Khoja Ahmed Yasawi
Ahmed Yasawi is one of the brightest representatives of Sufism who founded his own tariqah. He was born in 1093 in Sayram in the territory of modern Kazakhstan. After his father’s death his family moved to Yassy town (present Turkestan). When he lived in Bukhara he was a disciple of one of the famous Muslim notionalists – Yusuf Hamadani. In the age of 63 he decided to leave the temporal affairs and confined himself in a cell. His loyalty to his path and Islamic teaching caused deep respect in the hearts of people who began to worship him as a saint after his death.
The theological school founded by Khoja Ahmed Yasawi became a centre of attraction for those who thirst for knowledge. Owing to his authority, Turkestan became the most important medieval educational centre of Kazakhstan. After the Shaikh’s death, the spiritual centre Yassawiya continued its fruitful activity, and the memorial complex built at his tomb became one of the most popular shrines in Central Asia. And as it was common in the Muslim East, a place of mass hierolatry became a centre of an active trade, handicraft and spiritual life. He was buried in Turkestan, his native town.
The shrine erected at his tomb by the order of the Karakhanides was destroyed in the course of the Mongolian conquest and 223 years after his death, “Hazret Sultan” Mausoleum was erected at his tomb by a personal order of Amir Timur who worshiped Yassawi as a saint. The Yasawi’s teachings were named Yassawiya – tariqa. It was especially prevailing in Bukhara in the XIX century.