The architectural complex Khast Imam (Khazret Imam) is rightfully considered one of the most striking examples of a responsible attitude to architectural monuments. Its construction began in the XVI century. Due to regular earthquakes, military events and just under the load of years, many of the buildings of the complex have not partially preserved the decoration. In 2007, some old buildings were restored, new and landscaped areas were erected, thanks to which the complex regained its former grandeur.
This ensemble was named after one of the first, venerable imams of Tashkent - the respected Abubekr Muhammad Kaffal Shashi. This man was an outstanding Muslim scholar. He received high education in Tashkent and Baghdad, in the best madrassas, he studied under the renowned historian - the famous at-Tabari, knew the Qur'an and hadith perfectly, and achieved success in studying Muslim law. Some of the imam’s poems have been preserved to this day, it is also known that he was among the famous masters who made castles (apparently for this skill he was awarded the nickname Kaffal, which translates as “castle”).
Imam Abubekr Muhammad Kaffal Shashi was very respected by the people, and when he died in 976, he was buried in the land of the Gods Keykaus garden, near the wall of ancient Tashkent. From that time until now pilgrims often come to the grave of the saint. Directly over this burial place in the 16th century a mausoleum was built and this part of the city near it was then called the Khast Imam (translated as “The Great Imam”). But in those days, the main building of this complex was considered the Barak Khan madrasah, erected in the 16th century, which also included 2 mausoleums and a spiritual library, where manuscripts were stored.
Also in the Khast Imam complex is the Tilla Sheikh Mosque, erected in 1856-1857. Directly opposite it is the Barak Khan Madrasah. Moreover, Tilla-sheikh is a functioning mosque-namazgoh, its name in translation sounds like “golden sheikh”. Her prayer hall has a square configuration, special partitions separate it from the entrance. Its purpose is to worship in winter in it. In front of the mosque is an aivan (gallery), it is intended for prayers in the summer, on the sides there are two minarets, there is also a library and buildings for household purposes. The windows of the mosque have traditional decorations - patterned panjara lattices made of ganch. In the mosque, right in the wall there is a mihrab, which is a prayer niche, as well as a minbar - this is a pulpit designed to read prayers in prayer.
The famous Hast Imam Square keeps the original of the holy Book - the Qur'an Khalif Osman, which dates back to the 12th century, it is painted on processed deer skin. This relic is unique in that its individual pages preserved the blood of Khalif Osman himself. Amir Temur brought this shrine to Samarkand, but in 1869, by order of General von Kaufman, the shrine was sent to St. Petersburg for storage in the imperial library. And in 1924, preserved after long wanderings, the Holy Book was transferred to Tashkent, where it was transferred for storage to the Museum of History. Islam Karimov in the early 90s of the last century transferred the Koran to the Spiritual Administration of all Muslims of Uzbekistan. Where the Mui Muborak madrasah once stood, a new building was erected in 2007, it housed the Spiritual Directorate for Muslims of Uzbekistan. There, a museum was specially organized for the shrine, in which the sacred Koran of Osman is still kept under glass. Over 22 thousand spiritual books are preserved in the same walls.
The Khast Imam complex is rightfully considered the center of spirituality in Uzbekistan and Tashkent. Nearby, right next to the namazgokh mosque, is the editorial office of a newspaper called Islom Nuri (translated as “The Ray of Islam”), as well as the Khidoyat magazine (translated as “The True Way”), which are the organs of the Spiritual Administration of all Muslims of Uzbekistan. In addition, the place of the Islamic Institute, which was opened in 1970 in honor of Imam al-Bukhori, is located in this place. After a while, in 2007 the Institute’s structure was reconstructed and a new two-story educational institution now flaunts on the site of a one-story building.
In 2007, another new building was added to the Khast Imam complex, erected according to the canons of architecture of the 16th century. All the buildings of the ensemble are visible from afar; with their grandeur they create a special atmosphere in this area of the city. They look especially delightful in the dark, due to the special illumination there is a mirage of oriental legends mysteriously soaring in the air. Around the ensemble is also very beautiful: carefully cut lawn grass, many flower beds and trees, and storks walking in the warm season create a pleasant background, which makes these places the most visited.
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