Khast-Imam

The architectural complex Khast Imam or Hasrati Imam is the religious centre of Tashkent and the top historic site of the city. It is situated in one of the oldest parts of the city, where houses survived the 1966 earthquake. The complex includes Barak-Khan madrasah, Tillya Sheikh Mosque, Muyi Muborak madrasah, Kaffal Shashi mausoleum, Namazgoh mosque, as well as Khazrati Imam mosque and the Islamic Institute of Imam-Al-Bukhari. The administrative centre of the Muslims of Uzbekistan or the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan (built-in 2007) is also situated here.

The complex was formed around the mausoleum of the outstanding Muslim scholar Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Ismail Al-Kaffal Al-Kabir as-Shashi. In the Islamic world, he is known as Hazrat Imam, which means Holy Imam. He was an expert on the Quran, scientist and preacher. Abubakr Kaffal-Shashi was deeply devoted to the Muslim religion and spent his life spreading Islam and religious education. In the Arab world, he received the name of the Great Imam.

After the death of Abubakr Kaffal-Shashi in 976, the place where he was buried was considered to be sacred. That’s why a Mausoleum was built there in the 10th century, but unfortunately, it didn’t survive. In the same place in the 16th century, a new one was built under the rule of the Shaybanids dynasty. That is preserved till now and currently standing in Tashkent.

The mausoleum has become a popular place of pilgrimage. The Mazar of Kaffal-Shash is built in the form of a khanqah (a building for Sufi brotherhood gatherings and a place for the spiritual retreat). The complex includes cells, madrasa, a refectory and a mosque. Khanqah serves as a shelter for pilgrims.

Today the primary attraction of Khas Imam complex stands in the centre of the square: the small Muyi Mubarak library, which holds the oldest Quran in the world. There are a lot of blurry stories about how it got to Tashkent, there are also rumours that it might not be the oldest. However, the fact that it is very old is undeniable (8th century). The museum contains also a hair, which is believed to belong to the Prophet Muhammed. Thus the name Muyi Mubarak – ''sacred hair''. 

Muyi Mubarak library opening hours are Monday to Friday 09:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00, Saturday 10:00-15:00. The entrance to the library costs 5000 sums, but other sites are free to enter.

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