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Thursday 20th of June 2024
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the grave of Amir al-Mu’minin (a.s)

Excepting the Imams (a.s) and a few other persons, no one else knew about the location of the grave of Amir al-Mu’minin (a.s). There was no way of people knowing about it because the grave was located in a remote place on a desolate hillock. There was neither any sign of the grave nor the tombstone. Its location came to be known by the people when Harūn al-Rashid, the `Abbasid ruler, on assuming power in 170 H traveled in the environs of al-Kūfah. The purpose was to hunt the wildlife in the wilderness. When he saw some deer, he started the chase with his hunting dogs He was surprised to see that the deer had climbed up a hillock and the dogs were scared of going near them. Harūn called a person from al-Hirah and asked him, “What is this place? “he said that the spot was the final resting place of Amir al-Mu’minin (a.s). Harūn gave a gift to the person, visited the grave of the Imam (a.s) and ordered the mausoleum be built. Therefore, a dome was constructed. People started visiting it and started burying their dead in its neighborhood.[1]

This building was in the shape of a red dome. It had doors on all the four sides. The walls around the grave were made of white bricks.

Muhammad ibn Zayd al-Hassani, the Emir of Tabristan, during the period of al-Mu`tadid billah, constructed the four outer walls for the dome and made the Mausoleum in the form of a fortress. There were seventy recesses (taq) in the walls. The period of al-Mu`tadid billah was between 279 and 289 A.H.

When `Adud al-Dawlah Fanakhusrow ibn Rukn al-Dawlah came to power in 367 A.H., he constructed the mausoleum at a huge expense. The walls were clad with teakwood and the dome was done in white stone. Husayn ibn al-Hajjaj al-Baghdadi, died in 391 A.H. in his poetic appraisal of the monument has said:

O resident of the white dome of the land of Najaf 
One who visits the grave will recover from ailment!

[1] `Umdat al-Matālib, Page 44

 

At the time of this construction `Adud al-Dawlah had made a will that he should be buried near the Imam (a.s) in Najaf. Therefore, Ibn Khillakan has written:

“`Adud al-Dawlah had constructed the Shrine at great expense and willed that he too should be buried there.”[1]

Therefore, when he died on the eighth of Shawwal 372 H, he was buried in the Western side of the Mausoleum.

In 755 A.H, there was a big fire in the complex and most of the structure was destroyed, but in 760 H it was reconstructed.

In 914 A.H, Shah Isma`il the Safavid, died 930 H, built a steel sarcophagus and installed golden lamps inside the Mausoleum.

In 1032 A.H, Shah `Abbas Kabir, died 1038, constructed the Mausoleum and extended the courtyard.

In 1047 A.H, Shah Safi the Safavid, died 1052, started construction at the Mausoleum and his son, Shah `Abbas II completed it in 1077 H.

In 1154 or 1156, Nadir Shah, after the conquest of India, repaired the Mausoleum with glazed tiles of Kashan and clad the dome and the minarets with gold.

In 1207 A.H, Muhammad Khan the Qajar and in 1232 A.H. Fath `Ali Shah the Qajar and in 1288 H Nasir al-Din Shah the Qajar renovated and beautified the Mausoleum.

In 1361 A.H, Mulla tahir Sayfuddin, Chief of Jamaat Bawaheer installed a magnificent sarcophagus made of gold and silver.

In the middle of the 14th Century of Hegira, an Iranian businessman installed golden doors for the Mausoleum!


[1] Wafiyyāt al-A`yān, Vol 1, Page 418


source : http://www.maaref-foundation.com/
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