Saturday, May 7, 2016

Imam Reza Mausoleum

Imam Reza Mausoleum

This magnificent construct that is well respected among Shias is the mausoleum of the eighth Imam, Ali, better known for his title Reza. Imam Reza as the next ruler of Islamic world was confined to the Khorasan and later killed by the ruler who was afraid of his popularity among people. After his death, he was buried next to another caliph, Haroun Al- Rashid. Later a mausoleum was built over the graves and pilgrims started to visit the place, in each era some changes were made to the place. That the most important ones are listed below: 

•    Qaznavid – Sabok-Takin who was against Shia destroyed it, Mahmud, his son, who needed acceptance of people, restored it.

•    Seljuk – the first dome of the construct was made of tile, stalactite works adorned with mirrors were added, mostly by Sultan Sanjar.

•    Mongol – fortunately the construct was not destroyed during Mongol attack, which is a miracle itself. But the valuable objects were all stolen. The remaining inscriptions from 13th century proves that the mausoleum wasn’t destroyed in the attack. 

•    Timurid – one of the two periods that many changes were made to the building. Shahrukh and his wife Guharshad, made many changes, first they added a congregational mosque to the complex, then new porticos and schools were built that improved the state of the complex drastically.

•    Safavid – during Safavid era, Shia became the official religion of the country and therefore more attention was given to construct such as Imam Reza’s Mausoleum. Most of gildings that we see today dates back to Safavid era. Beside gilding the minarets and gilding the dome, new rooms, portals, iwans, and porticoes were added. The most well-known of the changes in this era is a magnificent dome named Allah Verdi Khan Dome.

Other changes were made from Safavid era onward that are mostly the restoration of damages.  

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