ČĀR BAKR (lit. “four Bakrs,” possibly referring to descendants of Abū Bakr Aḥmad b. Saʿd, d. 360/970, who are buried there), family necropolis of the powerful Jūybāri shaikhs (see bukhara iii) near the village of Sumitan (Samtin), about 5 km outside the Šīrgarān Gate of Bukhara. It grew up around the venerated tomb of Abū Bakr, to whom these shaikhs traced their genealogy. In the l6th century the tomb was under the care of the influential Ḵᵛāja Moḥammad Eslām, head of the Ḵᵛājagī order of Naqšbandī shaikhs and a supporter of the Shaibanid ʿAbd-Allāh Khan (q.v.; 964-1006/1557-98). In 966/1558-59 ʿAbd-Allāh instructed that a complex including a mosque, a madrasa, and a ḵānaqāh (Sufi monastery) be established there. It was completed by 976/1569, and a tree-lined avenue was laid out from the Šīrgarān Gate to the necropolis. The complex stands on a platform, with a central courtyard. Flanking the courtyard are the mosque and the ḵānaqāh; they are connected by the madrasa, a long, narrow structure with two tiers of arcades facing the courtyard on either side of a tall central portal. The fourth side of the courtyard is open. The portals of the three structures, with their tiled pīšṭāqs (fiat frames rising higher than the neighboring walls), and their domes, which stand on tall drums, loom impressively above the lower monuments in the necropolis. The most noteworthy features of the interiors are complex systems of intersecting ribs on the cupolas, dividing the concave surfaces into patterns of small facets. Beyond this core of buildings is a sprawling cemetery containing family mausolea, small fenced courtyards, paths, and many tombstones. A small minaret, echoing the shape of the Kalān (“great”) minaret in Bukhara, was erected here in the 20th century.



G. A. Pugachenkova and L. I. Rempel’, Vydayushchiesya pamyatniki arkhitektury Uzbekistana, Tashkent, 1958, pp. 91-93, figs. 38-39.

V. L. Viatkin, “Sheĭkhi Dzhuĭbari,” in Sbornik“V. V. Bartol’du”, Tashkent, 1927, pp. 14-15.

(G. A. Pugachenkova)

Originally Published: December 15, 1990

Last Updated: December 15, 1990

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Vol. IV, Fasc. 7, p. 788