MiddleEastExplorer Home > Iran >

Imam Reza shrine

Found in: Mosques in Iran Cemeteries in Iran

Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad, Iran is a complex which contains mausoleum of Imam Ridha, the eighth Imam of Twelvers. There is also museum, library, cemetery, mosque and some other buildings.

It is the center of tourism in Iran and between 15 and 20 million pilgrims visit the shrine every year.


In 818 Imam Reza was martyred by Al-Ma'mun and was buried beside the grave of Harun.

After this event this place was called as Mashhad al-Rida (the place of martyrdom of Ali al-Rida). Shias and sunnis started visiting there for pilgrimage of his grave. By the end of the 9th century a dome was built on the grave and many buildings and Bazaars sprang up around it. During more than a millennium it has been devastated and reconstructed several times.

In 993 the holy shrine was ruined by Saboktakin, a Ghaznavid king. However in 1009 his son Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi ordered the shrine to be repaired and expanded. About 1150 Sultan Sanjar, a Seljuq king, renovated the sanctuary and added new buildings after miraculous healing of his son in the shrine. Later Sultan Muhammad Khodabande, an Ilkhanate king, who converted to Shiism renovated the holy shrine about 1310. The celebrated Muslim traveler Ibn Battuta visited Mashhad in 1333 and reported that it was a large town with abundant fruit trees, streams and mills. A great dome of elegant construction surmounts the noble mausoleum, the walls being decorated with colored tiles. Opposite the tomb of the Imam is the tomb of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, which is surmounted by a platform bearing chandeliers.

Later on, in the 1400s during the Shahrokh era, it became one of the main cities of the Timurid dynasty. In 1418 his wife Goharshad funded the construction of an outstanding mosque beside the shrine, which is known as the Goharshad Mosque.

See also

Imam Ridha

Holiest sites in Islam

Jannatul Baqee'

Jannatul Mualla

Baab Sagheer

Astan Quds Razavi

Goharshad Mosque

External links

Mashhad, Iran

3D Holy Shrine of Imam Reza

ArchNet,Imam Reza Shrine Complex

E-pilgrimage: Imam Reza Calling You!

The Holiest of Shrines: The Astan Quds Razavi; Report of an American tourist

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Imam Reza shrine