Imam Reza Shrine

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Imam Reza Shrine

Imam Reza Shrine


In this paper I will be discussing the structure and characteristic design of Imam Reza Shrine in Iran. Gawhar Shad is said to have custom-built this congregational mosque relating it to the widespread restoration program for the shrine of Imam Riza. It is situated directly to the south of the tomb and visitors are allowed access through the dar al-siyadah. It is considered that this mosque is of the familiar four-iwan courtyard form that is found in several other forms of Islamic architecture in Iran and other Islamic nations. The depths of these iwans are asymmetrical which signifies a rejoinder to the position of existing structures that lay within which it was inserted. There are two round minarets surrounding this structure and comprise a modernistic approach in Persian structural design. This is because previously, minarets would only be placed above the parapets. The mosaic and art used inside the mosque are very famous for their finesse and innovation, which came about especially in the Timurid era. On a high foundation of limestone revetment, there are placed several panels of brick as well as tilework, which are arranged in two stories placed around the courtyard. The beauty of the complex is further encapsulated through masterful calligraphy especially designed by Gawhar Shad's famous calligrapher son Baysunghur. The tile and bricks used are imprinted with the most stunning, lively floral patterns as well as eye-catching geometric schemes used in pleasant vacillation, which further emphasizes the well-built pace surrounding the courtyard.


The shrine, which is a vast complex containing the mausoleum of Imam Reza, is considered the largest mosque in the world in terms of its dimension. Imam Reza is considered the eighth Imam of the Twelve Shi'ites, hence enjoys a very importance place in the religious culture of the nation and Shi'ites all over the world. The complex is famous for its Goharshad Mosque, as well as the library, museum and four seminaries contained within. There is also a cemetery within the complex, and it holds the campus for Razavi University of Islamic Sciences, as well as several prayer halls, dining halls and other similar structures. Not only this, the shrine is considered an important part of the tourism industry of Iran, hence is maintained quite thoroughly by the right authorities.

Memorial Stone on behalf of Imam Reza Seljuk period (1122)

The dome which is mentioned by Ibn-e-Batoota stands at the height of 16 metres. It is said to have been built from the inside with the use of bricks, after which these bricks were covered with tiles and mosaics. This was then layered with a sheet of gold. This part of the architecture is something quite unheard of in Islamic architecture, and stands testament to the fact that the shrine of Imam Reza had architecture that is considered exemplary in the Muslim world till the present day.

It is said that the calligraphy inside the lower part of the dome has been done by one of the most famous ...
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