Seven of Islamic sanctities in Russia

We are presenting seven mausoleums, sacred springs, ancient necropolis, legendary monuments and other Islamic sanctities in Russia today, which are often surrounded by beautiful landscapes and villages with a rich and exciting history.

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The most important sanctities of Russian Muslims are concentrated in several regions of Russia.  Primarily in the neighboring  countries Bashkortostan and Tatarstan in the South Ural and Volga. Over there, you can still find traces of the presence of the Golden Horde, the great medieval empire which spread Islam among the local population. And of course, these are the Russian North Caucasus republics with a predominantly Muslim population.

 Ingushetia

 Turb of Borg Kas from the time of the Golden Horde

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There is still no universally accepted version of the origin of this turb (‘turb’, islamic, tombstone, mausoleum containing the cenotaph, beneath which is located the coffin with the body of the deceased, usually next to the mosque or in the cemetery, op. Ed.). According to one version beautiful Suh raised the turb over the grave of her beloved, another story says that here rests Arab sheikh who rode on a camel in the steppe when he sensed that he would soon die, and made his grave at the place where the camel stopped. Historians associate it with death of the governor of Turkic Khan Uzbeks.

Borg Kas is a monument of federal importance, and is more than 600 years old. There are preserved inscriptions in Arabic above the entrance to the turb. It is possible that an underground tomb was collective, because according to some accounts there were several wooden crates.

Bashkiria

Hussein Bey’s turb and the source of the Aulia

In the area located 40 km from Ufa, the capital of Bashkiria, you can find two turbes one from 12. and another from 14. century. One is located at the Muslim cemetery Agzirat (translated from Bashkirian “white cemetery”). Legend has it that it was built in 14. century over the grave of Haji Husein-beg, first imam in modern Bashkiria. The decision to build turbes was issued by Tamerlane (Timur), the Central Asian conqueror and founder of a major Timurid empire whose center was the city of Samarkand.

Near this building there are several tombstones with decorative Arabic letters (assumed to belong to Timur princes). Hussein Bey’s tomb is one of the most sacred of Russian Muslims.

Other ancient tomb is located about ten kilometers from the Husseinbey’s. It belongs to Tura- Khan. According to one version, Tour Khan is a descendant of Genghis Khan, the founder and the first great khan of the Mongolian empire (by the way, it was the empire with the longest land border in the history). According to another version, he was a Muslim educator and Hussein Bey.

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Spring Aulia (holy” translated from bashkirian) is one of the main holy places in the republic. It is located on the mountain Aushtau the South Ural. Bashkir Muslims respected spring as a sacred place and believe it has healing properties. Water springs a little longer than a month (in May and June) and every year during this period, it is visited by tens of thousands of fans. They bathe in it and carry water to their homes, which is believed to cure kidney stones and diseases of the upper respiratory tract and digestive organs. It is believed that water gets medicinal properties after May 15.

Climbing the Aushtau mountain is sometimes treated as a little pilgrimageand consists of two phases. The first half is road to spring and the other to the top of the mountain. Over there you can find three graves in which, according to legend were buried three Islamic missionaries from Osh. They were killed in 13th century by the inhabitantsand then repented and buried Shaikh Mohammed Ramadan el Ush and his companions at the top of the mountain, from which the water came immediately.

Dagestan

Kirhljar and tomb Tuti Bike

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In Derbent, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, there are two sanctities that residents of the North Caucasus respect particularly: turbes Tuti Bike and Kirhljar. Turbes were built in 1202 according to the Muslim calendar (1787th-1788th). It was built by Khan of Derbent and Cuba named Fet Ali Khan in honor of his wife Tuti Bike, ruler of Derbent. Legend has it that Tuti Bike was extremely wise and brave ruler and that thanks to her, Derbent withstood a siege that lasted nine months. Near the turbes is located Kirhljar (translated from turanskih language forty”), where according to legend, are buried forty martyrs (martyrs for the faith”) Arab military leaders killed in the struggle for the strengthening of Islamin the North Caucasus. Sarcophaguses over graves are hewn out of monolithic stone blocks.

Fort Kala Korejs

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 The ancient fortress of Kala Korejs is located in the altitude of over 1000 m. It was the first foothold from which Islam spread to the Caucasus. It is believed that it was built in the 7th century by the descendants of the tribe of Quraysh (tribe of the Prophet Muhammad). Kala Korejs is often called the Dagestani Machu Picchu, because today the city looks like a stone labyrinth which descends from the top of the mountain in terraces.

Here is the oldest mosque in Russia. It is the tomb and museum at the same time. It was built in the 9th century.

Chechnya

 

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 There are 59 holly tombs in Chechnya, the so-called Ziart. The most worshiped tomb is in the village of Hazi awla, where the mid-19th century lived Sufi sheikh Kunta Hadji Kišiev, Chechen saint and peacemaker, one of the missionaries who led the ritual of dhikr (dhikr, islamic dervish ritual cleansing of the soul). There was a spring next to the house in which he lived. It is believed that the water from this source is sacred and healing. Besides the spring, the tomb of Hajji mother Kunti is also worth a visit. It is located near by, on the hill Ertine that Chechens also worship as a sacred place.

Tatarstan

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On the banks of the Volga, 140 km from Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, are the ruins of the ancient city, legendary Great Bulgara. It was one of the largest cities of the Golden Horde, medieval Eurasian country. The city has become a a place of pilgrimage of Russian Muslims from long ago. Today the Great Bulgara is a large fortified settlement and the village Bulgarians. The walls of the main mosque with a minaret from 13th century are also preserved. the North turb is facing main entrance and facing the east entrance stands Eastern turb which was turned into an Orthodox church in the 18th century.

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Source: Russia Beyond The Headlines

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