Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque

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Sayidah Zaynab Mosque
مَسْجِد ٱلسَّيِّدَة زَيْنَب
Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque Night.jpg
AffiliationShia Islam
LocationSayyidah Zaynab, Syria
Geographic coordinates33°26′40″N 36°20′27″E / 33.44444°N 36.34083°E / 33.44444; 36.34083Coordinates: 33°26′40″N 36°20′27″E / 33.44444°N 36.34083°E / 33.44444; 36.34083
Architect(s)Rida Mourtada

Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque (Arabic: مَسْجِد ٱلسَّيِّدَة زَيْنَب, romanizedMasjid as-Sayyidah Zaynab) is a mosque located in the city of Sayyidah Zaynab, in the southern suburbs of Damascus, Syria. According to Twelver Shia Muslim tradition, the mosque contains the grave of Zaynab, the daughter of ‘Alī and Fātimah and granddaughter of Muhammad. Ismaili Shia tradition place Zaynab's tomb in the mosque of the same name in Cairo, Egypt. The tomb became a centre of Twelver religious studies in Syria and a destination of mass pilgrimage by Twelver Shia Muslims from across the Muslim world, beginning in the 1980s. The zenith of visitation normally occurs in the summer. The present-day mosque that hosts the tomb was built in 1990.[1]


The shrine of Sayyidah Zainab is located in the south of Damascus where called Al-Sayyida Zainab. This area is part of Damascus Rif Province. The building of the shrine consists of a large courtyard with a square plan. It included a dome and two high Minaret. The Minarets and walls of the courtyard and porches were tiled by Iranian artists, the roof and walls of the shrine were glazed from the inside and the dome was gilded from the outside. On the eastern side of the courtyard, the building of the Zeinabieh's prayer hall with a small courtyard has been built. A new courtyard has also recently been built on the north side of the Holy Shrine.[2]The shrine is sometimes seen by some as a place of miracles.[3]

The shrine has been managed by the Mourtada's (آلُ مُرْتَضَى) family since the fourteenth century.[citation needed] Financially, the shrine has been funded mainly by the Iranian government following 1979.[4] Given their financial investment, the ideological direction of the shrine and the prayer hall follow Ayatollah Khamanei. The Lebanese Hezbollah displays several posters and sets at the shrine.

Several Shia scholars and celebrities such as Seyyed Mohsen Amin Ameli, and Seyyed Hossein Yousef Maki Ameli are buried in the shrine of Sayyidah Zainab and the surrounding cemeteries.[2] Ali Shariati, the Iranian ideologue of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, had wished before his death, to be buried in the yard of Zaynab bint Ali, the descendant of Muhammad and beloved daughter of Imam Ali. His shrine is found within the compound of Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque and is regularly visited by many Iranian pilgrims.[4]

Recent history[edit]

On 27 September 2008, a car bomb attack took place on the intersection leading up to the mosque, killing 17 people.[5][6]

On 14 June 2012, the town became the target of a suicide car bomb attack where around 14 people were heavily wounded.[citation needed]

Since mid-summer 2012, the town has been under attack from armed militants in neighbouring Sunni towns. Many Shia and pro government families were driven out of their homes in southern Damascus and sought refuge in Sayyidah Zaynab. Constant shelling became more frequent in this predominantly Shia town, and rockets landing on random places in the town became common.

On 31 January 2016, at least 60 people were killed in three bomb blasts in the Koa sodhda area, near the shrine.[7][8] At least another 110 people were also wounded in the blasts, caused car bombs.[9]

According to the Times of Israel on 21 May 2022, citing a Twitter, account which follows Israeli military activity in Syria, it was alleged that "the strikes targeted sites in the suburb of Sayyidah Zaynab, south of Damascus".[10]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Matthiesen, Toby. Syria: Inventing a Religious War. The New York Review of Books. 2013-06-12.
  2. ^ a b "درباره حرم حضرت زینب(س)".
  3. ^ Edith Szanto, “Contesting Fragile Saintly Traditions: Miraculous Healing among Twelver Shi‘is in Contemporary Syria,” in Politics of Worship in the Contemporary Middle East: Sainthood in Fragile States, edited by Andreas Bandak and Mikkel Bille (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 33-52.
  4. ^ a b Sabrina MERVIN, « Sayyida Zaynab, Banlieue de Damas ou nouvelle ville sainte chiite ? », Cahiers d'Etudes sur la Méditerranée Orientale et le monde Turco-Iranien [Online], 22 | 1996, Online since 01 March 2005, connection on 19 October 2014. URL :
  5. ^ "Syria condemns Damascus car bombing as "cowardly terrorist act"". Xinhua. 27 September 2008. Archived from the original on September 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
  6. ^ Aji, Albert; Mroue, Bassem (2008-09-27). "Car bomb kills 17 in tightly controlled Syria". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
  7. ^ "Suicide car explosion kills 8 and wounds 15 in Sayeda Zainab". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  8. ^ "Deadly blast near Syria shrine". BBC News.
  9. ^ "Several killed in blasts near Syria Sayyida Zeinab shrine". El Arabiya.
  10. ^ "explosions rock syrian capital in alleged israeli airstrikes". Time of Israel.

External links[edit]