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Shrine of Imam Ali

shrine of imam ali

The Imam Ali Holy Shrine (Arabic: حرم الإمام علي‎), also known as Masjid Ali or the Mosque of ‘Ali, is a mosque located in Najaf, Iraq. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin of Muhammad, the fourth caliph is buried here. Buried next to Ali within this mosque are the remains of Adam and Noah according to Shi'a belief.


The shrine was first built by the Iranian ruler the Daylamite Fannakhosraw Azod ad Dowleh in 977 over the tomb of Ali. After being destroyed by fire, it was rebuilt by the Seljuk Malik Shah I in 1086, and rebuilt yet again by the Safavid Shah Ismail I shortly after 1500.

During the uprising of March 1991, following the Persian Gulf War, Saddam Hussein's Republican Guards damaged the shrine. Afterwards the shrine was closed for two years, officially for repairs. Saddam also deported to Iran a large number of the residents of the area who were of Iranian descent.

Religious status

The Imam Ali Mosque has been noted as the third holiest site for some of the estimated 200 million followers of the Shi‘a branch of Islam worldwide – approximately 15 percent of total Muslims. It is estimated that only Karbala, Mecca and Medina receive more Muslim pilgrims.

Asia Times Online reports about Qom being the second holiest city in Iran. In an attempt to impress the importance of the Hazrat-e Masoomeh shrine located in Qom, the article quotes the following famous hadith:

Our sixth imam, Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq, says that we have five definitive holy places that we respect very much. The first is Macca, which belongs to God. The second is Medina, which belongs to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the messenger of God. The third belongs to our first Imam of Shia, ‘Ali, which is in Najaf. The fourth belongs to our third Imam, Hussein, in Karbala. The last one belongs to the daughter of our seventh Imam and sister of our eighth Imam, who is called Fatimah, and will be buried in Qom.

 Pilgrims and those who visit her holy shrine, I promise to these men and women that God will open all the doors of Heaven to them.

The Cultural Heritage Photo Agency based in Iran states: “The world's 120 million Shia regard Najaf - a center of scientific, literary and theological studies - as their third holiest site, behind Mecca and Medina”. Modarresi News calls it: "The place was the burial site of Islam’s second most important figure and third holiest shrine".

Zaman Newspaper, based in Turkey, reports that “Because Najaf is home to the Imam Ali tomb and Mosque; Shia Muslims regard Najaf as the third holiest city after Mecca and Medina”. Referring to Najaf, ShiaNews.com describes it as “the place is the burial site of Islam’s second most important figure and third holiest shrine”.

The Guardian described Najaf, as the third holiest place of Shi'ite Muslims The Boston Globe reports “for the world's nearly 120 million Muslim Shia, Najaf is the third holiest city, behind Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

 The CNN website states: “the Shia the city of Najaf, Islam's third holiest city after Mecca and Medina and home to the Tomb of Imam Ali, cousin of Muhammad and father of Karbala's Hussein ibn Ali”.

shrine of imam ali

Other links:

Imam Ali's introduction

The Source of Loving Imam Ali (a.s)

People’s Oath Of Allegiance to Ali (a.s)

Sayings of Imam Ali (a.s)

Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib's (AS) way or Training

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