Aivans of Askhabs, Merv
This poetical name was given to the mausoleum complex of the so-called Askhabs - the "associates" of Prophet Mohammed: Bureid ibn Al Khusseib Al-Aslami and Al-Khakim ibn Amr Al-Gifari.
After death of Askhabs their tombs became local sanctuaries. In the 15th century Timurids constructed a religious complex around them. The tombs from black marble are decorated with exquisite relief carving with vegeta tion ornaments and inscriptions. They tower in the center of the mausoleum. Behind the tombs two restored aivans are located. They stand side by side and are oriented exactly to the south. On the photos of the late 19th century it is clearly seen that their original height was abut 12 meters and they were decorated by blue and turquoise tiles. In the middle of the back wall of the mausoleum the word "ALLAH" in Kufi is written, and on the sides there are several squares positioned diagonally.
The tombs are still the place of worshipping. This is why near the aivans the sites for reception of pilgrims with open-air cooking facilities and a covered water storage constructed at the same time were provided.