In one of the picturesque places of Ichan Kala in Khiva is the Sayyid Muhammad-Khan Madrasah. The building was constructed in 1876 after the death of Khan Sayyid Muhammad of Khiva by his son Sayyid Muhammad Rahim-khan II under the leadership of Muhammad Murat – the Khan’s army chief.
The madrasa consists of two courtyards: an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard. The outer courtyard is surrounded by one-storey cells and has a rectangular shape. At the entrance is a two-storey façade clad in white and blue tiles, flanked by unusual green towers. The madrasa also houses a winter and summer mosque, a library, a darskhona (study room) and various ancillary rooms. Sayyid Muhammad-Khan was the tenth ruler of the Kungrat dynasty of the Khiva Khanate, ruling from 1856 to 1864. During Sayyid Muhammad-Khan’s reign, a lookout (kurnishkhona) was built in Khiva and trade, arts, crafts and science were well developed.
During his reign, the eminent historian Agakhi lived in Khiva and wrote the history of Khorezm. The Sayyid Muhammad-Khan Madrasah is an architectural creation and one of the most magnificent madrasahs of Khiva.
Said Muhammad-khan (1823-1864), reigned 1856-1864, was the tenth ruler of the Uzbek dynasty Kungrat in the Khanate of Khiva.
In 1855, Muhammad Amin-khan, the ruler of Khiva, was tragically killed in the battle of Serakhs. After his death, power in Khorezm passed to Abdulla-khan (1855), but he also died six months later in battle with the nomadic tribes. Then Kutlug Murad-khan ascended the throne. He was assassinated in an assassination attempt.
After his death in 1856, Muhammad Rahim-khan’s son Sayyid Muhammad-khan (1856-1864) came to power in the Khiva Khanate. He brought order to the state and prevented attacks by nomadic tribes.
During Sayyid Muhammad-khan’s rule, he maintained diplomatic relations with Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Iran and Afghanistan. In 1858, the Russian envoy N.P. Ignatiev visited Khiva.
In 1863, Sayyid Muhammad-khan received the famous traveller Hermann Wamberi.
In 1864, his son Muhammad Rahim-khan II (1864-1910) came to power.