Reception - Islamic University of Tashkent
Shaykh Hisham Kabbani invited to the Islamic
University of Tashkent, special invitation of Rector of the University Dr. Khamidulla
Karomatov; also Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan. Shaykh was welcomed by hundreds of
students; congregated at gates, eager to escort real, live Sufi Shaykh to all
different departments. First stop: Inter-religious Department, educates students about all
worlds faiths; teaches tolerance for all beliefs. Enthusiastic student guides
tour of new, high-tech computer lab. Studying Islamic courses, particularly Arabic, on
computers. Guided group to main lecture hall. Hundreds of students came to listen to
Shaykh speak, greeted him. Many students took microphone and gave special thank you
messages and greetings to the Shaykh. Shaykh addressed them briefly thanking for
hospitality and urging them to support President Karimov for excellent work on rebuilding
Uzbek tradition, revival of religious heritage, establishing nation on firm economic base.
Shaykh happy to respond to student questions: Islam in America, fiqh, particularly
questions about Tasawwuf and its principles.
Important note: Throughout
Uzbekistan, very clear Uzbek government and people are very tolerant to all
religions and views. Clear in university- women sit next to men, some are covered,. some
are not. No imposition of beliefs, and no prevention of practicing freely as ones
heart dictates. Very free country, versus Turkey where hijab forbidden in government
schools and institutions. People are extremely humble and simple, peace loving,
friendly. One thing for sure: no worry about getting hurt walking the streets in the
middle of the night. Never feel any arrogance from students. All very friendly. Approached
by many extended their hands to give greetings, without shyness; no sense you are
different as in many Western countries. Never experience this feeling in US
university. Everybody stressed out here and walk as if surrounded by barriers. In
Uzbekistan, no walls and hearts of people are open to everyone.
||Mufti of Bukhara greets Shaykh Hisham and
hosts him to a lovely repast.
Immediately following university tour, proceeded to airport for flight to
Samarkand. On arrival at Samarkand airport, personally greeted by Deputy Governor of
Samarkand. Shaykh Kabbani hosted by the governor. Sent special car to carry Shaykh to
hotel. Rest of UNESCO delegates follow in Greyhound style bus. Governor escorted us to
Hotel Samarkand. Magnificent lunch was served to all UNESCO guests.
Sayyidina Imam Bukhari
After check-in, taken to mosque, maqam,
museum of Sayyidina Imam Bukhari. Museum contains many old priceless manuscripts, most
never published. Each grave has two levels: one above, normally visited, below
(underground) actual grave, not known to many. Mufti of Samarkand opened the door to lower
grave of the Imam, underground, so that Shaykh could make dua there. UNESCO
delegates remained on upper floor, listened to Shaykhs dua. Over twenty
minutes everyone kept reverence and respect. Mufti of Samarkand remained with Shaykh for
the duration of visit thereafter.
Sayyidina Quthum, Sayyidina Al-Ahrar and Timur
||The maqam of Sayyidina Quthum ibn al-`Abbas (r).
||Maqam of Sayyidina `Ubaydullah al-Ahrar, one
of the 40 Grandshaykhs of the Naqshbandi Golden Chain of saints.
||Here is the well the Shaykh found.
Then visited mosques and maqams of
Sayyidina `Ubaidullah al-Ahrar ( q), Sayyidina Quthum ibn `Abbas (q) (A companion).
Timurs mosque, most famous landmark in Central Asia. Prayed there. Descended again
to the underground crypt. Ruler of half the world buried at own request at
feet of his shaykh.
Governor of Samarkand Reception
||Governor of Samarqand's reception.
That night entire UNESCO delegation hosted at special reception by governor of