Bukhara – the center of enlightenment in the East

Many prominent people lived in Bukhara in the past. Most famous of them are: Muhammad Ibn Ismail Ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Mughirah Ibn Bardiziyeh al-Bukhari (810-870); Abu Ali ibn Sina (980-1037) – physician and person of encyclopedic knowledge; Balyami and Narshakhi (10th century) – the outstanding historians; al-Utobi (11th century); Ismatallah Bukhari (1365-1426) – the illustrious poet; Mualan Abd al-Khakim (16 century) – the renowned physician; Karri Rakhmatallah Bukhari (died in 1893) – the specialist in study of literature; Mirza Abd al-Aziz Bukhari (the end the 18th century – the beginning of the 19th century) – the calligrapher.

At the third decade of 16-th century Bukhara became a capital of the Bukhara khanate, under the government of Shaybanid dynasty. The whole period when this dynasty was in power is about one century since the beginning of 16-th century. The Shaybanid carried out many reforms during this time. In particular they instituted a number of measures to better system of the public education. Each neighborhood – “mahalla” unit of local self-government – of Bukhara had a hedge-school. Prosperous families provided home education to their children. Children started elementary education from six years. After two years they could be taken to madrasah. The course of education in madrasah consisted of three steps in sevens years. Hence, whole course of education in madrasah lasted 21 years. The pupils studied theological sciences, arithmetic, jurisprudence, logic, music and poetry. Such way of education had a positive influence upon development and wide circulation of the Uzbek language, and also on development of literature, science, art and skills.

To that period of Bukhara history belong the new books on history and geography – such as “Haft iqlim” – “Seven Climates” by Amin Akhmed Razi, a native of Iran. Bukhara of 16-th century was the centre of attraction for skilled craftsman of calligraphy and miniature-paintings, such experts were Sultan Ah Maskhadi, Makhmud ibn Iskhak ash-Shakhibi, the theoretician in calligraphy dervish Mukhammad Buklian, Maulyan Makhmud Muzakhkhib, Jelaleddin Yusuf. Among famous poets and theologians who worked in Bukara of that time were Mushfiki, Nizami Muamaya, Muhammad Amin Zakhid. Maulan Abd-al Khakim was the most famous of many physicians who practiced in Bikhara and Khanate in 16-th century.

At the time of government of Abd al-Aziz-khan (1533-1550) he established the library “having no equal” the world over. The prominent scholar Sultan Mirak Munshi worked there since 1540. The gifted calligrapher, Mir Abid Khusaini, well-wielded mast-a liq and raikham handwritings, who was also brilliant miniature-painter and master of encrustation was the librarian (kitabdar) of Bukhara library. This information is contained in the anthology “Muzakhir al-Akhbab” of Khasan Nisari.

In 19th century, Bukhara still played a significant part in regional cultural and religious life, as Demezon testified in 1833-34. He wrote, “The madrasahs in Bukhara are famed throughout Turkestan. Students come here from Khiva, Kokand, Gissar and even from Samarkand and also from many Tatar regions … There are about 60 madrasahs in Bukhara that are more or less successful.”

Dmitriy Page
14.01.2007

References:

“Бухоро Bukhara Бухара” На узбекском, английском и русском языках. Издательство “Узбекистан”, Ташкент 2000

В.Г. Сааков Архитектурные шедевры Бухары. Бухарское областное общество “Китабхон” Уз ССР, Ровно 1991 г.

История Узбекистана (XVI первая половина XIX в.в.). Ташкент – Укитувчи -1995
 

 

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