It is thought that pilgrimage to Sheikh Bakhauddin Nakshbandi necropolis located not far from Bukhara is equal to pilgrimage to Mekka and hadj will be considered as completed.
Memorial complex used to be rebuilt several times – each Emir of Bukhara tried to construct something of his own near the Saint. There were some attempts to build a dome over the burial place yet all constructions collapsed as if the Saint did not want that there were anything between him and the sky.
According to the legend, people demanded from Sheikh Bakhauddin to perform a miracle once. “My miracles are visible to everyone: I am full of sins yet I am still walking the earth,” said the Saint.
For seven centuries, people have been coming to worship his holiness, to gain spiritual strength, to get help or a sign. Holy Islamic Bukhara was closed for representatives of other religions but many people managed to get to the burial place by hook or by crook. Since 1989, after 70 years break on communism, the complex was opened for tourists and pilgrims once again.
Before assessing and understanding spiritual exploit of Seikh Nakshbandi, it is useful to remember what Sufism is and how had it started.
Third Caliph Osman was the first to break the rule of simplicity of the Prophet – he separated from the people, built stone walls and turned noble spiritual power into chic temporal one. In its core, Sufism appeared as a protest to this action as people had to look for their own way to the spirituality, leaving official clergy aside. Mukhadis, collectors of Hadithes (sayings) of the Prophet, were the first Sufis – their honesty and morality were the pledge of truth of the Hadithes.
Main principle of Sufism is non-money-grubbing. Clothes are rags, food is what will is given, savings are for one day on the way. Main aim of Sufism is union with the God and serving to the God. Many great mystics and holy people died for the sake of following this way. Among them are Sheiks Halladj, Azakir, Harakini, Miynedji, Anasari…
Only some time after had Sufi learnt their famous cryptography to keep their holy.
Yet, it is in human nature to exalt and to fall very deep. There came the time when every sponger could call himself a Sufi by wearing khyrka. Idlers were gathering into “brotherhoods” and demanded alms from the laity by singing holy rhymes. There were ten thousands of them in Bukhara and this disturbed normal course of life. This disconsidered not only Sufism but the notion of the Faith itself.
Reform performed by Sheik Nakshbandi was not only very important but essential as well. With whole his life he proved that clarification and labour did not contradict each other yet harmonized and completed one another. He was against asceticism and denial of temporal matters. He followed the principle of “heart to God, hands to labour”.
His worked all his life. He was a weaver, coiner, roads builders, shepherd – he was not afraid of any job. He always served his guests himself and took care of their horses on his own. He never had servants.
Such innovation of Bakhauddin Nakshbandi had many followers. Majority of Sufi Dervishes started to live in communities and besides striving to find a way to the Allah, they worked and earned for living. In this way, world famous Nakshbandi Order started to be formed in Bukhara.
Nakshbandi’s contemporaries said that the holiness of the Bukhara city was multiplied by presence of Nakshbandi there.
Amazing cordiality of this place does not leave anyone indifferent. The desire to stay in this place overwhelms. It is so calm here. People say that in ancient times pack animal of pilgrims were running to this place and it was really difficult to turn them back.
Interesting object of note is Nakshabandi’s stick. According to the legend, the Sheik stuck this stick into the land and it started to grow and turned into tree within time. Inside its holes donations from the pilgrims lie. It is thought that when asking the Sheik to assist in noble deeds, one should climb down the stick and Sheik BaKhauddin will help for sure.