Walking along the north-western part of the ancient Bukhara, you can easily find one of the most revered Muslim shrines – Chashmai Ayyub. Popular rumor attributes this complex to the list of the places which the holy people of that time honored by their presence. The well, the name of which in translation means « spring of Saint Job », is surrounded by legends. For example, the famous prophet from the Bible, Job, traveling to these areas, saw that the locals were experiencing an acute shortage of drinking water.
By hitting a few times with his staff on the ground, he built at this place a source of clean and tasty spring water. Since then the locals believe that this spring can give not only the freedom from thirst, but also help in healing. In honor of such a respected well, whose shape resembles a geometrically regular prism, here it was decided to build a mausoleum. The top of the building is decorated with multiple domes, but strictly above the central room is the main dome of a double conical shape.
Historical evidence suggests that direct construction of the complex Chashmai Ayyub continued throughout the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries.
The chief architect of the project took into account the wishes of the ruler of the time, including into the complex the following facilities:
1. The sacred ritual space where various rites were accomplished;
2. The room where people could retire for sacred purposes;
3. Pseudo tomb of Ayyub;
4. The holy well of spring water;
5. An extensive cemetery, which has not survived.
Careful examination of numerous historical sources has allowed scientists to determine that the construction of the entire complex was completed in 1383. The bulk of the work was conducted by Amir Hodjaj. Subsequently, the process of completion of individual sections and repair was led by Sheybanid Abdallah Khan II.
Archaeologists were able to discover on the pseudo grave of Ayyub a small wooden board with a size of 68 by 157 centimetesr. On it not only a quote from the Koran, but also a legend of how Ayyub arrived in Bukhara was inscribed. It is worth noting that the other writers of the time indicate an entirely different burial place of Ayub. For example, Ibn al-Kilab al-Nawawi said that the tomb is be found in a small town of Hauran.
There is evidence that in ancient times a prophet visited Bukhara, blessing its inhabitants. Devoted khadis writers believed that such was precisely Ayub, and whose grave should be sought in Bukhara.
Some scientists speculate that this hypothesis was based on local oral folklore. It shouldn’t be forgotten that many people of Bukhara wanted to reinforce the status of the city as a center of Islamic culture. According to other researchers, the « appearance » of the third « grave » of Ayub is explained solely by the active penetration of Islam here.
The current state of the monument
Today, the complex remains one of the most popular places to visit for the faithful and tourists. Many sincerely believe that the water collected from this well, carries a healing power. That is why tourists from all over Asia hurry here to find relief from their ailment. People do not forget while visiting this place to make a ritual circumambulation of the grave of the Prophet.