Iran: Center of Shiite’s world
There are around 200 million Shia Muslims in the world today. Between 70 million and 75 million Shias live in Iran, representing nearly half of the world's Shia population. This has made Iran the spiritual center of Shiite’s world. With 3 major cities of Mashhad, Shiraz and Qom.
Imām Reza shrine in Mashhad, Iran is a complex which contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza, the eighth Imām of Twelver Shi'ites. It is the second largest mosque in the world. Also contained within the complex include: the Goharshad Mosque, a museum, a library, four seminaries, a cemetery, the Razavi University of Islamic Sciences, a dining hall for pilgrims, vast prayer halls, and other buildings.
This complex is the center of religious tourism in Iran.
In 993 the holy shrine was ruined by Saboktakin, a Ghaznavid king. However in 1009 his son Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi ordered the shrine to be repaired and expanded. About 1150 Sultan Sanjar, a Seljuq king, renovated the sanctuary and added new buildings after miraculous healing of his son in the shrine. Later Sultan Muhammad Khodabande, an Ilkhanate king, who converted to Shiism renovated the holy shrine about 1310.
Shah e Cheragh
Shah e Cheragh is the most important place of pilgrimage within the city of Shiraz. The tombs became celebrated pilgrimage centres in the 14th century when Queen Tashi Khatun erected a mosque and theological school in the vicinity.
Ahmad (Shah e Cheragh) came to Shiraz at the beginning of the third Islamic century (approximately 900 AD), and died there. During the rule of Atabeg Abū Sa'id Zangi (~1130s AD) of the Zengid dynasty, the chief minister to the monarch by the name of Amir Muqarrab al-din Badr al-din built the tomb chamber, the dome, as well as a colonnaded porch.
Nasir al-Mulk Mosque
Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is traditional mosque located in Shiraz. It’s particular architecture has made it one of the most unique mosques in the world. You can only see the light through the stained glass in the early morning. It was built to catch the morning sun, so that if you visit at noon it will be too late to catch the light. The sight of the morning sunlight shining through the colorful stained glass, then falling over the tightly woven Persion carpet, is so bewitching that it seems to be from another world.
Atigh Grand Mosque
Walking through the southeastern (back) entrance to the Shah-e Cheragh courtyard and turning right after about 50m leads to the ancient Jameh-ye Atigh Mosque. Dating from 894 this is Shiraz's oldest Islamic structure, though most of what you see is from the late Safavid period onwards. While the dome of the north iwan and the hypostyle columns in the ancient prayer hall in the southeast corner are impressive, the highlight is the rare turreted Khodakhaneh. It was built in the mid-14th century (or perhaps earlier) to preserve valuable Qurans; poet Hafez is believed to have worked here. The Khodakhaneh (House of God) bears an uncanny likeness to the Kaaba at Mecca, and bears a unique Sassanid-style Tholth inscription in raised stone characters on a tiled background.
Qom is counted as one of the focal centers of the Shi'a both in Iran and around the globe. Since the revolution the clerical population has risen from around 25,000 to more than 45,000 and the nonnclerical population has more than tripled to about 700,000. Its theological center and the Fatima al-Masumeh Shrine are prominent features of the provincial capital of Qom province. Another very popular religious site of pilgrimage formerly outside the city of Qom but now more of a suburb is called Jamkaran. Qom's proximity to Tehran, Iran's capital, has allowed the clerical establishment easy access to monitor the affairs and decisions of state. Many grand ayatollahs hold offices in both Tehran and Qom; many people simply commute between the two cities as they are only 156 km apart.
There are around 200 million Shia Muslims in the world today. Between 70 million and 75 million Shias live in Iran, representing nearly half of the world's Shia population. This has made Iran the spiritual center of Shiite’s world. With 3 major cities of Mashhad, Shiraz and Qom.Tehran Mashhad Shiraz Isfahan Isfahan Qom