Friday 27th of January 2023
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The Holy Burial Chamber (Haram) Of Imam Raza A.S

On 6th March 2001 coinciding with 10th Zill Hajjah, 1421 A.H, the auspicious occasion of Idd-al-Adha, the newly made magnificent Zarih on the sacred grave of Imam Reza (A.S.) was opened for the Ziyarah of the pilgrims. In an official grand religious ceremony which was conducted in the holy burial chamber of the holy shrine, Ayatullah Khamna'ee, the Supreme Leader of Islamic Republic of Iran declared open the beautiful new Zarih for the Ziyarah of the pilgrims.
The sacred grave of Imam Reza (A.S.) is covered by a beautiful epitaph, around which the Zarih or silver-grill is placed. According to the historians the first Zarih on the sacred grave was built around 500 A.H.
The recently replaced Zarih was installed at the sacred grave in 1959. But that Zarih's frame had been weakened due to the incessant touch of the millions of pilgrims to it every year. The present new zarih which was installed on 6th March 2001 was built under the supervision of the world renowned master craftsmen and artist Ustad Mahmud Farshchiyan.
The construction and creation of this new artistic marvel was started in 1993 and after eight years of incessant efforts the new Zarih was made ready by the end of the year 2000 by the sacred endeavors of the master craftsmen in Iran like Ustad Khudadad Zadeh Isfahani and Ustad Kashti Aara Shirazi. It look 56 days to install the grand new Zarih in a planned engineering operation supervized by Chief Engineer Aziziyan. The replaced Zarih which was placed on the sacred grave in 1959 is being installed in the Central Museum of the holy shrine for the view of the foreign visitors and pilgrims of the holy shrine.
The structure of the present Zarih is made up of iron and wood and is covered with thick plates of silver and gold and its total weight is 12 tons. The present Zarih's length is 4.78 meters, breadth 3.73 meters and height 3.96 meters with four openings. The Zarih has a total of fourteen arched structures. Above the arched structures the Quranic chapters Surah Yasin and Surah Ad-Dahr are inscribed in Thulth script.
The length of the Surah Ad-Dahr inscription is 16.76 meters and its breadth 18cm. The inscription of these two chapters of the Holy Qur'an has been inscribed by the famous Iranian calligrapher Ustad Muwahhed.
The exterior of the Zarih is also studded with the beautiful names of Allah Almighty and these were inlaid in gold and silver by the famous craftsmen Ustad Khudadad Zadeh Isfahani. The vaulted arches and the floral patterns engraved on the Zarih are in close confirmity with the rest of the symbols and structures present in the various buildings of the holy shrine.
The floral patterns inlaid on the Zarih are in the numerals 5 and 8, the numeral 5 represents the Holy Panjtan (the five holy and infallible personalities Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (S.A.W.), Imam Ali (A.S.), Hazrat Fatima Zahra(A.S.), Imam Hasan (A.S.) and Imam Husain (A.S.) and the numeral 8 represents Imam Reza(A.S.), the eighth Shi'ite holy and infallible Imam.
The interior of the Zarih for the first time in the history has been inlaid with beautiful names of Allah Almighty and this inlaid work was accomplished by Ustad Kashti Aara Shirazi.
A new epitaph stone is also placed on the sacred grave which is made up of a single exquisite marble stone. On this epitaph the verses from the Holy Qur'an has been inscribed beautifully. The replaced epitaph on the holy grave was made up of 11 pieces of marble stones.
During the installation process of the new Zarih the new air-conditioning system has also been put into operation within the dome of the holy shrine and the world famous mirror and tile-works present on the ceiling and the walls of the burial chamber has also been renovated.
This wonderful work was accomplished by ten master Iranian craftsmen under the supervision of the internationally renowned artist Ustad Mahmud Farshchiyan, who is well known world-wide for his paintings entitled "The Evening of Ashura" and "Imam Ali(A.S.) Caressing the Orphans.". Ustad Farshchiyan has not taken a single Rial for supervising this great masterpiece work which was completed in a period of eight years. Ustad Farshchiyan is also a voluntary attendant of the holy shrine of Imam Reza(A.S.).

The holy grave of Emam Reza (A.S.) is located under a dazzling and grand dome. The mirror work in the holy burial chamber under the dome is one of the finest in the world. The holy grave itself is inside a Zarih (silver grill) which is also one of the finest examples of Iranian Islamic art.
The holy grave from the beginning (203 A.H./817 A.D.) had a dome and surrounding courts and gradually kings and the nobles added new structures to it, till it attained the present grandeur and magnificence. According to the historical records, the grand dome and the Zarih on the tomb of Emam Reza (A.S.) was built in the 5th century Hijrah during the reign of Ghaznavid and Seljuk dynasties.
The southern area of the holy burial chamber is called Payeen-e- Pa-e- Mubarak (at the blessed feet of the holy grave) and the northern area of the Haram is called Bala-i Sar-e- Mubarak (the upeer side of the holy grave).
In 1981 the area around the Zarih of the Holy Emam (A.S.) was expanded on its three sides by 54 sq.meters and thus the total area at present in the holy burial chamber and under the dome is 135 sq.meters.
From the beginning of the Safavid dynasty in the early sixteenth century A.D./tenth century Hijrah, till now four Zarihs had been placed around the holy grave of Emam Reza (A.S.). The present Zarih was placed in 1954 and its length is 4.05 meters, its breadth 3.06 meters and its height is 3.90 meters. On the length side it has four arched structures and on the breadth side three arched structures thus the Zarih has a total of fourteen arched structures. In between these arched structures eighteen convex elliptical golden sheets are fixed on the top of it and on these sheets the Ahadith (traditions) are writlen in Thulth script. Around the Zarih on the upper part of it names of Fourteen Masoomeen (A.S.) are written in Thulth script on serrated golden sheets studded with turquoise. The 100 Divine Names of Allah Almighty is written on the milled edged form above these golden serrated sheets and around the Zarih. On the ceiling splendid mirror work which was installed in 1817 A.D. during the reign of Fath Ali Shah Qajar has been preserved.
The present Zarih's frame had been weakened due to the incessant touch of millions of pilgrims to it every year Thus a new grand and beautiful Zarih is being made by Astan Quds Razavi under the superivision of internationally renowned master craftsman and artist Ustad Farshchiyan. The size of the new Zarih is larger than the present one. As per the evaluation of experts the new Zarih is designed to last 300 years whithout repairs or renovation and it will be the greatest masterpiece of Islamic art.
The walls around the Zarih are covered by marbles up to 20 centimeters, the next 92 centimeters by priceless and intricate tiles known as Sultan Sanjari tiles. Quranic verses and the sayings of Fourteen Masoomeen (A.S.) had been carved on these tiles. The important inscription written around the walls is 80 centimeters wide and inscribed in Thulth script by Ali Reza Abbasi, the famous calligraphist of the Safavid period bearing the Surah Jumah (Friday chapter) of the Holy Quran.
On the walls around the Zarih 104 valuable antique pieces which were presented to the holy shrine of Emam Reza (A.S.) are preserved and exhibited in eight cases.

source : http://www.imamreza.net
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