Beket Ata (Ogylandy, XVIII) and underground mosque old Beineu

In the mountains of Ogylandy, not far from Mangystau, the underground mosque of Beket Ata is a sacred place not only for Kazakhstani Muslims but also for the Muslims from all over the world. In order to persuade the people in the power of God, Beket Ata always set an example with his good deeds, honesty, and generosity. He taught people of humanity.

According to the legends passed down from generation to generation, for the sake of the people’s independence Beket was the commander in the battles against the enemies of the past, a batyr who showed his courage. He also was a teacher in regions of Mangystau, Atyrau and Ustyurt, who followed the path of learning and science, a master artisan, who made a subterranean mosque for teaching children, a madrasah and a mosque for the convenience of people; a physician who mastered the tannic forces of nature, healed illnesses who put many patients on their feet. Beket Myrzagululy was born in the village of Akmeshit in the Zhylyoi district of the present Atyrau region, and passed away at the age of a prophet (1750–1813). His uncle was from Khoja clan, which explains the fact that he graduated from the Shergazy madrasah in Hiua, and since the childhood, he set the goal of educating the people after his return. He was from a tribe that deeply learned the religion. According to the folk legends, there are five mosques built by Beket Ata.

He revived a desert area Mangyshlak to shelter the refugees and wandering people. During his lifetime, he unearthed wells in various places in the desert area, so the cattle and people who traveled separately in the nomadic caravan from distant places could drink water from these wells. The people worshiped the spirit of Beket Ata by saying, «God was the First and Beket Ata follows him». The people respected Beket Ata considering him a saint because of his kind and sacred virtues. To date, this place is known as a sacred place for treating people, which gives spiritual food, shelter for the homeless, spiritual energy to people, indicating the way to those who have lost their way.

Among the tribes of the Junior Zhuz, especially among the Adai, the tradition of building cemeteries, graves, the establishment of the tombstone was highly developed.

In Ustyurt, on the outskirts of the Aral, extensive cemetery-pantheons are an advanced examples of Kazakh grave and fine art. Examples of burial customs, which began long ago, include a separate burial of famous people, the establishment of stones according to the dynasty and tribe, a separate construction of the grave for girls and women. One can clearly see signs of ancient beliefs by looking at these samples of grave-fine art.