Imam al-Bukhari International Research Centre and Science School of Hadith are Opened in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

The Islamic world can be proud of its worthy contribution to the world science and civilisation. In particular, the territory of Central Asia was known worldwide as the largest center of the Islamic Renaissance. When we talk about this, first of all, with great respect and pride we recall the names of the great scientist, Al-Khwarezmi, Al-Ferghani, Abu Reyhan Beruni, who made a significant contribution to the development of many sciences, including geodesy and mineralogy, Ibn Sina, known in the West as Avicenna, the great astronomer Mirzo Ulugbek.

Today more than 100,000 manuscripts are being kept in Uzbekistan’s scientific funds, most of which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is hard to overestimate the significance of this rich scientific and spiritual heritage, the heritage of all mankind, in achieving the progress and stability in the world.

It is for this purpose that at the 43rd session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, held in Tashkent in October 2016, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev put forward the idea of creating an Imam al-Bukhari International Research Centre in Samarkand. On 11 January 2019 the Research Centre was solemnly opened by the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Abu Abdullah Mohamed bin Ismail Al-Bukhari (19 July 810 – 1 September 870) is considered as one of the most distinguished scholars of Hadith in Islamic history, who was born in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. He authored the Hadith collection known as Sahih al-Bukhari, regarded by Sunni Muslims as one of the most authentic Hadith collections. He collected and recorded about 600 thousand hadiths, and also wrote other books such as Al-Adab al-Mufrad. Imam Al-Bukhari is buried in Samarkand, where the Imam Al-Bukhari Memorial Complex was established.

The Centre will be engaged in studying the scientific and spiritual heritage of Imam al-Bukhari and other scientists and thinkers, publishing scientific translations and interpretations of their works, collection of electronic copies of manuscripts stored in libraries, archival funds of the country and abroad, bringing them to people and the world community. All necessary conditions have been created here for studying the rich heritage of our ancestors, training highly qualified specialists. Also, the Centre has its own museum that will tell you about the life and scientific journeys of Imam al-Bukhari. There is an ancient copy of Sahih al-Bukhari manuscript at the center of the museum.

The Centre has established cooperation with the leading Islamic institutions and world universities, such as the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge, Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, British Museum, Arab World Institute, National Library of France and other scientific institutions.

Scientists at the Centre prepared 17 books for publication, such as Imam al-Bukhari, Life and Scientific Heritage of Alauddin Usmandi Samarkandi and Lubobul Hadith. Electronic copies of 535 manuscripts and lithographic works, collections of books all over the world, are stored in the library, as well as catalog of 1168 works has been created in the Centre.

Another higher religious education institution, the Science School of Hadith, was built together with Imam al-Bukhari International Research Centre. The duration of study at the Science School is five years. Students will study the sciences of the Holy Quran, Hadith, religious beliefs, fiqh, tafsir, as well as history of Islam and foreign languages.

The main tasks of the School is to study scientific and theoretical foundations of the Hadith sciences, organise classes based on the master-student tradition, preserve religious values in a secular state, prepare and publish scientific explanatory translations in Uzbek and foreign languages, organise scientific workshops and conferences, and most importantly, to take counteraction to any manifestations of intolerance, extremism and terrorism with the help of science, enlightenment and high morals based on the principle of Enlightenment Against Ignorance. Graduates can continue their education in the master and doctoral programmes at the Islamic Academy of Uzbekistan.

It this vein, another significant and fundamental institution appeared on the world map. It will contribute to the benefit of further development of science in the Muslim world by giving to the youth knowledge, strength and the right understanding of Islam as the religion of peace and love.

Furthermore, the beauty of the newly contracted religious institutions, along with magnificent historical Islamic architectural monuments can be discovered by everyone at the First International Forum on Pilgrimage Tourism. The International Forum will be organised in Bukhara city on 21-23 February 2019 by the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Tourism Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Committee on Religious Affairs with the assistance of diplomatic missions of Uzbekistan abroad.

The purpose of the event is to expand international cooperation in the development of pilgrimage tourism, attracting direct investments in this area, recognising Uzbekistan as one of the largest centers of pilgrimage tourism in the world and introducing Halal standards.

The Forum, initiated by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, will be attended by domestic and foreign scientists, theologians, experts and specialists in the sphere of pilgrimage tourism.