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Destination Details

Termez, Uzbekistan

Sufi Abu Abdullah Mohammed ibn Ali al Termezi, nicknamed ‘al Hakkim’ (the wise), was a ninth century Sufic, jurist, mystic and author who lived and received his pupils in Old Termez. After an education in Balkh and a hajj to Mecca at the tender age of 27, Termezi began to write his theories on the terminology for sainthood; the very titles which he himself would soon enjoy. Upon his death in 869 AD, he was buried where he had worked and in the ensuing centuries a mausoleum (10th century), mosque (12th century) and Timurid khanagha (15th century) grew up around his name. The impressive carved marble sunduk Bronze age rock carvings, Sarmyshtombstone chronicles the life of
the saint and was added to the complex in the early fifteenth century by Tamerlane’s son Shakh Rukh. The theft of the missing section of the tomb is attributed to British archeologists, accused of having seconded the marble back to the British Museum at the turn of the century. The building provided a point of focus for local philosophers and thinkers, a place where holy men could provide counsel, and broke with the khanagha’s more customary role of providing dervish living accommodation.
Between the mausoleum and the Oxus are the archaeological remains of the old port of Termez, which include the wharf, customs house and port hotel. West of the site is the large island that gave Termez so much of its strategic and commercial importance. Originally named after the Arab leader Uthman, who led his attack of the city from here. The island is also the exotic but forbidden location of the 12th century Zul Kifl Mausoleum.

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