chapter  5
20 Pages


On a summer’s day in 2000, a woman in her fifties named Feruza took the bus from Bukhara to Bahouddin Naqshband’s shrine in Qashri Orifon. She had chosen to do so on an ordinary weekday in order to avoid the crowds of people who are often there during the weekend. She wanted to be alone, and she wanted to avoid gossip. Before visiting Bahouddin Naqshband’s shrine she went to the shrine of his mother a few hundred metres away. This is common practice. Feruza, however, had a special reason to do so, as she had come to the shrine as a mother first and foremost. She handed the domlo there a 100 so’m note1 and asked him to say a prayer for her son. She did the same at Bahouddin Naqshband’s tomb, after which she went to a well in the shrine complex and filled a couple of empty plastic Coca-Cola bottles with water that she wanted to take home. On her way back on the bus she made the vow that if her wish came true – if the misfortunes that had plagued the family for some time now, especially her son, came to an end soon – she would make a xudoiy (sacrifice) at the shrine.