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Al Abbas Mosque

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Al-‘Abbās Mosque

Shrine of ‘Abbās ibn `Alī, brother of Husayn

Basic information
Location Iraq Karbalā, Iraq
Geographic coordinates 32°37′1.88″N 44°2′10.38″E / 32.6171889°N 44.0362167°E / 32.6171889; 44.0362167Coordinates: 32°37′1.88″N 44°2′10.38″E / 32.6171889°N 44.0362167°E / 32.6171889; 44.0362167
Affiliation Shia Islam

The Al-‘Abbās Mosque or Masjid al-‘Abbās (Arabic: مسجد الامام العباس‎) is the mausoleum of ‘Abbās ibn ‘Alī, located across from the Imām Husayn Mosque in Karbalā, Iraq. ‘Abbās was the brother Hasan and Husayn, and was the flag-bearer for Husayn in the Battle of Karbalā. The distance between the shrines of ‘Abbās and Husayn, are the same as the distance between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah.

Environmental effects over the years have caused the Euphrates river to change direction.[1] Nearly 1400 years after the Battle of Karbalā, the river flows across the grave of ‘Abbās and encircles it.[1] It is said that the Euphrates has come to ‘Abbās now.

History and design

Emperors and kings of various dynasties have offered valuable gifts and gems to the shrine of ‘Abbās. History of the current structure began in 1622 with Abbas Shah Safavi, who ordered the decoration of the grave's dome. He also built a window around the grave and organized the precinct[2].

Majority of the modern design was done by Persian and Central Asian architects. The central pear shaped dome is an ornately decorated structure with two tall minarets on its sides. The tomb is covered with pure gold and surrounded by a trellis of silver, along with Iranian carpets rolled out on the floors.[3] During 2008 construction work continued with the aims of creating partially gilded minarets.[4]


Year Event
61 680 October 10: ‘Abbās was said to have been buried at the location on this day
1032 1622 Abbas Shah Safavi decorated the dome of shrine, built glass encasings around the grave, arranged the porticoes and the yard, constructed the lobby of the first gate of the sanctuary, and sent precious carpets from Iran.[2][5]
1115 1703 Nadir Shah sent gifts to the shrine and had it further decorated.[5]
1117 1705 The vizier of Nadir Shah visited the shrine, reconstructed the porticoes, remade the encasings around the grave, and added a chandelier.[5]
1216 1801 Wahhabis attacked Karbalā, damaged the shrine, and robbed all precious decorative items.[5]
1232 1817 Fat'h ‘Alī Shāh Qājār reconstructed the dome of the shrine, gifted new chandeliers and lustrous pieces of decoration to the holy shrines, and had other constructions carried out.[5]
1355 1936 The custodian of the shrine by the name of Sayyid Murtadhā, rebuilt the silver gate found in the golden hallway leading towards the room of the tomb.[5]
1411 1991 March: A violent uprising against the regime of Saddam Hussein occurs in the city, following the Persian Gulf War.
1415 1994 Repairs to the shrine from the damage done in 1991 are finally completed.[6]
1425 2004 March 2: At least 6 explosions[7] occurred during the ‘Āshūrā' commemorations, killing 85 people and wounding 230.[8][9]
1426 2006 January 5: Suicide bombers among the crowd between the two shrines killed at least 60 people and injured more than 100.[10][11]
1428 2007 April 28: A suicide car bomber killed at least 58 people and wounded 170 others as people were heading towards evening prayers.[12][13]
1429 2008 September 11: A bomb was detonated 500m from the shrine which killed one civilian, wounded 3 others, and damaged buildings in the area.[14]

Image gallery

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 KaraÌraviÌ, NajmulhÌ£asan (January 1, 1974). Biography of Hazrat Abbas. Peermahomed Ebrahim Trust. ASIN B0007AIWQW. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 History of the Shrines in Karbala
  3. Muhammad, Yousaf (December 2001). Al-Abbas (AS) - Rajul Al-Aqidah Wal Jehad. Islamic Republic of Iran. 
  4. "مشروع تذهيب منارتي الحرم العباسي المقدس" (in Arabic). Retrieved 2009-12-17. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 at-Tabrizi, Abu Talib (2001). Ahmed Haneef. ed. Al-Abbas Peace be Upon Him. Abdullah Al-Shahin. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. pp. 75–76. 
  6. Paul Lewis (August 13, 1994). "Karbala Journal; Who Hit the Mosques? Not Us, Baghdad Says". New York Times. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  7. "In pictures: Karbala blasts". BBC News. 2 March 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  8. "Iraq Shias massacred on holy day". BBC News. 2 March 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  9. "Deadly attacks rock Baghdad, Karbala". March 2, 2004 Posted: 2:41 PM EST (1941 GMT). Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  10. "Iraq suicide bomb blasts kill 120". BBC News. 5 January 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  11. "Up to 130 Killed in Iraq, Drawing a Shiite Warning". The New York Times. January 6, 2006. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  12. "Car bomb attack near Shiite shrines kills dozens". 4:35 a.m. EDT, April 29, 2007. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  13. "Bomb kills many in Iraq holy city". BBC News. 28 April 2007. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  14. Jomana Karadsheh (Thu September 11, 2008). "3 killed in Iraq shrine bombings". Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
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