Saif ed-Din Bokharzi Mausoleum, vicinity of Bukhara
Saif ed-Din Bokharzi Mausoleum near Bukhara is the revered tomb of a Sufi sheikh which serves as a reminder of a tumultuous era in the city’s past.
Saif ed-Din Bokharzi was a 13th-century sheikh, poet and mystic who served for many years as leader of a khanaka (a hall used for Sufi gatherings and care for the needy) in Fathabad in the vicinity of Bukhara. The Sheikh's mentor was the famous Khorezm Sufi Najm ad-Din al-Kubra, founder of the Kubraviyya Brotherhood.
Like all of Central Asia, Bukhara was ruled in the 13th century by the Mongols. The influence of these foreign invaders reached every realm of life, including the spirituality of local residents. This impact dealt a heavy blow to the regional Islamic body and led to the formation of numerous Islamic cults which developed around various saints, a common feature of Sufism in general. During this turbulent time, Bokharzi managed not only to strengthen the faith of his followers but also to convert many Mongols to Islam, inspiring them to charity and to the construction of madrasahs and mosques.
In 1261, Sheikh Bokharzi died and was buried on the territory of the khanaka which he had established. Before long, the revered sheikh's tomb became a place of worship for his followers.
In the 14th century, a mausoleum consisting of two domed rooms was erected over the sheikh’s grave. In one room lies the tomb of the sheikh, while the second room serves as a memorial hall. The architecture of the mausoleum of Saif ed-Din Bokharzi is formal and traditional, while the tombstone itself is decorated with floral designs intertwined with Arabic script.
Saif ed-Din Bokharzi Mausoleum near Bukhara is a small masterpiece which perpetuates the sheikh’s memory and reflects the devotion of his followers.