Mausoleum of St. Daniel in Samarkand
On the shore of Siab, a small tributary of Zerafshan River, there is a sacred place, which keeps the relics of Daniel, the Old Testament Biblical Prophet. Another version says that there are the relics of Daniyol (or Danier), an associate of the Arab preacher Kussama ibn Abbas. But all versions agree that Danier is the Saint and pilgrims from all the three world religions come here to worship him.
It is considered that the spirit of buried Saint protects Samarkand, brings wealth and prosperity to its people. Believers come here to pray near the mausoleum. Especially pilgrims worship the spring near the mausoleum.
Who is actually buried in the Samarkand mausoleum? By a legend, relics of St. Daniel were brought by Amir Temur. The legend says that Tamerlane took the military campaign to Asia Minor, conquering almost all cities, but when his huge army arrived in the small city in Iran, Susa, he couldn’t invade it, because the city showed unexpected resistance and did not yield the city to the invincible army. Amir Temur asked local people and his spiritual teacher why he couldn’t conquer the city and they replied him that the city was protected by the spirit of St. Daniel, Old Testament Jewish Prophet. Tamerlane ordered to terminate the attack and asked people to show him the tomb of the saint. He spent some time near the relics, persuaded the government to consign it to the earth and the next morning sent to Samarkand a caravan with the remains of the tomb of the saint.
According to the other legend, when caravan reached Samarkand, camels suddenly stopped near the place resembling Susa and didn’t move anymore. Whatever cameleers took, camels didn’t budge. Then they decided to consign the relics of the saint to the earth and later a mausoleum was built there.
According to another version the mausoleum keeps the remains of the Prophet Tabba. This version is mentioned in the "Kandia Minor" which refers to the words of the Samarkand Sheikh Hoja Abdu-Darun that "... a prophet of God passed over the Jeyhun River (Amu Darya) and reached Samarkand. He was a skilled fortune teller. People of Samarkand respected him. He settled here and died in Samarkand. People called him Tabba nabi (Prophet Tabba in Arabic). The Prophet said: "I, Muhammad the son of Abdullah, have found the perfection of knowledge of the secret world near his grave. And everyone who wants to hear the revelation should serve in the mazar of the Prophet every Friday after Friday prayers... "
There is another legend that the mausoleum keeps the remains of Daniyol, an associate of Kussama ibn Abbas. This version is told by the Arab historian Abu Tohir Hoja in his work "Samaria" (the late 19th century). He writes that many people confuse Daniel with Arab saint Hoja Daniyol, who arrived in Samarkand for the propagation of Islam along with Kussama ibn Abbas, the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. By this legend, Hoja Daniyol enjoyed great respect in Samarkand.