THE SHAH CHERÀGH. (THE KING OF THE LAMP)
The Mausoleum of Saiyyed Amír Ahmad, brother of Emám Rezá, the eighth Emám Shi`abs is situated in the middle of the Ahmad Avenue opposite the New Mosque. It has a large and beautiful dome covered with glazed tiles, which can be seen clearly from all directions outside Shiráz, and together with the dome of the Mir`Ala Uddin Hussein shrine gives a special beauty to a distant view of Shiráz. The interior is decorated with delicate geometrical designs in mirror and colour carried out in past centuries by competent craftsmen. The construction of the dome, the mirror work inside the shrine, the silver grill (zarih) surrounding the tomb and the doors adorned with plates of silver are masterpiece of the Shiráz craftsman of former centuries, which they made as an act of piety towards the tomb of this Emámzádeh.
The deceased, who is buried there, came to Shiráz between the years 193 A.H. (808 A.D.) and 220 A.H. (835 A.D.) in the time of the caliphate of the `Abbáside Caliph Ma`mứn, and died at that spot and was buried there.
As the author of the book Shad ulezar in the section about the tombs of Shiráz , writes, in the time of Amir Muqarreb Uddin Mas`ứd, Chief Minister of the Atábak, the building with its dome was erected around the tomb. In the time of Queen Táshi Khátứn, mother of Shah Sheikh ulEshaq king of Fars the work of restoration was begun in the year 745 A.H. (1344 A.D.) and completed in the year 750 A.H.
(1349 A.D.) To the south of the tomb a fine school was built, of which to-day no trace remains, and only the historians refer to it. Perhaps the courtyard, which to-day goes by the name of Maidán-i-Sháh Cherágh, and round which shops have been built, and which is on the south side of the tomb, the south-cast or south-west corners, which by degrees were taken possession of individuals. The queen referred to presented to this mosque a Qur`án in thirty volumes written in magnificent gold letters by one of the famous calligraphists of the time, Yahyá alJamáli asSứfi in the year 746 A.H. (1340 A.D.)
This is one of the finest Qur`áns in existence, and is now kept in the Pars Museum.
The shrine has four doors of entrance, two of which are covered with engraved silver plates, and there is one lofty pillared porch running the whole length of the eastern sides, north, east and south of the tomb there is an open space, surrounded by shops, many of which during the last thirty years have been transformed into family graves.
It has been arranged to connect this shrine with that of Saiyyed Mir Muhammad, brother of Shah Cherágh by constructing a wider road between the two on the east of the courtyard to be known as the Avenue of the Two Shrines. The shrine of Saiyyed Mir Muhammad also has a dome, grill and faience, but less elaborate, and it does not come up to that of the Sháh Cherágh. On the east of Saiyyed Mir Muhammad`s tomb a road leads to the old Masjed-i-Jáme`.
Queen Táshí Khaátứn, in addition to restoring the building, and presenting thirty volume of the Qur`án and other gifts, of which there is now trace, donated to the shrine several pieces of property in the neighbourhood of Shíraz, in particular the village of Maimand. The cost of the upkeep of this shrine is borne by the income from this property.
The people of Shiráz and the cities of Fars and Iran repose a special confidence in the Sháh Cherágah, and generally on the eve of Friday, and on festivals and days of mourning restore there to make vows and offer prayers.
The repairs carried out various times on this building according to the existing records are follows.
In the year 1912 A.H. (1505 A.D.) Habibulláh Sharifi repaired it; in the year 997 A.H. (1588 A.D.) when through an earthquake half the dome fell, it was restored; again in 1239 A.H. (1823 A.D.) an earthquake destroyed the dome, and Hussein`Ali Mirza the Qájár prince, who was then governor of Fars, restored the building; once again in the year 1269 A.H. (1852 A.D.) as the result of an earthquake it was shattered and fell, when Záhir udDowleh restored it. In recent years also through the income of the shrine and the gifts of the pious repairs have been carried out.