Hazrat Hyzr - the patron saint of travellers

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Hazrat Hyzr - the patron saint of travellers  04.07.2016 14:04

One of such cults is associated with Hazrat Hyzr or Al Hadir, the patron saint of travelers. Hyzr is believed to have the faculty of reincarnation, and you can recognize him only when you shake hands with him because Hyzr has nobone in his right thumb. This legend gave birth to another one. Local dwellers think that the custom to shake hands first appeared in Samarkand, then spreading all over the world. A striking personality of Hyzr attracted attention of many prominent scholars. V.Bartold, E.Bertels, M.Piotrovsky, and P.Franke wrote about him. The latter dedicated a whole book to Hyzr. Franke’s macro study called ‘’Begegnungmit Khidr {Encountering Khidr}’’ was based on the Arabic, Persian and Turkic sources. Articles about Hyzr are included in Islamic encyclopedias of different countries. According to legend, Hazrat Hyzr is a righteous person. Alongside with Isa {Jesus}, Idris {Enoch} and Ilyas {Elijah}, he is one of the first men who have been granted immortality and revelation. Hyzr is described as a spiritual guide of many prophets, and his mission on the earth is to inspire faith and hope in the men. Different version feature Hyzr either as a real person, or as a mythological personage, or as a mystic is divided into two parts, that is, this{visible} world and the other {spiritual} world. Hyzr is believed to exist in both worlds.

According to legend, he lives on the islands, flies in the air, travels around the world, makes a hajj, and says his prayers in the mosques of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem on Fridays. The name of Hyzr is not mentioned in the Koran, but Moslem scholars indentify Hyzr with ‘’the Servant of Allah’’, the personage of the Koranic parable of Moses travels {Surah 18,The Cave 60-82}. The Surah states that Moses and Hyzr meet at the junction of two seas, and they set out together. During the trip, Hyzr does some strange and inexplicable things which anger his fellow traveller. They board the ship and Hyzr makes a hole in it; he restores a decrepit wall in the village where they are denied hospitality. Very soon it appears that each of his acts is well-intentioned. Only he, who is gifted with the ability of prophecy, can take the liberty of doing so. Thanks to Hyzr’s acts, the boat is not confiscated and remains in the hands of its owners; the wall collapses in due course and the orphans take the treasure that saves them from death. Like discourses and act of most of the Biblical and Koranic personages, those of Hyzr claim no understanding but absolute faith. People belief that Hyzr keeps working miracles is still alive. For example, it is now widely acknowledged that Hyzr saved the lives of 35 bus passengers in Turkey in 1968. The saint detained the bus, because he knew that the driver would die of a heart attack after a few minutes. A good many of similar stories have been told. As a rule, their plots unfold in the presence of a great number of people. That is why Hyzr makes talk. The holy person is sometime compared with St. George the Victorious, Elijah, Gilgamesh and Ahasuerus. The connection with the first three personages is conditioned by their general aspiration to attain immortality. An affinity between Ahasuerus and Hyzr stems from their predestination to be the eternal wanderers. However, there is an essential distinction between them; Ahasuerus was punished for his callousness and denial of giving water to Jesus Christ on the way to the Crucifixion. Hyzr is endowed with wonderful strength and great power. He is capable of finding the fountain of the Water of Life to share it with people. He is allowed to present ‘’ loaves and fishes’’ to persons he meets. Hyzr is believed to have discovered the fountain of the Water of Life for entity endowed with great spiritual strength and real power. Each of his hypostases is reflected in such literary works as Gilgamesh, Shahnameh, Alexander Romance and also in theological treaties and hadiths. The image of Hyzr looks quite mystic in hadiths: he is three cubits taller than a man of medium height; his footprint is one cubit long. He emits radiance and communicates with prophets; he sits dining at the green table laid by angels. In Central Asia, particularly in Samarkand, Hyzr is a pious old man, with no aureole of mysticism. If you wish to please him, you should treat him with hospitality so characteristic of Uzbek people. Extant monuments, manuscripts and folk legends suggest to us that most of the early concepts of nature and its manifestation have been fantastic and turned into personified myths about culture heroes. In these myths, the world Kussam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the prophet Muhammad. The Moslem interpretation of Hyzr presents a striking example of how the Islamic culture managed not only to preserve ancient mythological characters but recast them. In the Moslem traditions, the personage accumulates the traits of various mythological heroes, both of pre-Islamic Middle East and Slavic paganism. Some Turkic nations blended the names of two saints- Hyzr and Ilyas. That is how a spring festival Khidirles appeared. A description of the festival in the Crimea can serve as a proof of this statement. The festival includes round dances, the telling of fortunes and jumps over the fires which are so typical of various heathen beliefs. The name of Hyzr is connected with the vegetable world. He is interpreted as a deity of rivers and wells in some countries; in other ones, he personifies the plant life bestowed by water. In Moslem countries, there are shrines to Hyzr which incorporate vestiges of a pre-Islamic worship of a fertility deity. According to legend the grass appears at every place where Hyzr sits or steps. The shrines to Hyzr are integral to oriental civilization. Many people believe Hyzr accompanied the Twelfth Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi to the mosque known as Jamkaran{Iran}. In Samandag {Turkey}, you can see a sacred stone erected at the site of meaning of Hyzr and Moses. The Hyzr mazars {mausoleums} can be found in Sri-Lanka, Kuwait, Syria, and Jerusalem. After visiting Turkey in 1929, F.W. Hasluck, a British scholar, described Hidirlik Hill in his book Christianity and Islam under the Sultans. The hill was named after Hyzr. Also Hasluck mentioned many domed structures con- structed at the sites where the saint appears to human eyes. The Hazrat Hyzr mosque was erected in Samarkand in the 11th century. The mosque was rebuilt in the 19th century, and now it is one of the most magical places of Samarkand. If you visit the mosque of Hyzr regularly and if you do good as far as you can, your hope to meet the saint may come true one day. Be kind to a stranger, stop and show attention to him, treat him with respect as your dearest friend. Your action will make the world better, and if you are lucky and your stinger turns out to be the saint, your trip will be easy and successful, and your life will be filled with the meaning and joy.


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