Legend of Sheikh Maturidi - Turkestan Travel
Abu Mansur al-Maturidi Mausoleum

Legend of Sheikh Maturidi

Legend has it that a holy man once lived in Samarkand – Sheikh Maturidi. He liked the place behind Siyab, but there was no water there. The Sheikh took his staff, went to Siyab, above Chupan-ata, dropped the end of the staff into the water and dragged it with him. Immediately behind the Sheikh, along the trail left by the staff, water flowed. Where the Sheikh walked faster, the water flowed faster, and where it was calmer, the water flowed calmer. So now it was flowing. So the saint reached the place of his choice and put his staff there. A tree grew from the staff. It did not grow like any other tree in Samarkand, because the staff was brought from Mecca, where he went for the Hajj. The Sheikh decided to plant a vineyard there. One day he put some grapes in the ground and his disciple carried them to him. He was about to plant some more cuttings when the voice of a muazzin called for the evening namaz (prayer). The Sheikh wanted to abandon the planting and go immediately to the namaz. But the devil entered the disciple and began to tempt the saint with his mouth to plant those few cuttings as soon as possible and then go to prayer: The Sheikh was seduced by the deceitful speech and began to hurry to plant the remaining cuttings. But he was in no hurry and was late for prayer. Since then, the Sheikh was waiting for his punishment from Allah. He was very afraid of his sin.

It is not known how much time passed since then, but one day a man sent by the King of Samarkand came to the Sheikh and demanded grapes from several bushes in kind. The Sheikh accidentally gave him all the berries from the bushes he had planted because he was late for prayer, and the king ordered wine to be made from them. Since that time, wine has been made and drunk in Samarkand. The Sheikh realised that this was done as punishment for his sin and uprooted all the vines in his garden, but he did not stop making wine and drinking it.

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