Samarkand, the paradise of the world, the turquoise of the earth, and the city of blue domes, its history extends back to 1500 BC. It was sung by poets throughout the ages, scholars settled in it, beauty lovers from all parts of the earth visited it, and kings took it as their capital, and kingdoms and civilizations passed over it.
And it was subject to the sultan of the Persians, Greeks, Chinese, Arabs, Mongols, Turks, and Soviet Russians, until Uzbekistan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and Samarkand became the second city in the country after the capital, Tashkent, but it still retains its cultural and historical status, and its ancient civilizational heritage.
The name of the city in Uzbek means “the castle of the earth” or “the face of the earth”, but many other meanings are narrated for its name, including “the city of Samar” in relation to a historical figure with that name.
The historic city of Samarkand is located in a large oasis in the valley of the Zarafshan River, northeastern Uzbekistan, in Central Asia, or the country beyond the river, which is called the “Jihon River” as it was called by the Arab Muslims. Today, the second city in terms of importance after “Tashkent” is the capital of the State of Uzbekistan.
It is considered the center of the meeting of cultures in the world, and it has a history that extends back to 1500 BC, when the first human settlements arose in it, up to the 14th and 15th centuries, which witnessed the height of its prosperity, as the capital of Emperor Tamerlane.
Samarkand consists of 3 sections. In the northeast is the old city, which includes a number of monuments, the most important of which are: the remains of the old castle and fortifications, the ruler’s palace, residential and craft quarters, and the remains of a mosque dating back to the eighth century AD.
The second section, in the south, contains architectural groups, the city of the Timurid era, which includes social facilities such as schools, mosques, and residences. It is an amazing example of the development of architecture, urban planning, and construction.
As for the third section, it is to the west, and it contains the area that the Russians built on the European model.
The population of Samarkand is more than 520 thousand people, most of them are from the Uzbek nationality, which is related to the Turkish nationality, and there are Tajiks, Tatars and Turks, and there are also minorities of Russians, Ukrainians, Persians and Jews.
The official language in Samarkand is Uzbek, which has its origins in Turkish. Russian is considered the second official language by virtue of the country’s existence under Soviet control for nearly a century.
The mother tongue is Tajik, which is derived from Persian. There are many other languages and dialects spoken by the locals.
The people of Samarkand depend on their economic resources for their resources, as they work in the cotton, spinning, silk, weaving, tanning and tobacco industries. They also work in the food industry, such as drying and canning fruits, in addition to agriculture, the most important of which is the cultivation of rice and fruits.
Throughout its history, Samarkand was subjected to calamities and disasters, the most important of which was: Alexander’s destruction of it in 329 BC, and it was known at that time as “Maraqanda”. But the Arab narrative says that Alexander was the one who established it, and it is possible to reconcile the narratives in that Alexander occupied the city several times, so he could have demolished it and then rebuilt it.
The second time it was destroyed was during the reign of Genghis Khan in 1220 AD (617 AH). As for the third destruction, it was at the hands of the Uzbeks around the middle of the 15th century AD (ninth AH). The Uzbek tribes had not yet converted to Islam.
And in the year 709 AD (91 AH), the commander Qutayba bin Muslim al-Bahili reconciled with “Tarkhun” (the ruler of Samarkand at the time) to pay tribute to the Muslims and give them hostages, but that angered his subjects, so they deposed him, and he was replaced by Ikhshid Gorak, so Qutayba forced him to surrender in 712 AD ( 93 AH) after he besieged the city for a long time, and kept Ikhshid on his throne, then appointed a Muslim governor supported by a strong garrison.
After its conquest, Samarkand and Bukhara became a base for other Islamic conquests and the spread of Islam in the country, and in the year 819 AD (204 AH) the Abbasid caliph al-Ma’mun gave the mandate of Transoxiana, especially Samarkand, to the sons of Asad bin Saman.
And in the year 900 AD (287 AH), Ismail bin Ahmed established the Samanid state, which allowed beyond the river a century of prosperity and prosperity that you did not see until 500 years later, during the days of Tamerlane and his immediate successors. Even after the Kasbah was moved to Bukhara, Samarkand maintained its first place as a center of commerce and culture, especially in the eyes of the Islamic world.
In the year 1209 AD (606 AH), Genghis Khan besieged Samarkand for a few months, after he crossed the Sihon River on his way from Bukhara, which he completely destroyed. Samarkand surrendered in Rabi` al-Awwal 617 AH (1220 AD), and Genghis Khan allowed a number of its people to remain there under the rule of a Mongol ruler, after it was plundered and many of its inhabitants were expelled.
Samarkand lived for 150 fading years after glory and prestige, then it began to revive in 1369 AD (771 AH) after Tamerlane became the owner of the supreme word beyond the river, so he chose Samarkand as a reed for his constantly growing state, and he began to decorate it with all the signs of splendor and luxury. Then his grandson Ulugh Bey beautified the city with his palace called “Jehl Sotun” and built his famous observatory there.
After 1500 A.D., a country condemned the watering of the river to the Uzbeks, and Samarkand during their era was only a reed in name rather than in deed, because it lagged far behind Bukhara, and from there Islam advanced to China, India and Russia itself, so that the Russian lands remained under Islamic Tatar control for 3 centuries. Rather, the Duke of Moscow paid tribute annually to the Emir of Bukhara.
However, the Russian tsars quickly recovered these Islamic areas, and the first Islamic fortress in Transoxiana, Aq Masjid, fell into the hands of the Russians in 1852 AD (1268 AH).
And in the middle of the 16th century, while the Ottoman Empire was threatening central Europe and creeping into Africa and Asia, Tsarist Russia was attacking Islamic regions until Kazan fell in the Volga region, after which the Strakhan Khanate state, then the Muslim Kingdom of Siberia in Siberia, then the Russian armies headed south to Turkestan in the century The 19th.
The khans fell behind the river one after the other, until 8 thousand Russian armies marched towards Samarkand, crossed the Zarafshan River on May 13, 1868 AD (1285 AH) and took control of it the next day, and Commander Kaufman entered the ancient Timurid capital, and at that time it was in the hands of Muzaffar ad-Din, Emir of Bukhara.
And when the communist regime was established in 1917 in Russia, Samarkand became one of the republics of the former Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991 AD, and it became one of the cities of the independent Republic of Uzbekistan.
Samarkand historically gains its economic value from being one of the important stations located on the Silk Road, that strategic corridor that was, until very recently, the most famous commercial artery in the world between China and Europe.-
Today, the economic value of Samarkand lies in attracting a huge number of tourists, from all over the world, to discover this rich cultural heritage, which extends over 4 thousand years, and to enjoy its stunning and captivating scenery.--
The city, with its three neighborhoods, is considered a repository of human history, which is visited by researchers and specialists, whether they are anthropologists and anthropologists, or researchers on the subject of kingdoms and geopolitics, or even those interested in nationalities, ethnicities, sects and religions.
Among the most prominent landmarks that the visitor longs to see in Samarkand is the “Kor Amir” complex, which means “the tomb of the king,” and it includes the tomb of Tamerlane, his children, and his grandchildren, in addition to the tomb of his sheikh, a school, and a mosque.
And there is the square of “Rajastan”, which means “sandy place” in Persian, one of the other most important destinations in Samarkand, and the place is the center of the city and its most important features.
The tomb of Qutham ibn al-Abbas is one of the important religious landmarks in the city, and it is also called “Shah Zindah”, meaning the living king, in relation to the cousin of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, who was martyred in the area and was buried there.
Samarkand includes relics from the remains of Tamerlane’s era, most notably the Bibi Khanum Mosque, which reflects the greatness of that stage, as it was built between 1399 and 1405 AD.
What shows the extent of the Turks’ interest in science and knowledge in those eras is the Samarkand Observatory, which was built by Ulugh Bey, the grandson of Tamerlane, who was known for his passion for astronomy and mathematics.
Countless scholars, famous scholars, and hadith scholars are attributed to Samarkand. The number of those for whom Imam Najm al-Din al-Nasafi translated from the letter al-Kha to the letter al-Kaf reached 1010 scholars.
Among the well-known hadith scholars of Samarkand is Abu al-Laith al-Samarqandi, who is the jurist, the hadeeth, Nasr bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Samarqandi al-Hanafi, who died in the year 375 AH, and he is the author of the book “Tanbih al-Khafileen.”
Among them are also Abu Imran Issa bin Omar Ibn Al-Abbas bin Hamza Al-Samarqandi, the owner of Imam Al-Darimi, and the narrator of his chain of transmission on his authority, as well as the scholar and traveler Imam Abu Muhammad Al-Hassan bin Ahmed bin Muhammad Al-Samarqandi Al-Kukhimithni, who died in 491 AH.
However, the most famous scholar of Samarkand among the hadith scholars is Imam al-Hafiz Abdullah bin Abd al-Rahman bin al-Fadl bin Bahram bin Abd al-Samad al-Tamimi al-Darimi, Abu Muhammad al-Samarqandi, the author of the book “Al-Musnad wa Tafsir wa al-Jami’” and died in 255 AH.
Many of the jurists excelled among the scholars of Samarkand, including: the jurist Abu Mansur al-Maturidi, which is related to the Matrid neighborhood, or Matrib, one of the neighborhoods of Samarkand, and it had a decisive impact on the development of Sunni jurisprudence in the East.
Likewise, the jurist Muhammad bin Uday bin Al-Fadl Abu Salih Al-Samarqandi, a resident of Egypt, and in Damascus he received knowledge from Abi Al-Hassan Al-Maidani, and a group of others, and Abu Al-Rabea Suleiman bin Dawood bin Abi Hafs Al-Jabali, and a group of others narrated from him.
And the jurist Ahmad bin Umar Abu Bakr al-Samarqandi lived in Damascus, and he read the Qur’an and recite it, and he used to write the Mushafs from his memorization. Likewise Muhammad bin Masoud al-Samarqandi, known as al-Ayashi, the author of the famous interpretation, and he was one of the hadith scholars, physicians and astronomers.
Among its scholars were Alaeddin al-Samarqandi, Naguib al-Din al-Samarqandi, a contemporary physician to Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, and killed Bahra when the Tatars entered it, including Shams al-Din al-Samarkandi, the scholar, logician, astronomer and writer.
Likewise, the famous astronomer Qazizadeh Rumi, Professor Ulugh Beg, who was one of the most prominent astronomers in the world during the Middle Ages.
They said about Samarkand
The famous traveler Ibn Battuta said about it “It is one of the largest cities, the best, and the most complete in beauty. It was built on the shore of a valley known as Wadi al-Qassarin, and there were great palaces on its shore, and architecture that indicated the determination of its people. Outside Samarkand, the tomb of Qatham ibn al-Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, who was martyred when he conquered it.”
As for Yaqut al-Hamawi, the author of the dictionary of countries, he says And they said, “There is no city on earth more noble, kinder, or more promising than Samarkand.”
Husayn ibn al-Mundhir al-Raqqashi likened it, and he said “It is as if it is the sky for greenery, its palaces for the stars for shining, its rivers for the galaxy to intercept, and its wall for the sun to cover.”
Al-Maqdisi, known as Al-Bishari, said about it “Samarkand is the bastion of al-Sughd, and the Egypt of regions, a secret, glorious, ancient country. .
As for Ata al-Malik al-Juwayni, the ruler of Baghdad by the Mongols, he says “Samarkand is the greatest land in the sultan’s kingdom in terms of area, and the best in terms of terrain.”
And wrote about the official website of UNESCO “A meeting place for the world’s cultures, and a crucible for their interaction and casting into one fabric.”
And in the past they said “God’s highest heavens are four, and Samarkand is the best of them.” Samarkand has been given many titles, as it is “the jewel of Islam and the mirror of the world.”
As for the novelist Amin Maalouf, he did her justice in his novel entitled by her name, when he said “Samarkand is the most beautiful face that the earth turns towards the sun one day.”