Imam Ali Mosque

Imam Ali Mosque

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The Imām ‘Alī Holy Shrine , also known as Masjid Ali or the Mosque of ‘Alī, located in Najaf
Najaf
Najaf is a city in Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad. Its estimated population in 2008 is 560,000 people. It is the capital of Najaf Governorate...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, is the third holiest site for some of the estimated 200 million followers of the Shia branch of Islam. ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib, the cousin of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, the fourth caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 (Sunni belief), the first Imam (Shia belief) is buried here. According to Shi'a belief buried next to Ali within this mosque are the remains of Adam
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

 and Noah
Noah
Noah was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the tenth and last of the antediluvian Patriarchs. The biblical story of Noah is contained in chapters 6–9 of the book of Genesis, where he saves his family and representatives of all animals from the flood by constructing an ark...

.

History


The shrine was first built by the Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

ian ruler the Daylamite
Buwayhid
The Buyid dynasty, also known as the Buyid Empire or the Buyids , also known as Buwaihids, Buyahids, or Buyyids, were a Shī‘ah Persian dynasty that originated from Daylaman in Gilan...

 Fannakhosraw Azod ad Dowleh
'Adud al-Daula
Aḍud al-Dawla or Azod od-Dowleh Panah Khusraw was an emir of the Buyid dynasty in Iran and Iraq...

 in 977
977
Year 977 was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar.- Europe :* Saint Æthelwold of Winchester, Bishop of Winchester, rebuilds the western end of the Old Minster, Winchester, with twin towers and no apses.* German emperor Otto II grants Lower Lorraine, where modern-day Brussels is...

 over the tomb of Ali. After being destroyed by fire, it was rebuilt by the Seljuk Malik Shah I
Malik Shah I
Jalāl al-Dawlah Malik-shāh was born in 1055, succeeded Alp Arslan as the Seljuq Sultan in 1072, and reigned until his death in 1092....

 in 1086, and rebuilt yet again by the Safavid Shah Ismail I
Ismail I
Ismail I , known in Persian as Shāh Ismāʿil , was a Shah of Iran and the founder of the Safavid dynasty which survived until 1736. Isma'il started his campaign in Azerbaijan in 1500 as the leader of the Safaviyya, an extremist heterodox Twelver Shi'i militant religious order and unified all of Iran...

 shortly after 1500.

During the uprising of March 1991, following the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

's Republican Guard
Iraqi Republican Guard
The Iraqi Republican Guard was a branch of the Iraqi military during the presidency of Saddam Hussein. It later became the Republican Guard Corps, and then the Republican Guard Forces Command with its expansion into two corps....

s damaged the shrine, where members of the Shia opposition were cornered, in storming the shrine and massacring virtually all its occupants. Afterwards the shrine was closed for two years, officially for repairs. Hussein also deported to Iran a large number of the residents of the area who were of Iranian descent.
It is newly renovated by Dawoodi Bohras spiritual leader the 52nd dai mutlaq Dr. Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin.(TUS)

Religious status




As the burial site of Islam's second most important figure, the Imām ‘Alī
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

 Mosque is considered by all Shias as the third holiest Islamic site The Boston Globe reports “for the world's nearly 120 million Muslim Shias, Najaf is the third holiest city, behind Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. for some of the estimated 200 million followers of the Shī‘ah branch of Islām
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 worldwide – approximately 15 percent of total Muslims. It is estimated that only Karbalā
Karbala
Karbala is a city in Iraq, located about southwest of Baghdad. Karbala is the capital of Karbala Governorate, and has an estimated population of 572,300 people ....

, Makkah and Madīnah receive more Muslim pilgrims. A famous hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 mentions the site as one of "five definitive holy places that we respect very much".

Precincts


Also buried within this mosque according to Shias are Prophet Adam
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

 and Prophet Noah
Noah
Noah was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the tenth and last of the antediluvian Patriarchs. The biblical story of Noah is contained in chapters 6–9 of the book of Genesis, where he saves his family and representatives of all animals from the flood by constructing an ark...

.

The site is visited annually by at least 8 million pilgrims on average, which is estimated to increase to 20 million in years to come.Many Shī‘ah believe that ‘Alī did not want his grave to be desecrated by his enemies and consequently asked his friends and family to bury him secretly. This secret gravesite is supposed to have been revealed later during the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 caliphate by Ja‘far as-Sādiq
Ja'far al-Sadiq
Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad al-Sādiq was a descendant of Muhammad and a prominent Muslim jurist. He is revered as an Imam by the adherents of Shi'a Islam and as a renowned Islamic scholar and personality by Sunni Muslims. The Shi'a Muslims consider him to be the sixth Imam or leader and spiritual...

, the Sixth Shī‘ah Imām
Imamah (Shi'a doctrine)
Imāmah is the Shia doctrine of religious, spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. The Shīa believe that the A'immah are the true Caliphs or rightful successors of Muḥammad, and further that Imams are possessed of divine knowledge and authority as well as being part of the Ahl al-Bayt,...

. Most Shī‘as accept that ‘Alī is buried in Imām ‘Alī Mosque
Imam Ali Mosque
The Imām ‘Alī Holy Shrine , also known as Masjid Ali or the Mosque of ‘Alī, located in Najaf, Iraq, is the third holiest site for some of the estimated 200 million followers of the Shia branch of Islam. ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib, the cousin of Muhammad, the fourth caliph , the first Imam is buried here...

, in what is now the city of Najaf
Najaf
Najaf is a city in Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad. Its estimated population in 2008 is 560,000 people. It is the capital of Najaf Governorate...

 (which grew around the shrine).

It has also been narrated from Ja‘far as-Sādiq
Ja'far al-Sadiq
Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad al-Sādiq was a descendant of Muhammad and a prominent Muslim jurist. He is revered as an Imam by the adherents of Shi'a Islam and as a renowned Islamic scholar and personality by Sunni Muslims. The Shi'a Muslims consider him to be the sixth Imam or leader and spiritual...

, the 6th Imām, that Imām ‘Alī Mosque
Imam Ali Mosque
The Imām ‘Alī Holy Shrine , also known as Masjid Ali or the Mosque of ‘Alī, located in Najaf, Iraq, is the third holiest site for some of the estimated 200 million followers of the Shia branch of Islam. ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib, the cousin of Muhammad, the fourth caliph , the first Imam is buried here...

 is the third of five holy places: Makkah, Madīnah, Imām ‘Alī Mosque in Najaf
Najaf
Najaf is a city in Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad. Its estimated population in 2008 is 560,000 people. It is the capital of Najaf Governorate...

, Imam Husayn Shrine in Karbalā
Karbala
Karbala is a city in Iraq, located about southwest of Baghdad. Karbala is the capital of Karbala Governorate, and has an estimated population of 572,300 people ....

, and the Shrine for Fātimah
Fatema Mæ'sume
Fātimah bint Mūsā' al-Kādhim , was the daughter of the seventh Twelver Shī‘ah Imām, Mūsā' al-Kādhim and sister of the eighth...

 - daughter of Mūsā al-Kādhim
Musa al-Kadhim
' was the seventh of the Twelve Imams of Twelver Shi'a Islam. He was the son of Imam and his mother was Hamidah Khātūn, a student and former Zanjiyyah slave...

 in Qom
Qom
Qom is a city in Iran. It lies by road southwest of Tehran and is the capital of Qom Province. At the 2006 census, its population was 957,496, in 241,827 families. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River....

.

Events in 2003-2006


Since the invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 by the U.S. military
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 in 2003, there have been a number of further attacks at the mosque:
  • April 10, 2003, Shia leader Sayed Abdul Majid al-Khoei
    Abdul Majid al-Khoei
    Sayyid Abdul Majid al-Khoei , 16 August 1962 – 10 April 2003) was a Twelver Shia cleric and the son of Ayatollah Al-Udhma Sayyid Abul Qasim al-Khoei. He was born in the holy city of Najaf.-Life:...

    , the son of Grand Ayatollah Abu al Qasim al-Khoei, was killed near the mosque. Al-Khoei had returned from exile in Britain to encourage cooperation with the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.

  • August 29, 2003, a car bomb
    Car bomb
    A car bomb, or truck bomb also known as a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device , is an improvised explosive device placed in a car or other vehicle and then detonated. It is commonly used as a weapon of assassination, terrorism, or guerrilla warfare, to kill the occupants of the vehicle,...

     exploded outside the mosque just as the main Friday prayers were ending. Somewhere between 85 to 125 people were killed, including the influential Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, the Shia leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq
    Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq
    The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq is an Iraqi political party. Its political support comes from the country's Shi'a Muslim community. Prior to his assassination in August 2003, SCIRI was led by Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim; afterwards it was led by the ayatollah's brother, Abdul Aziz...

    . The blast is thought to be the work of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ; October 30, 1966 – June 7, 2006), born Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh was a Jordanian militant Islamist who ran a paramilitary training camp in Afghanistan...

    .

  • May 24, 2004, unidentified mortar
    Mortar (weapon)
    A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

     fire hit the shrine, damaging gates which lead to the tomb of Imam Ali.

  • August 5, 2004, Muqtada al-Sadr
    Muqtada al-Sadr
    Sayyid Muqtadā al-Ṣadr is an Iraqi Islamic political leader.Along with Ali al-Sistani and Ammar al-Hakim of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Sadr is one of the most influential religious and political figures in the country not holding any official title in the Iraqi government.-Titles:He is...

     and the Mahdi Army
    Mahdi Army
    The Mahdi Army, also known as the Mahdi Militia or Jaish al-Mahdi , was an Iraqi paramilitary force created by the Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in June 2003....

     seized the mosque and used it as a military base for launching attacks against the Iraqi police, the provincial government and coalition forces. The fighting was eventually ended by a peace agreement. Although the neighboring buildings suffered considerable damage, the mosque itself suffered only superficial damage from stray bullets and shrapnel.

  • August 10, 2006 a suicide bomber wearing an explosive harness blew himself up near the shrine, which killed 40 people and injured more than 50 others.

See also

  • Holiest sites in Islam (Shia)
    Holiest sites in Islam (Shia)
    In addition to the three Mosques accepted by all Muslims as holy sites, Shī'ah Muslims consider sites associated with Muhammad, his family members and descendants , their companions, and the Prophets as holy places...

  • Adam and Eve
    Adam and Eve
    Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

  • Noah
    Noah
    Noah was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the tenth and last of the antediluvian Patriarchs. The biblical story of Noah is contained in chapters 6–9 of the book of Genesis, where he saves his family and representatives of all animals from the flood by constructing an ark...

  • Seven Laws of Noah

External links