In addition to the three Mosques accepted by all Muslims as holy sites, Shī'ah Muslims consider sites associated with Muhammad, his family members and descendants (including the Shī‘ah Imāms), his companions, and the Prophets as holy places.

Holy sites accepted by all Muslims

Masjid al-Harām in Makkah, Saudi Arabia


Masjid al-Harām ("The Sacred Mosque"), is a large mosque in the city of Makkah, and the largest in Islam. It surrounds the Kaaba, the place which all Muslims turn towards each day in prayer, considered by Muslims to be the holiest place on Earth.

The current structure covers an area of 356,800 square meters including the outdoor and indoor praying spaces and can accommodate up to 820,000 worshippers during the Hajj period. During the Hajj period, the mosque is unable to contain the multitude of pilgrims, who pray on the outlining streets. More than 2 million worshippers gather to pray during Eid prayers.[1]

According to the teachings of Islam, God in the Qur'an used the word Mosque when referring to the sites established by Abraham and his progeny as houses of worship to God centuries before the revelation of the Qur'an. The first of these spots is Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and the second is Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Before Mecca and Jerusalem came under Muslim control between 630 CE and 638 CE, the site of the Kaaba, which was supposedly established by Abraham and Ishmael, was used by non-Muslim Arabs who worshipped multiple gods.

And when We assigned to Abraham the place of the House (Kaaba), saying: Do not associate with Me aught, and purify My House for those who make the circuit and stand to pray and bow and prostrate themselves.

Qur'an[Qur'an 22:26]

And when Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundations of the House (Kaaba): Our Lord! accept from us; surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing.

Qur'an[Qur'an 2:127]

File:Masjid Nabawi. Medina, Saudi Arabia.jpg

Masjid-an-Nabawi in Madīnah, Saudi Arabia

Masjid al-Nabawi ("Mosque of the Prophet"), located in Madīnah, is the second holiest site in Islam.

The edifice was originally Muhammad's house; he settled there after his Hijrah (emigration) to Medina, and later built a mosque on the grounds. He himself shared in the heavy work of construction. The original mosque was an open-air building, with no gender separation. The mosque also served as a community center, a court, and a religious school. There was a raised platform for the people who taught the Qur'an. The basic plan of the building has been adopted in the building of other mosques throughout the world.

The original mosque was built by the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Subsequent Islamic rulers greatly expanded and decorated the mosque. The most important feature of the site is the green dome over the center of the mosque, where the tomb of Muhammad is located. Constructed in 1817C.E. and painted green in 1839C.E., it is known as the Dome of the Prophet.[2]

Holy sites accepted by all Shī‘ah Muslims

Imām ‘Alī Mosque in Najaf, Iraq

Meshed ali usnavy (PD)

Exterior view of Imām ‘Alī Mosque

Imām ‘Alī Mosque contains the tomb of:

Also buried within this mosque:

‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islāmic prophet Muhammad. He is considered by Shi‘ah tradition to be the first legitimate caliph and the first Imām due to the proclamation given by Muhammad. The site is visited annually by at least 8 million pilgrims on average, which is estimated to increase to 20 million in years to come.[5]

Many Shī‘ah believe that ‘Alī did not want his grave to be desecrated by his enemies and consequently asked his friends and family to bury him secretly. This secret gravesite is supposed to have been revealed later during the Abbasid caliphate by Ja‘far as-Sādiq, the Sixth Shī‘ah Imām.[6] Most Shī‘as accept that ‘Alī is buried in Imām ‘Alī Mosque, in what is now the city of Najaf (which grew around the shrine).[7]

It has also been narrated from Ja‘far as-Sādiq, the 6th Imām, that Imām ‘Alī Mosque is the third of five holy places: Makkah, Madīnah, Imām ‘Alī Mosque in Najaf, Imam Husayn Shrine in Karbalā, and the Shrine for Fātimah - daughter of Mūsā al-Kādhim in Qom.[8]

“God chose that land [Najaf] as the abode of the Prophets. I swear to God that no one more honourable than the Commander of the Believers [Ali] has ever lived there after (the time of) his purified fathers, Ādam and Nūh.”[9]

Ja‘far as-Sādiq

Imām Husayn Mosque in Karbalā, Iraq

Kerbela Hussein Moschee

Imām Husayn Mosque in Karbalā. Two tall minarets of Al-‘Abbās Mosque are also seen in the picture.

Imām Husayn Mosque contains the tombs of:

The mosque stands on the site of the grave of Husayn ibn ‘Alī, where he was killed during the Battle of Karbalā in 680.[10][11] Up to a million pilgrims visit the city to observe ‘Āshūrā, which marks the anniversary of Husayn ibn ‘Alī's death.[12] There are many Shī‘ah traditions which narrate the status of Karbalā:

“Karbalā, where your grandson and his family will be killed, is the most blessed and the most sacred land on Earth and it is one of the valleys of Paradise.”[13]

—The archangel Gabriel

“God chose the land of Karbalā as a safe and blessed sanctuary twenty-four thousand years before He created the land of the Ka‘bah and chose it as a sanctuary. Verily it [Karbalā] will shine among the gardens of Paradise, like a shining star shines among the stars for the people of Earth.”[14]

‘Alī Zaynul ‘Ābidīn

“Not one night passes in which Gabriel and Michael do not go to visit him [Husayn].”[15]

Ja‘far as-Sādiq


Jannatul Baqī‘ cemetery in Madīnah

Jannatul Baqī‘ in Madīnah, Saudi Arabia

Jannatul Baqī‘ is a cemetery located across from Masjid an-Nabawi and contains the tombs of:

It is also thought that the real grave of Fatimatuz-Zahra', daughter of Muhammad, lies here as well.

Sit Zaynab

Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque in Damascus

Jannatul Mu‘alla Cemetery in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

The Jannatul Mu‘alla cemetery contains the graves of many relatives of Muhammad, held in high esteem by the Shī‘ah, including:

Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque in Damascus, Syria


Al-‘Abbās Mosque in Karbalā

The Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque contains the tomb of:

Al-‘Abbās Mosque in Karbalā, Iraq

The Al-‘Abbās Mosque is located directly across from the Imām Husayn Mosque, and contains the tomb of:

Millions of pilgrims visit the shrine and pay homage to it every year. The real grave of Abbas is beneath the masoulem, and is present in the shrine.[18] Emperors and kings of various dynasties have offered valuable gifts and gems to the shrine of Abbas. It was designed by Persian and Central Asian architects. The brilliant splash of colors on the exterior and interior of the shrine are impressive. The central pear shaped dome is an ornately decorated structure. On its sides stand two tall minarets. The tomb is covered with pure gold and surrounded by a trellis of silver. Iranian carpets are rolled out on the floors.[19]


Sayyidah Ruqayya Mosque in Damascus

Sayyidah Ruqayya Mosque in Damascus, Syria

The Sayyidah Ruqayya Mosque contains the tomb of:

Bāb Saghīr Cemetery in Damascus, Syria

The Bāb Saghīr cemetery contains the graves of many relatives of Muhammad as well as sites related to the tragedy of Karbalā. Some of the figures laid to rest here include:


Shrine of Bibi Shahrbānū in Tehran, Iran

Other tombs for the family of Imāms

There are many tombs of the various descendants of the Imāms (often called Imāmzādeh). Some of them include:

File:IMG 1218.jpg

Other places associated with Muhammad

Places associated with Imāms, Prophets & Karbalā


Blood-stained stone within Masjid al-Nuqtah in Aleppo

Mosques associated with companions of Muhammad and the Imāms

Holy sites specific to Twelver Shī‘ah Muslims

Imām Ridhā Mosque in Mashhad, Iran

File:Imam Ali Reza.jpg

Imām Ridhā Mosque contains the tomb of:

Imām Ridhā is believed, by members of the Shī‘ah, to have been poisoned there upon orders of Caliph Al Ma'mun and the place was subsequently called, Mashhad ar-Ridhā (the place of martyrdom of ‘Alī ar-Ridhā). By the end of the 9th century a dome was built on the grave and many buildings and Bazaars sprang up around it. For years totalling more than a millennium, the mosque was destroyed and reconstructed several times.[20]

Nowadays Imām Ridhā shrine in Mashhad, Iran, is a complex which contains the mausoleum of Imām Ridhā, the eighth Imām of Twelvers. Also found within the complex is a museum, library, cemetery, mosque and seminaries. Today the holy shrine and its museum hold one of the most extensive cultural and artistic treasuries of Iran, in particular manuscript books and paintings. Several important theological schools are associated with the shrine of the Eighth Imam. As a city of great religious significance, it is also a place of pilgrimage. It is said that the rich go to Makkah but the poor journey to Mashhad. Thus, even as those who complete the pilgrimage to Makkah receive the title of Haji, those who make the pilgrimage to Mashhad–and especially to the Imam Ridha shrine–are known as Mashtee, a term employed also of its inhabitants. It is thought that over 20 million Muslims a year make the pilgrimage to Mashhad. It is generally considered to be the holiest Shiite shrine in Iran, and is sometimes ranked as the third holiest Shiite shrine in the world.[21]

Al-Khadhumain shrine in baghdad

Al Kādhimiya Mosque in Baghdād

Al Kādhimiyya Mosque in Baghdād, Iraq

The Al Kādhimiyya Mosque contains the tombs of:

Also buried within this mosque:

Some consider the mosque the third holiest in Shi'ite Islām.[22][23]

Al ‘Askarī Mosque in Sāmarrā, Iraq

Al-Askari Mosque 2006

Al-Askari Mosque after the first bombing in 2006

The Al ‘Askarī Mosque contains the tombs of:

Also buried within this mosque:

The cellar from which the Twelfth or "Hidden" Imām, Muħammad al-Mahdī disappeared from view is also found within this mosque.

At the time of the Al-Askari bombing in Samarra, it was reported that the mosque was one of Shiite Islam's holiest sites, only exceeded by the shrines of Najaf and Karbala.[24]


Jamkarān Mosque in Qom

Mosques associated with the Twelfth Shī‘ah Imām

The final Imām, considered to be alive and in occultation, has the following two Mosque's associated with him:

Fātimah al-Ma‘sūmah Mosque in Qom, Iran

The Fātimah al-Ma‘sūmah Mosque contains the tomb of:

Located in Qom, Iran, some consider the Fātimah al-Ma‘sūmah Mosque to be the third holiest shrine in Shī‘ah Islām.[8] The shrine has attracted to itself dozens of seminaries and religious schools. Shah Abbas I built the shrine complex in the early 17th century.[25]

Honor Maasoome-Ghom-Iran

Fātimah al-Ma‘sūmah Mosque in Qom

Tombs of other family members of Muhammad

See also

Further reading

  • Aghaie, Kamran Scot (2004). The Martyrs of Karbala: Shi'i Symbols and Rituals in Modern Iran. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0295984481
  • Majlisi, Mohammad Baqer (in Arabic). Bihar al-Anwar V.97. 
  • Zabeth, Hyder Reza (1999). Landmarks of Mashhad. Alhoda UK. ISBN 9644442210. 


  1. [1]
  2. Encyclopedia of the orient
  3. 3.0 3.1 al-Qummi, Ja'far ibn Qūlawayh (2008). "10". Kāmil al-Ziyārāt. trans. Sayyid Mohsen al-Husaini al-Mīlāni. Press. pp. 66–67. 
  4. 4.0 4.1
  5. "Red tape curbs profits from Iraq religious tourism". Reuters. Retrieved May 9, 2009. 
  6. Majlesi, V.97, p. 246-251
  7. Redha, Mohammad; Mohammad Agha (1999). Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (Imam Ali the Fourth Caliph, 1/1 Volume). Dar Al Kotob Al ilmiyah. ISBN 2-7451-2532-X. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Escobar, Pepe (May 24, 2002). "Knocking on heaven's door". Central Asia/Russia. Asia Times Online. Retrieved 2006-11-12. "To give a measure of its importance, according to a famous hadith (saying) - enunciated with pleasure by the guardians of the shrine - we learn that ‘our sixth imam, Imam Sadeg, says that we have five definitive holy places that we respect very much. The first is Mecca, 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 Kerbala. The last one belongs to the daughter of our seventh imam and sister of our eighth imam, who is called Fatemah, 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.’" 
  9. al-Qummi, Ja'far ibn Qūlawayh (2008). "10". Kāmil al-Ziyārāt. trans. Sayyid Mohsen al-Husaini al-Mīlāni. Press. p. 67. 
  10. Shimoni & Levine, 1974, p. 160.
  11. Aghaie, 2004, pp. 10-11.
  12. "Interactive Maps: Sunni & Shia: The Worlds of Islam". PBS. Retrieved June 9, 2007. 
  13. al-Qummi, Ja'far ibn Qūlawayh (2008). "Addendum before chapter 89". Kāmil al-Ziyārāt. trans. Sayyid Mohsen al-Husaini al-Mīlāni. Press. p. 545. 
  14. al-Qummi, Ja'far ibn Qūlawayh (2008). "88". Kāmil al-Ziyārāt. trans. Sayyid Mohsen al-Husaini al-Mīlāni. Press. p. 534. 
  15. al-Qummi, Ja'far ibn Qūlawayh (2008). "88". Kāmil al-Ziyārāt. trans. Sayyid Mohsen al-Husaini al-Mīlāni. Press. p. 536. 
  16. "Saudi Arabia". Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  17. Holy sites in Saudi Arabia
  18. KaraÌraviÌ, NajmulhÌ£asan (January 1, 1974). Biography of Hazrat Abbas. Peermahomed Ebrahim Trust. ASIN B0007AIWQW. 
  19. Muhammad, Yousaf (December 2001). Al-Abbas (AS) - Rajul Al-Aqidah Wal Jehad. Islamic Republic of Iran. 
  20. Zabeth (1999) pp. 12-16
  21. "Sacred Sites: Mashhad, Iran". Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  22. Robertson, Hamish (March 3, 2004). "Iraq suicide bombings: an eyewitness account". The World Today. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2006-11-12. "After the bombing of the Al Kadhimiya Mosque, Middle East correspondent of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Nahlah Ayed, reported that “ front of the Kadhimiya Mosque, the third holiest site for Shia Muslims" 
  23. "Iraq blasts kill 143 on Shiite holy day". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. March 2, 2004. Retrieved 2006-11-12. "‘After the blast, all you could see was death everywhere you looked,’ said Ahmed Kamil Ibrahim, a guard at the Kazimiya shrine in Baghdad, the third-holiest in Shiite Islam." 
  24. Gosh, Aparisim (March 6, 2006). "An Eye For an Eye". Time Magazine. pp. Cover Story.,9171,1167741,00.html. Retrieved 2006-11-12. "That makes al-Askari one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest sites, exceeded in veneration only by the shrines of Najaf and Karbala. Even Samarra's Sunnis hold al-Askari in high esteem. The expression "to swear by the shrine" is routinely used by both communities."  Editor's note: Quote is found on third page of article.</span> </li>
  25. "Today's Top StoriesQom Province". Retrieved 2006-12-18. "Shrine of Hazrat Masoumeh, sister of Imam Reza, one of Iran's holiest places, is in Qom."  </li></ol>
pt:Lugares sagrados do Islamismo

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