Library-Museum at Hast Imam Square

hastHast Imam is the religious center of Tashkent city. The complex includes the functional Mosque of Tilla Sheikh, Barakhana madrasah and the Mausoleum of Abu Bakr Shashi. In the library-museum under the Spiritual Center there is a unique collection of sacred books and precious manuscripts. Today, the library contains 3,000 originals. The Imam Al Bukhari Islamic Institute did its best to preserve the traditional spiritual values.

In 1990, the library-museum obtained “the gem of collection”. The original Osman’s Koran was brought there from the Museum of History. It is a grand book the “wingspread” of which is about one meter! That was the idea of caliph Osman, the third caliph after Muhammad, to collect all the original Koranic texts in order to make the Holy Book of Muslims unified, as he did not want any differences to exist.  So, he destroyed all the other inauthentic copies. He had done a huge work on verification of the documents’ authenticity. The book is written on parchment, in Kufic characters, since this kind of script was very popular among chirographers; even nowadays one can see Cufic (Kufic) writing on many monuments of architecture in Uzbekistan. Caliph Osman was killed by rebels at the time he was reading Koran, and his blood still can be seen on the pages of the book…

Also, in the Museum, there are unique samples of Koranic texts, specifically so-called Kattalangar lists  which constitute a book that was supposed to be included in Osman’s Koran as one of the authentic texts. The book belonged to Sufi community called Ishkiya . The collection also includes tiny books, as big as one-third of a palm! The Muslims enforced to keep their faith secret being in in foreign lands, used such books. All those books were made in a delicate and masterly manner. All the texts in the books were definitely copied from those of the authentic Osman’s Koran which are many centuries old.

The Museum itself is amazing. The holiness of this place – the spirit of wisdom and sublimity of the Orient can be peculiarly felt in the Museum…

Before entering the library, one should take off his shoes, as the library is considered to be a holy place. The floor outside is covered with soft carpets; the books are kept illuminated in small cells, under the glass.

In the Museum, one cannot take pictures, which is quite reasonable, as this place where one should forget about the bustle of roads is meant for staying alone for a while and for speaking with oneself.

This is what Boris Golender said about Hast  Imam: “Hast  Imam remembers everything! In length of time, constructions get ruined; people and events become things of the past…Only wisdom is eternal which has found its way to XXI century through this revived place of ancient Tashkent”

Working hours: 09:00 – 17:00