As a member of the Islamic Supreme Council of America delegation to Uzbekistan, at the invitation of UNESCO, I was honored to accompany ISCA Chairman Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani on a mission to Uzbekistan last September. Our main mission was to lay the foundations in Uzbekistan for an Islamic revival emphasizing the traditional aspects of Islamic faith and practice: particularly the rebuilding of the Islamic science of spirituality, tasawwuf (Sufism), and the order renowned for its origins in Central Asia, the Naqshbandiyya.
Shaykh Hisham traveled to Uzbekistan at the request of its President His Excellency Islam Karimov, representing his spiritual teacher and Honorary Chair of the Islamic Supreme Council, Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani, world leader of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order when they met earlier this year during the UN Millennium Summit of World Leaders. President Karimov has sought to rebuild the religious and cultural traditions of his homeland, which had been suppressed outright during 75 years of atheist communist rule. As a means to this, His Excellency sees the re-establishment of the Sufi orders and Naqshbandiyya in particular, as a major building block for that revival.
What follows in the next pages are some highlights of this 2-week trip, which took us to some of the most venerated and special places in the world of Islam. Choose a day to see what it held for us.
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