03 MAY 2019 Y.
Recently, one tourist company received interesting feedback which was shared on Facebook. It says:
“…After visiting Uzbekistan my life started changing. For many years no one could correctly diagnose my ailment. As a result, we were beating around the bush for many years, neither to cure me nor to create a nuclear family. But in 2014 a miracle happened. My illness started to fall back. And on the 20th of January, we finally became parents! A wonderful son was born to your family!
Why am I writing all these to you? It’s because I’m sure that it was Uzbekistan that influenced our destiny. You’ve told then that it was not for nothing that we came here and that from now everything would be fine!”
All of us smiled and wished this family health and happiness. From comments to the post-it became clear that the spouses went to Bibi Khanim and went under laukh, a huge stone stand for Koran, which is located in the middle of the yard. It was placed by Amir Timur’s grandson, padishah and stargazer, Ulugbek. From this place preachers used to be told.
When we talk about miracles, we are all children of our time, and say “It is thought that…” We were taught at school that all miracles are created with own hands and the rest is nothing more but a beautiful legend. It is thought that if go under laukh in Bibi Khanim after walking around it a child will be born to a family. Bibi Khanim is visited by those desperate to have children.
Samarkand is full of mysticism. We try to dissolve miracles into explainable parts by saying that a place has special energy by entering in the circle of which human organism undergoes resonance and cures. We say that our believes work as a remedy – the so-called placebo effect. But life shows that Miracle doesn’t care if we believe in it not. It just happens.
After standing for several minutes in front of Koran stand at Bibi Khanim, you will surely see a pilgrim who came here with a special mission, or those who came here to express gratitude. The conversations are very interesting. Once, a young woman in tears was talking to an elderly lady.
“Four,” a woman was said smiling. “And five grandchildren I have! Every time I come here, I thank God.”
A miracle happens right away – the eyes of young woman get dry from tears and sparks of hope for favorable outcome started glittering in them.
And here is an eight-year-old boy who joyfully goes under the stand for eight times while his mother is not watching. He claims that he wants at least eight children and that he had already done everything to make his wish come true. For now, he needs only to wait for the wedding.
The mosque itself is wonderful! Even we who are used to modern gigantomastia are impressed by the size of its portal. The immense yard where winds blow almost all the time is surrounded by two stored khudjars – small cells for students – is a small microcosm, special territory which is felt right from the entrance.
Construction of the mosque was started in 1399 by Amir Temur order. The legend says that it was named after Tamerlan’s favorite wife but it is more likely that it was actually named in honor of the Mother of Temur’s elder wife Saray Mulik Khanim which prefix “bibi” indicates on. People created several beautiful legends about the construction of this mosque. One legend tells about an architect who was in love with Temur’s wife and as a reward for construction of the mosque asked a kiss. Then the legend has several versions – beauty closed from the kiss with her palm or with a pillow, or an architect left for Mekhshed on self-made wings or was executed as Temur was extremely angry with him. As usual, real life has nothing to do with legends. By that time Saray Mulik Khanim was over 60 years old and she could hardly notice any builder. For mistakes in construction and failure to comply within the prescribed period, Temur executed two magnates, Khoja Makhmud David, and Mukhammed Deseld – quite unusual names for that time and place.
It is written in chronicles:
“On Sunday, 4th of 801 Ramadan Year (1399 year of our chronology), skilled engineers and experienced masters, in the happy and predicted hour, laid the foundation of the construction. 200 stonemasons from Azerbaijan, Fars, Hindustan and other countries were working inside the mosque while 500 people were working in the mountains boasting stones and delivering them to town. Teams of masters from different parts of the world specializing in various crafts were hard working. In order to concentrate materials, 95 mountains like elephants were delivered from India to Samarkand and were working as well.”
Ten thousand people could pray in Bibi Khanim Mosque. It was central cathedral mosque of Samarkand. The time did not have mercy for it and already during Yalangush Bakhodir rule, Samarkand needed new cathedral mosque role of which was given to Tillya Kori Mosque. For 600 years before restoration, Bibi Khanim Mosque became a wreck with signs of “reconstruction”. Later cultural layers should have been cleared to spare the place for stalls and other temporal constructions to start restoration… And it was important to study the monument.
Nowadays we see it just as it looked like at Temur times.
Bright dark spots are original patterns. The rest is restoration.
It is wonderful and contradictory place – there is something superlunary and strict in the air… And in the middle, there is Koran stand warm from the sun which was a gift from Ulugbek reminding of 40 peaceful years and of the celebration of science in Samarkand during his rule.
And of course…
It is thought that if make a wish, pray in any language and go under the laukh, the wish will come true.