DAHBĪDĪYA, a hereditary line of Naqšbandī Sufis centered on the shrine at Dahbīd, a village about 11 km. from Samarqand. The first Dahbīdī Shaikh was Maḵdūm-e Aʿẓam Sayyed Aḥmad Ḵᵛājagī Kāšānī (d. 949/1542), a native of Kāšān near Farḡāna, who claimed descent from Imam ʿAlī al-Reżā. Maḵdūm-e Aʿẓam, was buried in Dahbīd, beneath the tree under which he had enjoyed sitting during his lifetime. Several important Naqšbandī lineages origi­nated with him. They include the Jūybārī shaikhs of Bukhara, whose progenitor, Ḵᵛāja Moḥammad Eslām Jūybārī (d, 971/1563), was one of Maḵdūm-e Aʿẓam’s successors (ḵalīfas), and the White Mountain and Black Mountain Khojas of eastern Turkestan, de­scended respectively from Īšān Kalān Ḵᵛāja Moḥammad-Amīn and Ḵᵛāja Esḥāq Walī, two of Maḵdūm-e Aʿẓam’s sons (see chinese turkestan v, especially p. 475 table 39); Ḵᵛāja Esḥāq was buried at Dahbīd before being reinterred in the village of Bāḡ-­e Boland north of Samarqand. It was with Ḵᵛāja Moḥammad-Amīn that the Dahbīdī line properly speak­ing originated.

The shrine at Dahbīd was first constructed in 1028/1619 by Yalangtūš Bī, a disciple of Ḵᵛāja Moḥammad-Hāšem (d. 1046/1636), Moḥammad-­Amīn’s son. He built a mosque and a ḵānaqāh next to the tomb of Maḵdūm-e Aʿẓam and also laid out a tree-lined avenue to the nearby shrine of Ḵᵛāja Aḥrār (q.v.), in order to shield Moḥammad-Hāšem from the sun whenever he visited there. Yalangtūš Bī died in 1066/1655 and was himself buried at Dahbīd (Veselovskiĭ, p 89). The subsequent architectural history of the site is not entirely clear. It appears to have suffered significant damage in the second half of the 17th century, for Shaikh Awlīāʾ, a descendant of Maḵdūm-­e Aʿẓam, “noting the decrepitude of the ancestral buildings in Dahbīd,” abandoned it for the village of Ūzbak-kīšī, where he began preaching the Naqšbandī doctrine and established “a second Dahbīd” (Bartol’d, p. 386). At a point that cannot be determined a large marble platform (daḵma) was laid out around the tomb of Maḵdūm-e Aʿẓam; it also came to incorporate the tombs of some of his descendants. Right of access to this platform was restricted to descendants of Maḵdūm-­e Aʿẓam, of whom there were approximately fifty households still living in Dahbīd in 1302/1885 (Veselovskiĭ, p. 88).

The tomb of Maḵdūm-­e Aʿẓam enjoyed a sanctity in the region of Samarqand second only to that of Ḵᵛāja Aḥrār, and the Dahbīdī shaikhs—who were also renowned as sayyeds (claiming descent from the Prophet Moḥammad)—accordingly enjoyed great influence and prestige. Their fame and power were not limited to Samarqand; they were also active in the affairs of Balḵ and Badaḵšān. Thus, when in the second half of the 17th century the inhabitants of Yaftal in western Badaḵšān began to suffer under the harsh rule of the Qaṭaḡān tribe, they persuaded a certain Amīr Yārī Beg, a devotee of the Dahbīdī shaikhs, to come from Dahbīd with one of the descendants of Maḵdūm-­e Aʿẓam and settle among them as their ruler, putting an end, at least temporarily, to Qaṭaḡan domination (Badaḵšī, pp. 2-3). Somewhat later another branch of the Dahbīdī family was established—involuntarily, it seems—at Jawzān, also in Badaḵšān. It is said that three Dahbīdī shaikhs were transporting a cloak that had allegedly belonged to the Prophet from Samarqand to India when they were intercepted along the Badaḵšān-­Chitral border by Amīr Yārī Beg. He refused to allow them to proceed and built a shrine in Jawzān to house the cloak, installing them as custodians and “propaga­tors” (ṣāḥeb al-daʿwa), a term that presumably refers to the further dissemination of the Naqšbandī doctrine. It was thanks to this pious initiative that Jawzān was renamed Fayżābād “the abode of grace” (Badaḵšī, pp. 10-12). In 1182/1768 the cloak was moved by Aḥmad Shah Dorrānī to its present location in Qandahār (McChesney, p. 224).

The Khojas of eastern Turkestan generally operated separately from the Dahbīdī shaikhs, despite their common ancestry; they had their own shrines and sacred places, especially in Kāšḡar. However, the Qalmāqs, who entered Badaḵšān around the middle of the 18th century and who owed loyalty to the White Mountain Khojas, may have received some assistance from the Dahbīdī shaikhs of Fayżābād (Badaḵšī, pp. 121-23). In addition, the Khojas occasionally paid extended visits to Dahbīd, as did Dānīāl, ruler of Yārkand (1108-49/1696-1736), and at least one of them, Maḵdūmzāda Ḵᵛājam, was sent there for burial after his death.



Abū Ṭāher Ḵᵛāja Samarqandī, Samarīya, ed. Ī. Afšār (printed with Moḥammad ʿAbd-al-Jalīl Samarqandī, Qandīya), Tehran, 1367 Š./1988, pp. 182-83, 197-98.

Sang-Moḥammad Badaḵšī, Tārīḵ-eBadaḵšān, ed. A. N. Boldyrev, Leningrad, 1959.

V. V. Bartol’d, “Otchet o komandirovke v Turkestan” (Account of a mission to Turkestan), in Sochineniya (Collected works) VIII, Moscow, 1973, pp. 119-210.

M. Hartmann, “Ein Heiligenstaat im Islam. Das Ende der Čaghataiden und die Herrschaft der Čogas in Kašgarien,” in M. Hartmann, Der islamische Orient. Berichte und Forschungen I/6-10, 1905, pp. 216-17, 313, 332.

R. D. McChesney, Waqf in Central Asia, Princeton, N.J., 1991, pp. 116-17, 224-26, 228, 262.

R. B. Shaw, The History of the Khojas of Eastern-Turkistan, Calcutta, 1897, p. 38.

N. Veselovskiĭ, “Dagbid,” Zapiski vostochnogo otdeleniya imperatorskogo russkogo arkheologicheskogo obshchestva (Notes of the eastern branch of the imperial Russian archeo­logical society) 3, 1888, p. 88.

(Hamid Algar)

Originally Published: December 15, 1993

Last Updated: November 11, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. VI, Fasc. 6, pp. 585-586