Mausoleum of Sheikh Zayniddin-Bobo, Tashkent

The Mausoleum of Sheikh Zayniddin-Bobo in Tashkent is dedicated to the purported son of Sheikh Ziyad-din Jahim Suhrawardi (1097—1168), a prominent poet and the founder of the Suhrawardi Sufi order.

Zayniddin was born in Baghdad in the 12th century, although his precise year of birth is unknown. During his youth, he was sent by his father to Tashkent in order to propagate the teachings of their Sufi order.

Sheikh Zayniddin devoted himself to educating the population and developing their spirituality. During the restoration of Tashkent after the invasion of Genghis Khan, Zayniddin played an important role as spiritual mentor to the people. Thanks to his sharp mind and plethora of knowledge and wisdom, Sheikh Zayniddin was called "bobo", a term of respect meaning "grandfather."

Sheikh Zayniddin-Bobo died at the age of 95 and was buried in the suburban village of Orifon, just outside the Kukcha Gate of Tashkent. His mausoleum, built in the 16th century, is reflective of a khaniqah (khanaka) mausoleum, a structural style reflective of Sufism and more prevalent in Iran and the Arab world than in Central Asia. The main entrance is demarcated by a peshtak, or frontal arch. The hall is covered by a spherical, melon-shaped dome, while the mausoleum’s outer dome is raised on an elevated base. The name of the architect, Mir-Sharab Abdu-Mumin Ogli, is carved on the tomb’s front door.

The mausoleum was constructed next to a 12th-13th century chilla hona, an underground cell for religious retreat, where the sheikh spent much time in prayer and meditation before his death. Today, visitors to the Mausoleum of Sheikh Zayniddin-Bobo in Tashkent can enter the impressive tomb and wander the surrounding grounds and cemetery.

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