Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum is located near the Samanids Mausoleum, by the ruins of an ancient fort. The pointed silhouette of its hipped roof looks conspicuous among the domes of Bukhara mosques and madrassahs. This mazar – burial ground appeared in the 12th century beside the spring that is associated with the biblical prophet Job, called Ayub in Asia. According to the legend, in ancient times Saint Ayub came to Bukhara as a wanderer, struck the ground with his staff in this very place, and a well with clean and healing water appeared. The worship of this spring was probably connected with the ancient Zoroastrian cult of water – one of the great elements of nature. Over the well there was built a mausoleum called Chashma-Ayub, which means ‘Jobs’s Spring’. But this name is only symbolical. In Uzbekistan cult structures like this are called kadamjoy, which means ‘a footprint’ of a highly respected clergyman.
According to the Bible, by birth Job was from Sumer town Hebron; he died and was buried there. As to Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum there are several tombs here. The earliest of them, and the most esteemed, is the tomb of Hajji Hafiz Gujori, an outstanding expert in hadith, a theologian and author of historical treatises, who died in 1022.
The central part of the mazar, built in 1380 by order of Amir Temur, remained intact to the present day. It is common knowledge that Temur brought the best architects and artists to Movarounnahr from the countries he conquered. From Khorezm he repatriated masters to Bukhara and they built over the well the original structure with a characteristic Khorezm conical double cupola on a high cylinder.
Since then the mausoleum has been repeatedly reconstructed. New premises covered with smaller domes were added to the existing ones, and today’s Chashma-Ayub has the form of an elongated prism and consists of many chambers of various sizes and designs. They are shadowy, with only dim light coming from under the domes, which creates the special aura of seclusion.
It is noteworthy that besides Bukhara’s mazar in Uzbekistan there are two more medieval mausoleums devoted to Ayub-Job. One of these two is situated near Bukhara in the village of Khayriabad, Vabkent District. Muslims, Christians and Jews alike worship this biblical saint.