Mausoleum of Imam Abu Khafs Kabir, Bukhara

Mausoleum of Imam Abu Khafs Kabir, Bukhara

Mausoleum of Imam Abu Khafs Kabir, Bukhara

Abu Khafs Ahmad ibn Khafs ibn Zabarkon ibn Abdullah ibn Bahr al-Kabir al-Ijli al-Bukhari – the great theologian and philosopher of the Islamic world was born in the small Bukhara mahalla of Fagsodar in 150 AH (767), when the khanate was shaken by the Mukkana uprising. It is symbolic because, after years of turmoil, Abu Khafs himself will acquire the title of "Great Bukharian" - Kabir Bukhari return Bukhara to the status of a center of Muslim culture as an associate of Islam.

At a young age, he set out from Bukhara to Baghdad, the capital of the Islamic faqih, to comprehend religious studies and become an expert in hadith. His teacher was Imam and Sharia jurist Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Shaybani, a student of the founder of the Hanafi Madhhab (one of the four Sunni theological schools) Imam Abu Hanifa, as well as Abu Yusuf.

Abu Khafs Kabir was a diligent student, had a gentle disposition, and was distinguished by a thirst for knowledge. Thanks to this, he became one of the outstanding theologians of Islam and the author of books that reveal the issues of Muslim law:

• "Al-Ahvo val ikhtilof" ("Frivolous arguments and disagreements")

• "Ar-Rabbu alal-lafziyya" ("Repulse to those looking above")

• "Fatwoi Abu Khafs" ("Fatwas of Abu Khafs")

After completing his studies, he returned to Bukhara to teach people religious and secular disciplines, to illuminate his fatherland with the light of knowledge. The scientist was greeted here with well-deserved honors. People decorate a mosque for his ministry. He was popularly called "Imomi khojatbaror" — "the imam who rescues from the darkness of ignorance." They say that even the usual noisy oriental bazaar subsided when the holy sheikh passed through it. Knowing about his mercy and desire to come to his aid in life's hardships, the locals went to him for advice and guidance to the north-western gate of the fortress walls, giving them a name - The Gate of Hak Rah, which means to the truth. Subsequently, the epithet passed to the whole quarter.

Abu Khafs Kabir founded a Hanafi school in Transoxiana and raised worthy students. The most famous among them is the revered Imam Mohammed al-Bukhari, the author of the hadith Sahih al-Bukhari.

Also, Abu Khafs Kabir opened the first Hanafi madrasah in Bukhara, where gifted students from all over the East began to flock. Selfless worship and teaching at the madrasah became not only his life's work but also for the whole family. His son Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Khafs al-Zabarkon al-Bukhari followed in his father's footsteps, striving to conquer the very peaks of science. His wife taught for women and shared wise instructions with them. The imam himself also highly appreciated the significance of her statements. His phrase in relation to his wife "Ya ayatuha al-mar, ramaiti bismahin nofiz" has been preserved in history - "Oh, woman, your arrow has accurately pierced the target."

Not a single historical chronicle of that time avoided mentioning the name of the imam. Historian Narshahi wrote that thanks to his contribution, Bukhara gained the title of Kubbat ul-Islam — The Dome of the Islamic faith.

He met his last days in 216 AH (832) with close and dear people. But fame and reverence survived him much longer. Seven centuries later, the work of Ahmad ibn Mahmud "Muin ul-fukaro" about the shrines of Bukhara begins with praising the name of Abu Khafs Kabir Bukhari and his son Abu Khafsi Sagir for improving the community of Allah.

The hereditary Bukharians believe that the hill with the memorial complex of Abu Khafs Kabir Bukhari became the last refuge for the legendary king Turan. Mazar has become a place of pilgrimage for believers who are convinced of the unique power of prayer performed here. The mausoleum of Imam Abu Khafs Kabir is made in a cubic shape with a hemispherical dome, where architectural references to the mausoleum of the Samanids are viewed. Mystics see this as a sign of fate because it was his son Abu Abdullah, who acquired the status of a prominent scientist, who played a significant role in the formation of Ismail Samani to the throne of Bukhara.

During the Soviet years, the tomb, like many other religious places, disappeared from the face of the earth, but not from human hearts. The mausoleum of Imam Abu Khafs Kabir Bukhara was revived in the years of independence with an inexhaustible flow of pilgrims coming to worship Sufi shrines.