Imam Reza Shrine - "Sanctuary of Imam Reza" in Mashhad, Iran is a complex that contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza, also known as Ali al-Rida or Ali al-Rida, the eighth Imam of the Twelver Shiites. It is the largest mosque in the world in terms of area. The complex also includes the Goharshad Mosque, a museum, a library, four seminaries, a cemetery, the Razavi University of Islamic Sciences, a dining room for pilgrims, extensive prayer halls and other buildings. The complex is a tourist center in Iran and has been described as "the heart of Shia Iran". According to a 2007 estimate, 25 million Iranian and non-Iranian Shiites visit the shrine every year.
The complex is managed by the Astan Quds Razavi Foundation and is currently headed by Ahmad Marvi, a prominent Iranian cleric. The temple itself covers an area of 267,079 square meters (2,874,810 sq ft), while the seven courtyards that surround it cover an area of 331,578 square meters (3,569,080 sq ft), for a total of 598,657 m2 (6,443,890 sq ft). An annual dusting ceremony is held at the Imam Reza Shrine.
Shia sources quote several hadiths from Shia imams and the Prophet Muhammad that emphasize the importance of pilgrimage to the shrine. Hadith from the Islamic Prophet says: One of my flesh and blood will be buried in the land of Khorasan. God Almighty will surely remove the sorrows of any grieving person who goes on a pilgrimage to his shrine. God will certainly forgive the sins of any sinner who goes on a pilgrimage to his shrine.
According to Shiite propaganda, in 818 Imam Ali ar-Rida was killed by the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun (813-833) and was buried next to the tomb of al-Ma'mun's father, Harun al-Rashid. (786-809). After this event, this place was named Mashhad ar-Rida - "place of martyrdom ar-Rida".
Shiites and Sunnis (for example, Ibn Hibban wrote in his "Kitab al-Sikkat" that in case of anxiety and in Mashad, he always visited the shrine to ask for relief from the problems that bothered him) began to visit his grave during the pilgrimage.
By the end of the 9th century, a dome was erected over the grave, around which numerous buildings and bazaars grew. Over the next thousand years, it was destroyed and reconstructed several times. The famous Muslim traveler Ibn Battuta visited Mashhad in 1333 and reported that it was a large city with numerous fruit trees, streams and mills. A large dome of elegant design crowns the majestic mausoleum, the walls of which are decorated with colored tiles. Opposite the tomb of the Imam is the tomb of Caliph Harun ar-Rashid, crowned with a platform with chandeliers.
Iran National and Public Holidays