Let us admit that one of the last things that may occur to us when travelling abroad is visiting holy shrines. While being mesmerized by the splendid natural and historical sites a country serves its tourists, we usually stay utterly unaware of something wonderfully scenic and religiously rich. Holy shrines are one of those places which surround its visitors with enchanting architectural aspects that represent a country’s culture, history, and religion. Needless to say, Iran is one of those destinations that will provide a varied range of captivating religious and holy sites for its visitors. In this article, we will review the top 4 holy shrines and religious sites during your stay in Iran.
The Imam Reza’s shrine is located in Mashhad, the second-largest city in Iran, and it is one of the most prominent and valued shrines in the Islamic world. Each year about 20 million pilgrims from all around the world visit this glorious shrine.
Ali ibn Musa al-Riza also known as Imam Reza is one of the most respected and cherished men in Iran and the world of Islam. And that’s the reason why every Muslim’s heart is longing to visit their cherished Imam and his shrine. The positive energy and good spirits this shrine pour into your soul is something so scarcely found. The moment you step into the shrine your heart will be filled with tons of delightful and pleasant feelings. you’ll witness lots of teary-eyed people affectionately praying to their Imam and asking for miracles in their lives. Imam Reza’s shrine is one of the best places for anyone who wants to unburden themselves of every problem and grief in their lives.
One of the first arts adapted and welcomed in the Islamic world was architecture. And imam Reza shrine has one of the best manifestations of the impressive Islamic art. The shrine consists of a multitude of mirror works, Muqarnas, plasterwork and the Persian art of Qashani which is the art of tilework and can be found in decorations of the shrine’s walls with the holy Quran’s verses on them.
Fatima Masoumeh shrine is the second most important shrine in Iran which is visited by millions of pilgrims from Iran and other countries. The shrine is filled with so much tranquillity and positive energies that change the spirits in anyone visiting this stunning place.
Fatima Masoumeh was Imam Reza’s sister. A year after Imam Reza’s arrival in Iran, she decided to visit her brother in Khorasan. But the caravan she was travelling with was attacked by enemies. Many of her family members and friends were killed and she herself was poisoned by a woman from the enemies. she became ill and had to be taken to Qom instead. And that’s where she passed away. Her pure body was buried in Qom and a shrine was built in the memory of her blessed soul.
The shrine’s porch is designed with muqarnas and gold breaks and it is adorned with cyan tiles and many beautiful designs. Among the artworks of this shrine, inscriptions are very noticeable and can be seen in every corner of the shrine. The domes are decorated with inscriptions that display the impressive art of calligraphy. There are also a few stunning gravestones built for the royalties buried in the shrine. These gravestones are designed with different arts such as paintings and calligraphy and some of them have verses written on them.
Shah Cheragh, located in the spectacular shiraz, is the tomb of Ahmad and Muhammad the sons of Imam Musa. As Ahmad-Ebne-Musa (Ahmad the son of Musa) was on his way to join his brother Imam Reza, he gets murdered under the command of Mamun (the Abbasid caliph) in Shiraz.
The story of how this shrine was named is certainly something worth hearing. Until the reign of Amir Adud Al-Dawla, nobody knew where Ahmed-Ebne-Musa was buried. An old lady was living around there. She saw a very bright light shining each Thursday night. She continued to observe this until a day she decided to inform the king of this mysterious light. Since the king was very wise and sensible, he decided to visit the old lady’s house on Thursday. The king stayed in the lady’s house and asked her to wake him up the moment the light was seen. And once again on that Friday night, the light shone very brightly. The woman got incredibly overwhelmed and started shouting “shah! Cheragh.” (king! Light). And that’s when the tomb was found and called Shah Cheragh which can be translated into the king of lights.
To study the shrine in terms of architectural aspects, the building consists of myriads of astonishing mirror works. Each surface is covered with sparkling debris of glasses and mirrors ornamented with Persian and Arabic calligraphy around them. The shrine’s dome is a unique display of Iranian-Islamic tilework. And there is an Islam inspired pool in the middle of the yard which adds to the magnificence of the shrine.
Shah Abdul Azim Hassani was forced to immigrate to Iran due to the brutality of the king of his country and started living a secret life in Rey. After his death, it was found out that he was a descendant of the second Shia Imam. And it was decided by the people of Rey that a tomb should be built for his highness.
The shrine’s yard is the burial ground of many prominent characters of Iran; including many poets, authors and martyrs, which is intriguing for anyone interested in literature and history.
At first, the shrine was quite simple. However, its architecture and design improved by the passage of time and is now considered as one of the oldest and exquisite monuments of Iran.
Every corner of this shrine is a brilliant demonstration of Iranian-Islamic art. Just like other shrines, Shah Abdul Azim’s shrine consists of loads of mirror works, tile works and so on. Yet, each of them is unique in their own way and none of them has failed in taking their visitors’ breaths away.
Though Iran is filled with many gorgeous attractions for foreign tourists, hardly any of them think about visiting holy shrines. Many of the tourists believe holy shrines are places only dedicated to religious people. And that’s why they are always missing so many rare and spectacular views and stay unaware of the amazing impact holy shrines have on their spirits, regardless of their nationality, language, and religion. It’s high time we need to put aside our illusions and start discovering the wonderful and stunning sights of holy shrines that open the door of something incredible in our lives. So, make sure you visit them on your next visit to Iran.