“Shaken Ishan” Mosque

Location: Aktobe region, Alga district, 27 km to the west of Marzhanbulak village

Investigations: “Shaken Ishan” Mosque was built in the early ХХ century due to Volzhsky prototypes. The mosque was investigated and its data was introduced into scientific use by S.Azhigali, doctor of historical sciences, professor, the head of ethnography and anthropology department of the Ch.Valikhanov institute of history and ethnology of AS KazSSR. Complete information about this mosque can be obtained from the S.Azhigali’s monograph «Architecture of nomads – a phenomenon of history and culture of Eurasia» and from local historian, R.Ilyasova’s book «Dalam tungan shejire».

Overview: The base (foundation) of the mosque contains flagstone, the walls consists of the coquina. The mosque was built taking into account natural climatic conditions. The wall turned to the cold windy side is thicker. The large windows are illuminated by the sun. The mosque is heated by solar energy on normal winter days. Generally, a dome is installed in such a mosque. The oratory was constructed taking into account the building traditions of one or two sharp minarets. The building has survived various critical times: over the years it was used for grain storage, as a place for detaining people escaped the front. Local residents stated that later the exterior plasters were damaged due to vandals’ actions. The mosque had no severe damages until 1992. But, one wall of the mosque was collapsed in 90s of the ХХ century.

Legend: Shaimerden (Shaken ishan) Abzhanuly (living approximately in 1853-1929/30 years) was born in 1853 into the rich and influential family, in the village of Sarytogai along the Kobda river. After studying for 7 years in Khorezm and Bukhara, Shaken ishan built the mosque-madrassa on Kazan project with the assistance of Tatar master in the densely populated village of Sarytogai in 1902-1904 years. The religious literacy was taught in madrassa within the mosque. During the Soviet era, Shaken ishan has been mistreated, sentenced and he has done time, although none of the village residents informed on him. Shaken was promoted to Ishan for his religious literacy, human qualities, spiritual heritage.

Shaken ishan, a religious leader taught children, contributed to spiritual growth of the people and died at the age of 82. At present, his contribution to the development of country was forgotten, the mosque in Sarytogai is the only monument about his activities.