great scholar and Sufi theologian of his time in the Maurya and Khorasan. As Sheikh Naqshbandi Tariqa in the XV century, it is fully developed it in theory and practical aspects. Sheikh was the spiritual mentor of the Timurid. This extraordinary man was not only a thinker, a miracle worker and patron of the poor, but also a sophisticated politician. For many centuries it lives in people’s memory for its extraordinary deeds, so people are constantly coming to his grave, to unburden themselves.


Transfer to Samarkand International Airport. Pilgrimage tour in Uzbekistan is over.

Ирина Давидовна Россия, 48 лет

Тур – Сказка Востока 2016

Хочу поделиться впечатлениями и написать отзыв о своей поездке в Узбекистан. Ну, во-первых никогда не думала, что здесь так много туристов из разных стран и на памятниках старины было не протолкнуться, но все грандиозно и здорово интересно. Но начну сначала. Прилетели мы с подругой в Ургенч (так была составлена программа самаркандской тур-фирмы, даже порекомендовали рейс из Москвы), нас встретили, перевезли в Хиву, разместили в маленьком и уютном отеле, накормили ужином и пожелали «спокойной ночи». Утром после завтрака гид пригласил нас на экскурсию во «внутренний город». Мама, дорогая, мы думали, что там потеряемся – это не объяснить словами! Нам повезло с гидом: ненавязчиво, информативно, с перерывами на кофеек, на обед, не заметили как день прошел (экскурсия-то пешеходная) и пора ужинать и спать. На следующий день выехали в Бухару (аж 6 часов по пустыне). Но наш гид Наталья Михайловна — Наташа) так интересно рассказывала в пути и об истории края, и о пустыне, и о быте здешнего народа и отвечала на все наши вопросы, что мы и не заметили, как въехали в Бухару. Да, уж действительно средневековый город. Жили мы в маленькой гостинице с европейскими услугами, но с восточным колоритом. Питались в разных ресторанах, но меню нигде не повторялось. Благодаря Наташе, нам стало известно, что в Узбекистане рестораны специализируются на каком-то одном блюде национальной кухни, т.е. в меню есть много других блюд, но только местные жители знают, где вкуснее готовят именно это блюдо (например, плов или манты). Дальше по маршруту нас ждал юртовый лагерь в пустыне. Представляете, вокруг желто-серый песок, на улице жара и мы, честно говоря, подумали – зачем нас сюда завезли и вдруг в лобовое стекло авто видим большое голубое пятно – это оказалось то самое озеро, к которому ехали. Потом, конечно и накупались, и на верблюдах накатались и у костра насиделись. В общем, классно провели время (кстати, хорошо, что мы послушали туроператора Ирину и захватили с собой крем от загара и от комаров, спасибо). На следующий день после обеда выехали в Самарканд. За 2 дня мы успели осмотреть все памятники по программе, побывать на бумажной фабричке (это класс!), на дегустации (два класса!!), поесть почти все блюда самаркандской кухни (три класса!!!), посетить базар – это вообще вне конкуренции. Хорошо загоревшие, с кучей сувениров и впечатлений вернулись домой. Мы влюбились в Узбекистан. Спасибо тур-фирме за грамотно и подробно составленную программу на маршрут как мы просили, за профессионализм сопровождающего гида и водителя. Такое впечатление, что они никогда не уставали. Мы с подругой решили, что и на следующий год обратимся в фирму «Аль-Самарканд» и поедем на другой маршрут.


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