Sheikh Sayf ad-Din Baharzi (1190 – 1261), the disciple of the outstanding Khorezm Sufi Nadschm ad-Din Kubro (d. 1220), preached in Bukhara, where he founded the famous Khanaqa of the followers of Sufism “kubroviyya”.
In Bukhara, Sheikh Baharzi succeeded in converting the Khan of the Golden Horde Berke to Islam. At the end of the nineteenth century, he led a medrese in Bukhara founded by the Mongol dignitary, the Muslim Ma’skd-bek.
The Sufi Khanaqa in Fatkhabad emerged in the early 10th century, apparently some time after the establishment of the Kubrawiyya brotherhood (tariqa) in Khorezm, founded by Nadschm an-Din al-Kubra.
The Qubrawiyya represented the Central Asian school of mysticism, was traditionally Sunni, and extended its activity to the borders of western China, operating into the 18th century.
Sayf ad-Din Baharzi was a murid (disciple) of Nadschm ad-Din Kubro, his follower and disseminator of al-Kubro’s ideas. The Khanaqa practised silent and loud zikr, self-singing, and preached the ideas of al-Qubro – ritual purity, fasting, silence, withdrawal from the world and spiritual remembrance of God.
As in the Tariqa Kubrawiyya, the authority of the supreme sheikh (caliph) in the Fatkhabad community was hereditary; all the descendants of Sayf ad-Din Baharzi were sheikhs and headed the Fatkhabad.
The Sayf ad-Din Baharzi Mausoleum in Bukhara stands out for its grandiose forms, the size of its construction and the extraordinary simplicity and clarity of its architectural idea. It is a building with a more complex plan – with a tomb – purkhona and a space of remembrance – ziarathona.
Two domes above form the profile of the building. The Sayf ad-Din Baharzi Mausoleum in Bukhara is almost unadorned, but the richest decorative element of the monument – a luxurious tombstone standing in the room of the Gurkhan – more than covers it.
This tombstone, with its astonishing delicacy and versatility of pattern, the limitless intricacy of the weaving of the plant ornament and the most intricate ligature of Arabic inscriptions, is a true masterpiece of medieval woodcarving.
After his death, Sheikh Sayf ad-Din Baharzi was buried in Bukhara in the Fatkhabad district. At the end of the XIIIth century, the mausoleum was built over his tomb, to which the domed Khanaqa with portal was added in the XIVth century.
This Khanaqa was a place of Sufi worship until the end of the XVIIIth century. It was a place of Sufi meetings until the end of the XVIII century.