Shia Islam

"Like other branches of Islam, Shia Islam is based on the teachings of the Quran and the message of .... Muhammad. In contrast to other types, the Shia believe that only God has the right to choose a representative to safeguard Islam, the Quran and sharia. Thus the Shias look to Ali, Muhammad's son-in-law, whom they consider divinely appointed, as the rightful successor to Muhammad, and the first omam. The Shia extend this belief to Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt ("the People of the House"), and certain individuals among his descendants, known as imams, who have special spiritual and political authority over the community" ....."modern Shia Islam is divided into three main branches. The largest Shia sect in the early 21st century is the Ithna ashariyya, commonly referred to in English as the Twelvers, while smaller branches include the Ismaili ("Seveners") and Zaidi ("Fivers")" .... "Shia Muslims consider sites associated with Muhammad, his family members (Ahl al-Bayt) and descendants (including the Shia Imams), their companions, and the prophets as holy places" (Wiki)

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Damascus Sayyidah Ruqayya Mosque - contains the grave of Sukayna (née Ruqayyah), the infant daughter of Husayn ibn 'Ali. An Iranian style Mosque was built (around the historic Mauloseum (which is immediately West of the Omayyad Mosque) in 1985.
Maymand One of the caves open to visitors is a "Hosseyniyeh" - a Shia "Congregation Hall"
Meidan Emam, Esfahan The Safavids were responsible for converting Iran to Shiism. The mosques, built as part of the transfer of the Safavid capital to Isfahan by Shah Abbas I, emphasise their "Shia" nature in their Calligraphy. In the Masjed-e Imam "the iwan pointing to east ....... contains an inscription by calligrapher Muhammad Riza Imami praising the Fourteen Immaculate Ones (i.e., Muhammad, Fatimah and the Twelve Imams)" (Wiki). In the Sheikh Lotf Allah mosque "The inscriptions of the Mosque reflect matters that were preoccupying the shah around the time it was built; namely the need to define Twelver Shiism in contrast to Sunni Islam, and the Persian resistance to Ottoman invasion" (Wiki)
Safi al-Din Ensemble in Ardabil Linked to the Safavid conversion of Iran to Shia Islam; symbols include for example a 12-sided pool (which symbolizes the 12 Shiite Imāms) (nom file)
Samarkand Shrine of Kusam ibn Abbas. Cousin of Mohammed. Situated within the Shah-i Zinde complex. The name Shah-i-Zinda (meaning "The living king") is connected with the legend that Kusam ibn Abbas, the cousin of the prophet Muhammed was buried there. .. He came to Samarkand with the Arab invasion in the 7th century to preach Islam. Popular legends speak that he was beheaded for his faith. But he took his head and went into the deep well (Garden of Paradise), where he's still living now." (Wiki). Practice of Shia Islam is severely constrained within Uzbekistan but this site is listed in Wiki under "Holiest sites in Shia Islam".
Soltaniyeh "The base of the dome is encircled on the exterior with the words "God", "Muhammed" and "Ali" referring to the Shiite beliefs of the Ilkhanids" ("Islam, Art and Arch" Hattstein page 396). "The spiritual significance of the mausoleum is revealed by its ample decorative and calligraphic designs which bespeak of the builder’s attachment to Shi’ism faith. According to a tradition, the monument had originally been designed to receive the relics of Shi’i imams, Ali and his son, Hoseyn." (Nom file)


Do you know of another WHS we could connect to Shia Islam?

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A connection should:

  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
  3. Not duplicate or merely subdivide the "Category" assignment already identified on this site.
  4. Add some knowledge or insight (whether significant or trivial!) about WHS for the users of this site
  5. Be explained, with reference to a source