Ziyarat Tourism is a great initiative of Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, says tourism expert Ravshan TURAKULOV

By Agha Iqrar Haroon

SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan: “Uzbekistan has placed another tourism product which is known as Ziyarat Tourism (Pilgrim Tourism) in its already long list of tourism products. This new product has not only immense attraction rather it is receiving a special attention from international tourism market,” said by Ravshan TURAKULOV, who is CEO of Samarkand based “Silk Road Destinations (C.A.T.I.A.)”.

His organisation won “To Do Award” for responsible tourism in 2014 and became the first tourism organisation to receive this prestigious tourism award in Central Asia.

Talking to the Dispatch News Desk (DND) News Agency here on Tuesday, Ravshan TURAKULOV highly appreciated the initiative of President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to brand Ziyarat tourism, and stated that a special attention is being given to restore places linked with pious people and a new complex has already been restored and reconstructed in Namangan.

Ravshan, who is respected in Europe as one of the important tourism experts from Central Asia, was of the view that tourism in Uzbekistan is touching new heights under the guidance of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev who is taking deep interest to develop new destinations and new products to expand tourism all over the country from Fargana Valley to Karakalpakstan.

Ravshan TURAKULOV, who had been working as the Director of UNWTO Samarkand Office in the past and is one of the pioneers in tourism operations in Uzbekistan, was of the view that all related agencies of the government of Uzbekistan are working for expanding international cooperation and to place Uzbekistan as one of the main centers for pilgrimage in the world under the guidance of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

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Responding to a question to explain why Ziyarat tourism is successful in Uzbekistan and why the people from Pakistan should come to visit tourism destinations of his country?, Ravshan TURAKULOV stated that housing the history of Sufi Islam and Mysticism, Uzbekistan offers a journey to those who wish to find roots of spread of Islam in the subcontinent.

“Islam was not spread in Indo-Pakistan subcontinent through invasions rather true Islam traveled to former Hindustan (Now India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) along with pious and devout Olia E Karam (Those pious people who spread the message of Islam through practicing).

“Majority of such Olia E Karam traveled to Asia from Central Asia. Majority of Silsila E Aulia E Karam (Linage of spreaders of Islam) links with Uzbekistan. One can surely say that Tasawwuf—science of spirituality (Sufism) is a gift from Samarkand, Bokhara, Balkh, Baghdad, Hamadan and Badakshan,”, stated Ravshan TURAKULOV.

Ziyarat Tourism is a great initiative of Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, says tourism expert Ravshan TURAKULOV
Ravshan TURAKULOV, who is CEO of Samarkand based “Silk Road Destinations (C.A.T.I.A.)”. His organisation won “To Do Award” for responsible tourism in 2014 and became the first tourism organisation to receive this prestigious tourism award

While explaining the journey of Tasawwuf Silsila Naqshbandia, Ravshan added that Naqshbandi Golden Chain was changing from century to century.

From the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (Razi Allahuta’ala anhu) to the time of Hazrat Bayazid al-Bistami (Razi Allahu ta’alaanhu), it was called as-Siddiqiyya. From the time of Bayazid al-Bistami (Razi Allahu ta’ala anhu) to the time of Sayyadina Abdul Khaliqal-Ghujdawani (Razi Allahu anhu), it was called at-Tayfuriyya.

While from the time of Sayyadina Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (Razi Allahuta’ala anhu) to the time of Hazrat Shah Naqshband (Razi Allahu ta’alaanhu), it was called the Khwajaganiyya. Similarly, from the time of Hazrat Shah Naqshband (Razi Allahu ta’ala anhu) through the time of Sayyadina Ubaidullah al-Ahrar (Razi Allahu ta’alaanhu) and Sayyidina Ahmad Faruqi (Razi Allahu ta’ala anhu), it was called Naqshbandiyya.

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Naqshbandiyya means to “tie the Naqsh very well.” The Naqsh is the perfect engraving of Allah’s Name in the heart of the murid (disciple). From the time of Sayyadina Ahmad al-Faruqi (Razi Allahu anhu) to the time of Shaykh Khalid al-Baghdadi (Razi Allahu anhu) it was called Naqshbandi-Mujaddidiyya. From the time of Sayyidina Khalid al-Baghdadi (Razi Allahu anhu) until the time of Sayyadina Shaykh Ismail Shirwani (Razi Allahu anhu) it was called the Naqshbandiyya-Khalidiyya.

Ravshan was of the view that the people who have knowledge of Sufi Islam know the importance of Hazrat Muhammad Bahauddin Bukhari Naqsbandi, Hazrat Mahmood Andjir Faghanewi, Hazrat Arif Revgeri, Hazrat Muhammad Bobo Samasi, Hazrat Ali Ramitani, Hazrat Amir Kulal and Hazrat Abdul Khalik Gidjduvani.

You can find last resting places of all such icons of Sufi Islam at one place if you embark on a journey to Uzbekistan for “Ziyarat”, Ravshan said.

It may be mentioned that in Islam, Ziyara or Ziyarat is a form of pilgrimage to sites associated with the last prophet Muhammad (PBUH), his family members, descendants, his companions and other venerated figures in Islam such as Sufi Saints and Islamic scholars.

It may also be mentioned that the city of Bukhara of Uzbekistan will host Ziyarah Tourism Forum (Ziyarat Tourism Conference) from February 21 to 23.

The forum will be inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abduhakimov Aziz, High Mufti Usman Alimov and Deputy Chairman of the State Committee on Tourism Development Ulugbek Kasimhodjaev.

The State Committee of Uzbekistan of Tourism Development, Administration of Bukhara and Samarkand regions, Uzbek Foreign Ministry, State Committee on Religious Affairs with the support of Uzbekistan’s missions abroad are main organizers of the Ziyarah Tourism Forum.