Abu-Said Mitkhene Mausoleum in Ashgabat

Mausoleum of Abu Said Mitkhene - аrchitectural sight of Turkmenistan

The Mausoleum of Abu-Said Mitkhene (Meykheney), the famous Sufi and religious public figure of the X-XI centuries is found in Miana village near Ashgabat. Among the people the mausoleum is known under the name of Miana-Baba. Up to date the mausoleum is numbered to masterpieces of Turkmenistan medieval architecture.

Abu-Said ibn Abulkhayr (968-1049) was an outstanding historical figure of the Seljuk period. When he was young he received good doctrinal education and devoted all his life to theology. He was also one of the of Sufi leaders of Islam, whose advices were sought by the most outstanding Seljuk rulers. Abu-Said Mitkhene began his religious activity in Gazna, the capital of the Gaznevid state. He continued his further education in Merv. At the end of his life he settled in Mekhna, where he died in 1049.

Abu-Said Mitkhene played an important role in the history of the Seljukids. Many rulers of this dynasty, including its founders Togrul-bek and Chagry-bek applied to the Sufi to receive his “blessing for power”. There is a record that upon the victory in the battle at Dandanakan (between Seljuks and Gaznevids for Khorasan in 1040), it was Abu-Said ibn Abulkhayr who, right in the battle-field, declared Togrul-bek and his brother Chagry-bek to be the Khorasan’s rulers.

After Miana-Baba’s death, the place of his burial was reckoned among sanctuaries and a mausoleum was built over his tomb. During the XI-XIV centuries the mausoleum was subject to re-building several times. Sultan Sanjar and Khorezmshah Al-Arslan paid much attention to keep the mausoleum building well-preserved.

From architectural point of view the mausoleum represents an example of medieval portal-domed structures. It is built in a form of cube and has a faced, glazed ceramic portal. The building’s inner premises are of square shape. The immense renovation of its building, carried out early in the XIV century, changed considerably the decorative appearance of the mausoleum. One of the features of the mausoleum was a painting which covered the building’s walls from top to bottom. The painting was made in blue and red colors which were also used in the mosaic pattern on the building’s portal.

The Abu-Said Mitkhene Mausoleum preserved in a rather good state, that is why even now it is still the cultic place where many Muslims came to pray.