Samarkand.. the ruby ​​of Islam | Al Khaleej newspaper

Sharjah: Othman Hassan
When you mention the city of Samarkand, we recall a glimpse of the path of Islamic civilization. This city, steeped in history and more than 2,500 years old, has a story that must be told, as historians agree that it was conquered by the Muslims at the hands of the Islamic leader Qutaybah bin Muslim Al-Bahili in the year 87 AH. – 705 AD), then he reopened it again in the year (92 AH – 710 AD).
This Islamic city continued to flourish, as most sources document, in the Abbasid era, especially during the reign of the Caliph al-Mu’tamid Allah, who made it the capital of Transoxiana, and it continued to do so until the era of Prince Ahmed bin Ismail, who moved the capital to Bukhara. The two cities became cultural centers, and social life flourished. And economic development in them during the era of the Samanid state, and it remained like this until it was subjected to the rule of the Khwarezmian state during the era of Sultan Alaeddin Muhammad bin Taksh, who attacked Transoxiana and seized Samarkand in 606 AH / 1209 AD.

Samarkand has been given many nicknames, perhaps the most famous of which is “the ruby ​​of Islam.” Being one of the ancient cities of Islam, it is, by the way, one of the richest Islamic cities replete with Islamic antiquities and cultural landmarks, and one of the most important cities of Uzbekistan, and it remained the capital of Transoxiana for about five centuries until the first third of the twentieth century. Arab travelers called it “the ruby” lying on the banks of the “Zarafshan” River, and it is the pioneering capital prepared by Tamerlane to occupy the forefront during his reign and for many years after him. Where he built the most famous and important mosque, called the “Bibi Hanum” or “Khanum” Mosque. It is located east of Registan Square and is called the Jewel of Samarkand. It was built by Tamerlane in 1399 AD, and was completed in 1403 AD. It was named after his wife. According to the architects, it is an unparalleled architectural masterpiece. In the middle of the twentieth century, only ruins remained of this mosque, but large parts of it were restored during the Soviet period.

The famous traveler Ibn Battuta said about it: “It is one of the largest, best, and most beautiful cities. It is built on the shore of a valley known as Wadi Al-Qassarin, and on its shore were great palaces, and outside Samarkand is the tomb of Qutham bin Al-Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib, who was martyred when he conquered it.”
As for Yaqoot al-Hamwi, the author of Mu’jam al-Buldan, he says: “There is no city on earth more honorable, more beautiful, or more well-prospective than Samarkand.”
Husayn ibn al-Mundhir al-Raqashi likened it by saying: “It is as if it were the sky for greenness, its palaces for the stars for radiance, its river the galaxy for opposition, and its wall for sunshine.”
Al-Maqdisi said about it: “Samarkand is the reed of Sughd, and the Egypt of the provinces, a secret, venerable, and ancient country. Egypt is beautiful and graceful, affluent and abundant with abundance, and has abundant water with a deep river, with venerable streams, and precious cities, and trees and rivers. In the summer it is a paradise, people of community, tradition, goodness and honesty. “And determination and determination.”
The official UNESCO website wrote about it: “A meeting place for the world’s cultures, and a crucible for their interaction and casting into one fabric.”

The Lebanese-French novelist Amin Maalouf has a famous novel called “Samarkand,” which was published in 1988. Its events revolve around the poet Omar Khayyam. Maalouf says in the novel about the city: “Samarkand is the most beautiful face the earth has ever turned toward the sun.”
As for the Egyptian writer Muhammad Al-Mansi Qandil, he has a novel entitled “Moon over Samarkand,” and its events revolve around a young Egyptian doctor named Ali, who decides to go on a trip to the city of Samarkand, to search for Rashidov, his father’s old friend, out of a desire to know some secrets about his father. On his way there, he meets an adventurous man named Nour El-Din, the taxi driver, who coincidentally brings him together. He guides his fate, and together they go on an adventure in amazing places. The journey then takes place in time and explores some of the past of this rich land, rich in history and legends.

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