Abdulkhalik Gizhduvaniy

Abdulkhalik Gizhduvaniy Gizhduvaniy was the founder of an independent Central Asian school of mysticism, the Khodjakhon Order, known for its austerity and adherence to the purity of Islam. Abduikhalik - Gizhduvaniy also laid down the foundations of the world renowned Nakshbandiy Order.

The saint, Pir Abdulkhalik Abu-al- Dzhalil Gizhduvaniy was born into a profoundly religious family in 1125. His father was the imam of a mosque in the big market town of the Bukhara region, Gizhduvan. Since his early childhood, Abdulkhalik was surrounded by Muslim rites and mysticism. He learned the Koran by heart by the age of 9. From the age of 10 he took part in rituals conducted by dervishes. However, after 3 years he realized he was lacking in knowledge. Abdulkhalik left his parents and traveled to Bukhara, then ruled by the Karakhanids. The Karakhanids patronized Sunnis and orthodox Islam. The Bukhara of that time was one of the biggest cultural centers of Central Asia. There, Abdulkhalik eagerly entered the world of books and knowledge, while not breaking his connection with the dervishes and young Sufis.

By the age of 22, Abdulkhalik had gained the reputation of a prominent theologian of Bukhara, devoting himself completely to worshipping God. In Bukhara he met the well-known sheikh Abu lya Kub Yusuf al-Khamadaniy, and soon became his favorite student. The Sheikh impressed by the talents of the young man introduced him to the community of Suphists and later ordained him to be a sheikh and pir. At the same time the famous Suphist, philosopher and poet Akhmad Yassaviy was Yusuf Khamadaniy's student, too. Abdulkhalik Gizhduvaniy appealed to his brothers for voluntary poverty and opposed their taking official state positions. He also set a compulsory celibacy. Once during Hait (Moslim fast) Abdulkhalik was visited by the holy Hyzr who taught him silent zikr. The holy Ghost called Abdulkhalik his nominated son. According to Gizhduvaniy praying dervishes must follow the three directions of Mohammed the prophet inscribed in the Koran in sura 33, ayat 41.42; sura 18 ayat 23.24; sura 13, ayat 28 saying "Remember the evening", "Don't tell about anything to be done tomorrow without mentioning the will of Allah to whether it'll be or not, and remember your God", "Refer to Allah". All Suphists believed that performance of zykr is the main requirement for those who aspire to reach God. Later, when the number of communities of Suphists increased, zykr rite turned into a complex ritual.

In his instructions the sheikh Abdulkhalik directed that before zykr one must master rhythmical breathing (Habs-an-nafas-idam) to concentrate mind and utter zykr words in accordance with exhalation and inhalation and coordinated body movements. At that time in the Moslim world there were two rituals of zykr: personal zykr performed solitarily aloud in whisper in hudjra with a scarf over the head, and collective zykr performed aloud at meetings of the community (usually at night between Thursday and Friday) or at so-called "samas" or "khadras" while the prophet is present at the meeting. Some communities used stimulants such as coffee, hot drinks and drugs, music, dances to change rhythm, position of the body, to concentrate on the name of God repeated sometimes tens of thousands of times.

Abdulkhalik Gizhduvaniy introduced the new silent and secret zykrs. Gizhduvaniy developed 8 basic rules of Tarika exercises. These 8 sacred rules and 3 more added by Gizhduvaniy later became the spiritual base of the Nakshbandiy order. These rules have been complied with for 5 centuries up to now in the territory where the order dominated. Yusuf al-Khamadaniy died in 1440 aged 98. His first successor was Akhmad Yassaviy, but he was not the head of the order for a long time. When he reached the age of the prophet he, vowed to live solitary, left for his home town Yassy. Abdulkhalik Cizhduvaniy succeeded him.

The sacred rosary (tasbih) as the symbol of spiritual power was handed over the young naib Abdulkhalic. That rosary was highly valued by dervishes as it had "barakka" which was what the saint shiekh put into it during his life while uttering divine names with it. The sacred rosary had been brought by Yusuf Khamadaniy from Mecca where he made hadj 38 times. Abdulkhalic Gizhduvaniy kept the rosary in a special box guarded by sheikh-as-Sibkh. Gizhduvaniy went on with the theory of his teacher and developed spiritual succession of Nakshbandiy order Silsilya (chain). Abdulkhalik Gizhduvaniy lived 95 years. He died in 1220 and was buried in his home town. In 1433 Ulugbekbuiltamadrassehbythe tomb of the saint Gizhduvaniy. The madrasseh was built in the design typical of the 12thc. architecture. Later a sepulchral platform coated with marble slabs and called "dahma" was built across the madrasseh. A remembrance yard "hazira" was set around the platform.