CULTURE


Ashabi-Kahf Shrine – a religious and cultural complex in Nakhchivan

Baku, March 11, AZERTAC

The Ashabi-Kahf Shrine Religious Cultural Complex, mentioned in the holy book of Islam, the Quran, is a natural cave located in Julfa district of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic at 12 km distance from Nakhchivan city, on an elongated mountain between Mount Hacha and Mount Nahajir and is known as Mount Ashabi-Kahf.

There is a great legend on Ashabi-Kahf among the people of Nakhchivan. According to the legend, six young men fleeing the tyranny of cruel ruler Dag Yunus and a shepherd who joined them with his dog on the road woke up after sleeping in this cave for 300 years (309) and disappeared by the will of God after finding out that they had slept so long. After that, the place turned into the Ashabi-Kahf shrine.

The entrance to the sanctuary is in the south. Inside the entrance to the cave, there is something called “Yeddi kimsene” on the left side. The seven people who fled the tyranny of Dag Yunus disappeared here. The most important site at Ashabi-Kahf is Yeddi kimsene. In this place consisting of a dent on the eastern side of a large grass stone (approximately 4 meters wide, 2 meters high and 1 meter deep), pilgrims pray and hit the rock with smaller stones to check whether their wishes and intentions will come true or not. If the stone sticks to the wall, it is believed that intentions will come true.

There is a mosque at the end of the shrine cave which was built at 55-60 meters from the point called “Yeddi kimsene”.

The mosque features three inscriptions related to Muslim epigraphy. There is an altar made from fired bricks in front of the rock on the southern side of the mosque, which also features a large inscription found in the hole in the middle of the altar. The inscription engraved in Nastaliq script on a yellow-colored marble plaque is a historical source and is a fine example of art.

The fact that the Ashabi-Kahf event took place in Nakhchivan is also confirmed by medieval sources.

Abubakr ibn Khosrov al-Ustad, who was originally from Ganja and spent most of his life in the Palace of the Atabays in Nakhchivan, spoke about Ashabi-Kahf in Nakhchivan in his work called Munisnameh, a collection of aphorisms, stories and anecdotes. The 26th part of 17-chapter Munisnameh, entitled “The Tale of the Cave Owners and Dag Yunus” is devoted to the Ashabi-Kahf shrine in Nakhchivan.

In 2006, as part of large-scale restoration work carried out at the Ashabi-Kahf Religious-Cultural Complex, places were arranged for pilgrims to rest and make sacrifices, water lines were laid, stone stairs were built from the entrance to the end of the shrine, as well as many trees were planted.

 

 

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