He moved from Tashkent to Samarkand in 1451 and had a great influence on the Timurid prince Abu Said (he ruled 1451–1468). For his sake, Abu Said waived the tamga trade and business tax (taxes for Muslims were "un-Islamic", but they were introduced under Mongol rule ) and enforced the Sharia in his empire. The Sharia was already in force, but some "un-Islamic" provisions were still adhered to, such as drinking fermented mare's milk .
Ahrar's position was not unchallenged: the orthodox Islamic clergy, who otherwise often criticized Sufism , were exceptionally more tolerant than he was, but in the long term did not have the support of the people. The Hodja also acted as a military "advisor" and prompted Abu Said to undertake the winter campaign against the Turkmens , which was fatal for them (1468).
Ubaidullah Ahrar made it possible for the Nakschibendi order to have an independent social activity by promoting agriculture beyond the normal donations and foundations and thus amassing considerable (order) assets over time. According to this, farmers and village communities sold land to Ahrar, leased it and delivered the property tax to him and not to the Dīwān . Their advantage lay in the legal protection against arbitrary state decisions and the usual private demands of tax collectors. At Ahrar, they were only bound by the lease and charged with lower taxes. Ahrar now converted the monastic assets on land etc. into pious foundations and thus withdrew them from the authority of the authorities - in accordance with Islamic law. (The latter was nothing unusual; Graf von der Pahlen reported about it in the days of the Tsar around 1908. )
Contemporaries suspected Ubaidullah Ahrar of the profane pursuit of money because of his wealth, which was incompatible with the mystical poverty of the dervishes . Others, like Mahmud Mirza , Abu Said's third son, despised him for personal reasons. But Ahrar still had numerous students and protégés from the upper classes. Last but not least, Babur reports very positively about him in his autobiography and regrets that Mahmud Mirza finally removed his people (“who protected some poor subjects from oppression and protected them from unjust taxation”) from the state administration.
The hodja was buried in the south of Samarkand, in a village that still bears his name today.
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Aḥrār, ʻUbaidallāh Ibn-Maḥmūd|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Sheikh of the Nakshibendi order|
|DATE OF BIRTH||1404|
|DATE OF DEATH||February 21, 1490|