Monday, February 1, 2010

Khwaja Abu Nasr Pasra - a Naqshbandi leader




Bismillah.

Khwaja Abu Nasr Pasra (d. 1460) whose shrine (pic above) is located in Balkh, Afghanistan, was a spiritual leader of Naqshbandi Tariqat and a theological lecturer of Herat, a city in western Afghanistan. I would not have known this fact if I had not visited the newly built Islamic Civilization Park in Terengganu, Malaysia where a replica of the shrine stood amidst the other 20 selected replicas of world-famous mosques and monuments. Abu Nasr's shrine in Balkh was built by Sultan Husayn Bayqara in 1462 - 1463 reflecting a Timurid architecture style. 

"The family into which Abu Nasr was born had deep roots and enjoyed a long tradition of intellectual prominence, though not in Balkh but in Bukhara. His father, Muhammad Pasra was a highly regarded 'alim in addition to being the 'second successor' (khalifah-yi duwwumm) to Baha al-din Naqshband, compiler of his sayings and acknowledged as the figure who made the order both intellectually credible and powerful in Bukhara. When he died while on the hajj, his spiritual and intellectual legacy was passed to his son, who though not the scholar his father had been (we have no known writings of this), was influential of his own [right]."
- RD Mc Chesney     

As a follower of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order, I was delighted to see Abu Nasr Pasra's shrine, albeit a replica. The tour-guide notes about him was very brief but enough to evoke a deep sense of belonging in me. And to learn that he was the son of the second successor of Shaykh Bahauddin Naqshbandi was very moving to say the least. May Allah s.w.t makes us love those who love Him and makes us follow in the footsteps of the Sufi Mashaikh (leaders). Ameen Allahumma ameen.
Facade of the replica of Abu Nasr Pasra's shrine at Islamic Civilization Park, Terengganu, Malaysia

Anterior shot of the replica of Abu Nasr Pasra's shrine at Islamic Civilization Park, Terengganu, Malaysia
"Built in the 17th century in Timurid Style, the shrine in this octagonal structure is dedicated to an eminent theologian, Khwaja Abu Nasr Pasra who was a spiritual leader of the Naqshbandi order."
- quoted from Islamic Civilization Park brochure

Square Kufic in Architectural Setting (Abu Nasr Pasra Shrine, Afghanistan)

NOTES:
1. Pic credit: Center for Afghanistan Studies, Uni of Nebraska Omaha USA
2. For more pictures of Abu Nasr Pasra tomb visit thruafghaneyes.blogspot and SPACH.
3. Article by RD McChesney from http://www.jstor.org/
4. Refer glowimages.com for info on shrine builder.
5. 'Square Kufic in Architecture' info from http://www.kufic.info/architecture/architecture.htm
6. Visit Islamic Civilization Park homepage. 
7. Read about tourist attractions in Terengganu, Malaysia.

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