Samarqand (Arabic: سَمَرقَند) is an ancient city in Transoxiana in today's Uzbekistan. Toward the end of the second/eighth century, Shiism spread in Samarqand and Kashsh (today's Shahrisabz), and the activities of prominent Shiite scholars formed an active scholarly center in that region by the beginning of the Occultation of the Twelfth Imam (a), which is sometimes called the school of Samarqand.”
Among the founders of the school of Samarqand in that time were some of the companions and representatives of the Imams, who were usually from Samarqand but had spent a part of their lives in the presence of the Imams (a).
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Shiites in Samarqand
- 4 The School of Samarqand
- 5 Al-Shaykh al-Saduq in Samarqand and Kash
- 6 The Decline of the School of Samarqand
- 7 Shiite Mosques and Centers
- 8 Current Situation of Shiites in Samarqand
- 9 References
Samarqand was known in the fourth century BCE as Maracanda and was the capital of Sogdian satrapy. In 329 BCE, Samarqand was conquered by Alexander the great. In that time, Samarqand was among the important cities on the Silk Road. Later, the city was ruled by Central Asian Turks (before Islam), Arab Muslims (8th century CE), Samanids (9th-10th centuries), Turk rulers (11th-13th century), and rulers of Khwarazm (early 13th century). Then, in 1220 CE, Samarqand was destroyed by Genghis Khan. However, in 1336 CE, Samarqand became the capital of the Timurid empire and the most important cultural and economical center of Central Asia. The city was later conquered by the Uzbeks in 1500 CE and became a district of Bukhara.
The Russians made Samarqand the capital of the Turkistan Province in 1266 Sh. When the Trans-Caspian railway reached Samarqand, the economic situation of the city was improved. Between the years, 1924-1936, the city became the capital of the Uzbek USSR.
Now, Samarqand is the second largest city of Uzbekistan and the capital of Samarqand Province. Most of the people are Persian-speaking. The city of Samarqand has an old part and a new part constructed by the Russians in the nineteenth century. The historical part of Samarqand was added in 2001 by UNESCO to the World Heritage List.
According to geographical sources, Samarqand and Kash had a very good climate for agriculture. The distance between the two cities are said to have been "two days". It is said that Muslims were present in these two cities around 80/699, but according to al-Baladhuri, the Muslim presence dates back to a later period at the time of Umar b. Abd al-Aziz.
Samrqand and Kash are located in today's Uzbekistan. Samarqand has preserved its historical name, but Kash came to be called Shahrisabz.
There were extensive interrelations between the hadith transmitters from Samarqand and