Shah Abdol-Azim Shrine

Coordinates: 35°35′08″N 51°26′07″E / 35.58556°N 51.43528°E / 35.58556; 51.43528
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Shah Abdolazim (Abdol-Azim) Shrine
شاه عبدالعظیم
AffiliationShia Islam
ProvinceTehran Province
LocationRey, Iran
MunicipalityRay County
Shah Abdol-Azim Shrine is located in Iran
Shah Abdol-Azim Shrine
Shown within Iran
Geographic coordinates35°35′08″N 51°26′07″E / 35.58556°N 51.43528°E / 35.58556; 51.43528
Completed9th century

The Shāh Abdol-Azīm Shrine (Persian: شاه عبدالعظیم), also known as Shabdolazim,[1][2][3] located in Rey, Iran, contains the tomb of ‘Abdul ‘Adhīm ibn ‘Abdillāh al-Hasanī[4] (aka Shah Abdol Azim). Shah Abdol Azim was a fifth generation descendant of Hasan ibn ‘Alī[4] and a companion of Muhammad al-Taqī.[4] He was entombed here after his death in the 9th century.

Adjacent to the shrine, within the complex, include the mausolea of Imamzadeh Tahir (son of the fourth Shia Imam Sajjad) and Imamzadeh Hamzeh (brother of the eighth Twelver Imām - Imām Reza).


Abdol Azim migrated to Rayy out of persecution[4] and subsequently died there. A piece of paper was found in his pocket outlining his ancestry as being: ‘Abdul ‘Adhīm son of ‘Abdillāh son of ‘Alī son of Hasan son of Zayd son of Hasan ibn ‘Alī.[4] Shah Abdol Azim was sent to Rayy ( Modern day Tehran) by Imam Reza. His journey was full of hardships but he successfully reached there and delivered the message of Imam. He was one of the pious persons of his time. During his journey many spies of Abbasid Caliph Al-Matawakkil tried to capture him but failed. A movie on the life of Shah Abdol Azim Al-Hasani has been made and is available in Persian and Urdu languages.

History and design[edit]

Courtyard and iwan portal

Ibn Qūlawayh al-Qummī (d. 978 CE) "includes the shrine in his Kāmil al-Ziyārāt, one of the earliest pilgrimage guides for the Shiʿa, which suggests that the tomb of ʿAbd al-Aẓīm was already of some importance by the tenth century."[5][6] The tomb of Abdol-Azim had also come under the patronage of Sunni rulers at times, a notable example being the mausoleum constructed over Abdol-Azim's tomb in the 1090s CE by orders of the Seljuk vizier Majd al-Mulk Asʿad b. Muḥammad b. Mūsā.[7][8][9][10]

The whole construction consists of a portal with a lofty Iwan decorated with mirrors, several courtyards, a golden cupola, two tile minarets, a portico, a sepulcher, and a mosque.

The most historical and portable relic of this holy place, is its costly box which is made of betel-nut wood. On four sides of this precious box, a relief inscription in Nastaliq and Thuluth characters, is carved. The inscription ends with the date 1330 CE, and the name of the maker of the box, i.e., Yahya ibn Muhammad al-Isfahani.

An inlaid door near the mausoleum of Nasser al-Din Shah, (This place used to be called Masjid-i-Holaku, prior to its being turned into a tomb) which bears the date 1450 CE, i.e., the period of Shah-rokh Bahadur Timurid`s reign, constitutes another historical relic of this structure.

Two antique iron doors which are engraved with Kufic inscriptions are to be found in the treasure-house of the (Astaneh), which seem to be the oldest remains of this structure and to belong to the Seljukid period. But, at present, these two doors and the concluding part of their inscriptions bear the date 1538. Further, there is an inlaid door which had formerly been installed in the northern part of the ivan of Imamzadeh Hamzeh.

Inside Shrine

This door has an inscription in Tulth calligraphy, dated 1512. The cupola of this structure has been built upon the order of Majd al-Mulk radestani Qomi, and later on has been plated with gold. The ivan, portico and portal of the building date from the reign of Shah Tahmasp I (Safavid king). The gold-threaded silk belonging to the Safavid period. The silver-plated sepulcher has been made and installed by the order of Fath Ali Shah Qajar. The mirror-work, paintings and gildings of the structure belong to the 19th century. Reparations are still being carried out in this complex of holy structures. Adjoining this holy tomb, there are some other tombs belonging to the Qajar monarchs, and the Ulamahs (religious scholars) and other personalities.

Notable Burials[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Abdol Azim Hasani
  2. ^ Shrine of Shah Abdol-Azim
  3. ^ Shah Abd al-Azim
  4. ^ a b c d e al-Qummi, Ja'far ibn Qūlawayh (2008). "107". Kāmil al-Ziyārāt. trans. Sayyid Mohsen al-Husaini al-Mīlāni. Press. p. 658.
  5. ^ Ibn Qūlawayh al-Qummī, Kāmil al-Ziyārāt (Beirut, 1418/1997), pp. 536-537
  6. ^[bare URL PDF]
  7. ^ ʿAbd al-Jalīl b. Abū al-Ḥasan al-Qazwīnī (fl. 1189), Kitāb al-Naqḍ (Tehran, 1371/1952), p. 220
  8. ^ W. Barthold, An Historical Geography of Iran (Princeton, 1984), p. 127
  9. ^ Sheila Blair, The Monumental Inscriptions from Early Islamic Iran and Tran-soxania (Leiden, 1992), p. 185
  10. ^ Leisten, Architektur für Tote, pp. 240-241.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kondo, Nobuaki (2018). "State and Shrine in Iran: Waqf Administration of the Shah ͑ Abd al-͑ Azim Shrine under the Qajars". In Miura, Toru (ed.). Comparative Study of the Waqf from the East: Dynamism of Norm and Practice in Religious and Familial Donations. Tokyo. pp. 1–25.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  • Kondo, Nobuaki The Shah ʿAbd al-ʿAzim Shrine and its Vaqf under the Safavids.[1]