• Holy Burial Chamber or Za`Ri

      The term za`ri or holy burial chamber refers to the four-sided lattice structure over the casket of the holy Imam (pbuh). Over the tears, the holy burial chamber was replaced five times.

      The first chamber is thought to have been installed in 957 AH/1550 CE during the Safavid dynasty.it was made of wood with gold and silver foil. The second za`ri was installed in 1160 AH/1747 CE by order of Shahrokh Timurid. This chamber has been removed and placed downstairs.it was made of wood and more than 2000 tiny rubies and emeralds. The third chamber was installed in 1238 AH/1822 CE and was referred to as the Negin Neshan or Gemstone marker because it was decorated with precious gems as well. It was also had a small door studded by gems on the order of Fath Ali Shah, which is now on display in the western part of the room that holds the burial chamber. The forth za`ri made of gold and silver and referred to as Shir va Shekar or Milk and Sugar because by far this was the most elaborate design of all the za`ris. It was done by master craftsmen and adorned with calligraphy with some in embossed gold. On top are 44 vases and gold and silver sheeting.

      The present chamber was installed in 2001, to replace the previous one installed in 1959. Due to the great pressure put on the chambers by millions of pilgrims every year, a new one was commissioned and the project was overseen and design by the master artist Mahmud Farshchian. It took eight years to build and it has a wood frame of iron, steel, and walnut wood and covered with silver and gold and weighs 12 tons.

      On all sides of the za`ri, Quranic verses of Ya Seen and Hal Ata are inscribed in gold and silver with Thoth script. There are 14 arched lattice windows for the 14 holy imams (pbht); the five and eight petal flowers on the façade symbolize the holy Prophet Mohammad, the honored Fatemeh, Imam Ali, Imam Hasan, Imam Hossain and the eight imam (pbut). The sunflowers on the façade refer to the Imam`s title Sham al-Shomous or the sun of suns. The beautiful name of the God decorates the exterior as well, which were done by the master calligrapher Keshti Ara Shirazi.



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