The Relic of Three Religions


On the steep bank of the Siab River in the northern suburb of ancient Afrosiab settlement there is a tomb of Hajji Daniyar. He is equally held sacred by the followers of Moslem religion, by the Jews and Christians (under the name of prophet Daniel). According to the Bible, Daniel was a descendant of King Solomon and was born in the 6th centuries B.C. inJerusalem.

He served at court of King Nebuchadnezzar and successfully prophesied the future, for the God endowed him with ability to interpret “visions and dreams of all kinds”, that is, to prophesy.

Having moved to Babylon, Daniel correctly foretold many impending events connected with King Darius of Persia, including the destruction of the Persian Kingdom by the Greeks and the breakup of the empire of Alexander the Great into four parts.Daniel prophesied the advent of Christ in Jerusalem on the expiry of 600 years, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Danielhad a vision of God imparting to the mankind the holy book “closed up and sealed until the time of the end”, which is the Koran. The legend says that Prophet Daniel made a travel to Samarkand and there under the name of Hajji Daniyarpredicted the future to the Akhemenid satrap of Sogdiana. He died in his declining years in the city of Susa (Iran), where he was buried in the royal burial-vault. The remains of Saint Daniel were believed to bring success and happiness to those who possessed them. Some traditions suggest that  Amir Temur conquered Shush (Susa) during one of his campaigns and ordered to remove sarcophagus with the remains of the saint from Susa to Samarkand, the capital of his vast empire.

At the end of the 19th century, when Turkistan became a part of the Russian empire, Miroshnichenko, a Russian industrialist, started the construction of a flour milling plant on the bank of the Siab River. The locals pointed out to him the esteemed tomb of Prophet Daniel or Hajji Daniyar, as they called him. The factory owner built a gravestone of burnt bricks over the tomb and a mausoleum representing a row of small domes extending from north to south. The tomb is an unusually long construction containing an immense, 20-metres sarcophagus due to a mysterious quality of the saint’s body to grow; it goes on growing in the grave by half an inch per year and has already become gigantic. Next to Hajji Daniyar’s tomb there is a spring. Its water is believed to be holy, too, able to heal both body and soul. All year round pilgrims belonging to various religions come from all over the world to the shrine for cure. And during Navruz celebration there are folk festivals held around Hajji Daniyar’s tomb.