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Fayzabad khanaka

Faizabad khanagahIn the outskirts of the old part of the city is located one of the most noble-looking monument in Bukhara - the Faizabad khana-gah (dervishes' former hostel built in 1598-99).  Fayzabad khanaka was a big Sufi shrine. It is located to northeast of medieval Bukhara far from narrow city streets. Khanaka has a big dome hall for collective meditations and hudjras for dwelling.

Its layout is impressive and well-balanced: the spacious central hall is flanked on both sides by vaulted galleries. The main portal's pylons, as well as the wall behind the mihrab, contain three tiers of cells, which was giving temporary refuge to dervishes. The arch-dome gallery borders the central hall at three sides. The facade has three-stepped structure-from arched portal to two-storied niches, and from them to arches of the gallery. The dome lays on pendentives and is decorated with silhouette pattern. The cap of the dome in an interior is decorated with an effective two-color ganch fretwork of local technique named "chaspak".

People of the mosque were inhabitants of residential quarter (neighborhood and unit of local self-government also "mahalla") called "Shohy Ahsy". The primary purpose of the mosque was to serve as a place for the five daily prayers (masjid-y panchvakty), as well as for "collective" prayers on Fridays (masjid-y jamihony). It was also a place for ritualized dhikr ceremonies of Sufi, the liturgy of which often include recitation, singing, instrumental music, dance, costumes, incense, meditation, ecstasy, and trance. The edifice also had facilities for temporary refuge of dervishes. Eshon(s) (spiritual leaders at the head of a Muslim community in Turkistan) of the mosque had high esteem over Bukhara. Therefore they had multitude of followers (murids).

The construction of the mosque was financed by famed Sufi Mavlano Poyanda-Muhammad Ahsy (Ahsyqety)-yj Fayzabody (died in 1601). He was the founder of Sufi centre known as Fayzabad. This clan of eshons, also known under the name Shohy Ahsy, retained an authority until Soviets came to power.