Shiraz Shah-e-Cheragh Mausoleum

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Shah-e-Cheragh Mausoleum  

By: H.Shams

Shah-e-Cheragh Mausoleum

The most important pilgrimage center of the city of Shiraz is the mausoleum of Mir Sayyed Ahmad, the son of the seventh Emam known as Shah-e-Cheragh (Shrine of the Lord of Light), near the Masjed-e -No. Mir Sayyed Ahmad came to Ahiraz at the beginning of the third century Islamic and died there. After the sanctuaries of Imam Reza in Mashhad and Fatima in Qum, the third most revered pilgrimage destination in Iran is Shah Cherag Shrine in Shiraz City.
Archaeological excavations indicate a colony on the site of Shiraz in the prehistoric period and the cuneiform records of the great ceremonial capital of Persepolis, 57 kilometers to the north, show that it was an important city during the Achaemen era. As a city however, it was founded in 684 AD, after the Arab armies conquered the Sassanians.
The Buyids (945-1055 AD) made Shiraz their capital, building mosques, palaces and a great wall of the city. The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries saw Shiraz as a literary center specially known for its poets Sa'adi and Hafez, both buried in the city. There are many splendid Islamic monuments in Shiraz, especially its gigantic Safavid mosque, but the most notable religious site is the sanctuary of Syed Amir Ahmad (also called Ahmad ibn Musa).

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Shah-e-Cheragh Mausoleum

Amir Ahmad and his brother Mir Muhammad, both brothers of Imam Reza, took refuge in Shiraz following an Abbasid persecution of the Shiite sect (Amir Ahmad died or was assassinated in 835). The tombs of the brothers, originally only simple mausoleums, became famous pilgrimage destinations in the 14th century when the pious and artistic Queen Queen Tashi Khatun erected a mosque and theological school by the tombs. Known locally as Shah Cherag or the "King of Light", the exquisite tomb of Amir Ahmad is a truly magnificent beauty place. The enormous dome above the sanctuary is encrusted with hundreds of thousands of pieces of finely crafted tiles and the interior walls are also covered with a myriad of dazzling cut pieces of glass interspersed with multicolored tiles. In the same complex is the mausoleum of Mir Muhammad.
Besides Shah Chirag's great pilgrimage sanctuary, Shiraz is also famous for its many imamzadihs, which are sanctuaries of descendants or relatives of the twelve Shiite Imams. The term imamzadih refers to both the structure of the sanctuary and the saint associated with the sanctuary. It is believed that the various shrines, or rather the imamzadihs who oversee them, possess different miraculous powers and consequently the pilgrims to Shiraz can seek help to find a companion, facilitate childbirth and treat various physical and psychological afflictions .
The site received this name because of the nature of the site's discovery by Ayatullah Dastghā'ib (the great-grandfather of the contemporary Ayatullah Dastghā'ib). He used to see the light at a distance and decided to investigate the source. He found that the light was emitted from a grave in a cemetery. The grave that emitted light was dug, and a body bearing armor was discovered. The body bore a ring saying "al-'Izzatu Lillāh, Ahmad bin Mūsā" meaning "The Pride belongs to God, Ahmad son of Musa". Thus it became known that it was the burial place of the sons of Mūsā al-Kādhim.
The site is the most important place of pilgrimage in the city of Shiraz. Ahmad came to Shiraz at the beginning of the third century Islamic (about 900 CE) and died there. During the rule of Atabeg Abū Sa'id Zangi (~ 1130's CE) of the Zengid dynasty, the chief minister of the monarch under the name of Amir Muqarrab al-din Badr al-din built the tomb chamber, The dome, as well as a porch with colonnades. The mosque remained so for about 200 years before Queen Tash Khātūn (the mother of Shāh Abū Ishāq Injū) undertook more work during the years 1344-1349 (745-750 AH). She carried out essential repairs, built a building, a courtroom, a beautiful college and a tomb on the south side. She also presented a unique Qur'ān of thirty volumes, written in golden characters with gold decoration, in the style of calligraphy of this period, Yahya Jamali. The date written on the Qur'an indicates that they were written from 1344 to 1345 (754-746 AH). Nothing is still preserved in the buildings set up by Queen Tash Khātūn, but the Qur'ans have remained and are preserved in the Pars museum.

Shah-e-Cheragh Mausoleum

The mosque was again repaired in 1506 (912 AH - under the reign of Shāh Ismā'īl I), initiated by the mosque's guardian at the time, Mirza Habibullah Sharifi. The mosque was repaired again in 1588 (997 AH) when half of the structure collapsed as a result of an earthquake. During the 19th century, the mosque was damaged several times and was then repaired. In 1827 (1243 AD), Fat'h 'Alī Shāh Qājār presented an ornamental ramp for the tomb. Another earthquake shook the mosque in 1852 (1269 AH), and repairs were carried out by Muhammad Nasir Zahir ad-Dawla.
Finally, the late Nasirol'molk repaired the dome, but due to the numerous cracks in 1958, the entire dome was removed, and in its place an iron structure, lighter and capable of lasting longer, in the form Of the original Dome, was made at the price of the people of Shiraz. The current building consists of the original portico, with its ten columns on the east side, a spacious sanctuary with large alcoves on four sides, a mosque on the west side of the sanctuary and various rooms. There are also many tombs adjacent to the Mausoleum.
Decorative work in a mosaic glass mirror, stucco inscriptions, ornamentation, doors covered with silver panels, portico and wide yard are the most attractive. The tomb, with its rolled guardrail, is located in an alcove between the space under the dome and the mosque. And this custom of placing the tomb in this position, so that it is not directly under the dome, must be seen in other famous places of pilgrimage in the city of Shiraz and can be considered as a special feature of the sanctuaries Of Shiraz. Two short minarets, located at each end of the columnar portico, add the impression to the Mausoleum and the spacious courtyard that surrounds it on three sides. Shah-e-Cheragh Mausoleum was recorded on the 20th of the month, Bahman, 1318, under number 363 in the list of national monuments of Iran.

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0 #1 Peter C 2014-10-29 05:16
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
“Massive Space but Worth the Effort?”

This HUGE (did I say HUGE) shrine is MASSIVE. It's hard to convert how big it really is. It's very important to the Muslim community and the government is pouring tremendous amounts of money into enlarging it. It is not clear that they really need more space, but some say the government claims legitimacy by amplifying these shrines.

The entrance, though, is difficult. You just check ALL cameras, bags, backpacks, pocketbooks. Security can be very tight. Sometimes foreigners are not allowed in though I had no issues. It's just a hassle that is uncommon in the rest of Iran.
Visited October 2014

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