of Tajik Identity
Bukhara was, under the Samanid rule, the Focus of Splendour, the Shrine of Empire, the Meetingplace of the most unique intellects of the Age, the Horizon of the literary stars of the world, and the Fair of the greatest scholars of the Period. Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Musa al-Musawi related to me as follows: "My father Abu'l-Hasan received an invitation to Bukhara in the days of the Amir-i-Sa'id [Nasr II b. Ahmad, reigned A. D. 913-942], and there were gathered together the most remarkable of its men of letters...And when these were settled in familiar conversation one would engage with another in plucking the fringes of some discussion, each offering to the other fragrant flowers of dialectic, and pursuing the perfumes of Culture, and letting fall in succession necklaces of pearls, and blowing on magical knots. And my father said to me, 'O my son, this is a notable and red-letter day: make it an epoch as regards the assembling of the standards of talent and the most incomparable scholars of the age, and remember it, when I am gone, amongst the great occasions of the period and the notable moments of thy life. For I scarcely think that in the lapse of the years thou wilt see the like of these met together,' And so it was, for never again was my eye brightened with the sight of such a gathering.17During the first century of Islamic rule in Transoxiana and Khurasan, virtually to the end of the Umayyid period, there was very little activity in the promotion of the sciences. There was, however, considerable activity in preparing translations from Syriac, Greek, and Pahlavi into Arabic, and adopting ideas from India.18 Nevertheless, even though there was no real advancement in the sciences as such, the road was paved for future generations to involve themselves in the higher levels of learning.