The Imamzedehs of Mishijan and the Beyn-ul Haramayn

The Imamzedehs[1] of Mishijan and the Beyn-ul Haramayn[2]

[1]  The immediate descendants of Imams I Shia belief (lit. Child of Imam)

[2] The stretch of land between two holy shrines in the Shia belief (lit. between two shrines)

Mishijan Village is located 5 km to the east of Khomein Town in Markazi Province, Iran. Khomein is the birthplace of the founder the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini. Along with a number of neighboring villages, it is also home to the shrines of several Imamzadehs, mostly of the descendants of Imam Musa Kazim, the seventh Shia Imam. The Imam was martyred while imprisoned in 799 AD. This was followed by increased pressure of the Abbasid Caliphs on the Shia Muslims, and by the succession of his son, Ali ibn Musa al-Riza, as the eighth Shia Imam. The Caliph Al-Ma’mun appointed Imam Riza as his successor, a position accepted by the Imam in order to provide further support for the suppressed Shia population. This brought the 8th imam to the province of Khorasan to the northeast of Iran together with scores of Shia practitioners and descendants of the imams who found Iran a secure territory and in turn gathered to support Imam Riza. However, a considerable number of the followers and descendants passed away or were killed, and were buried across the territory. The tombs of these descendants have now turned into holy shrines and havens of peace and prayer for the Iranian pilgrims.

Mishijan is of the few villages which houses two such shrines: one that belongs to two of the Imam’s issues known as Abdullah and Yahya, and the other, the tomb of Ma’sumeh.

The book entitled The History of Khomein (by the late Azizullah Ibrahimi) reads of the Upper Mishijan Village that, “among the older buildings of the village are the shrines of Imamzadeh Abdullah and Imamzadeh Yahya, both buried under the same dome, and that of Imamzadeh Ma’sumeh. All three are the descendants Imam Musa bin Jafar, and are believed by the villagers to be brothers and successors of Imam Musa Kazim.

Other sources also provide the following facts:

Imamzadeh Seyyed Abdullah is the son of Imamzadeh Muhammad Najib-ad Din, who is in turn the tenth generation grandchild of Imam Musa Kazim. Imamzadeh Seyyed Yahya is the son of Imamzadeh Abdul’aziz Ala-ud Din, the ninth generation descendant of Imam Musa Kazim; that is, the shrine belongs to Imamzadeh Abdullah and his uncle Imamzadeh Yahya. Another uncle of Imamzadeh Abdullah is known to be Imamzadeh Seyyed Abd-ul Ali, whose shrine is located in the Lower Reyhan Village of Khomein, while his brother Imamzadeh Suleyman is buried in the village of Sar Abadan in Tafresh.

Made of brick and shaped as circular, domed structures, the pair of shrines date back to the reign of the Safavid kings. Both were restored after the Islamic Revolution of Iran, and the domes are currently covered with gold-plated metal sheets. A wooden inscription over the main entrance contains the following poem:

Muhammad was a servant of Heydar,

And was the one who made efforts to build this door.

His service was of supreme value

In the year 980 AH [1572 AD]

The dedicated servant of this holy shrine

Was the master of carpentry from Kashan[?]

 

As evident in the poem, the building and the door both date back to 1572 AD. It can even be inferred that the structure was constructed earlier, and merely the door was replaced in this year.

The imamzadehs are highly revered by the residents of Mishijan and the neighboring villages, and they have long held the Muharram rituals there with scores mourners of Imam Hussein gathering at the site for pilgrimage and procession rites. There is also a cemetery where scores of visitors gather every Thursday evening to pay respects to the deceased.

What further highlights the presence of the two imamzadeh’s being located in Mishijan and within a distance of 100 meters from one another is the stretch of land between the pair known as the Beyn-ul Haramayn. Such an area is of significant veneration, particularly in the eyes of Shia Muslims, and is seen as sacred. Once bracketed by the shrines of Allah’s pure worshipers, one would feel a more intimate connection to Allah. This sense is exclusive to such a holy stretch.

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(photographer: Reza Rafi’i)

The area is planned by the villagers and other sincere admirers of the Shia Imams to be arranged as to facilitate pilgrimages and visits around the clock.

May we be blessed by the merci of the holy Shia Imams and their revered descendants in the life and the afterlife.

BY : Ali Mohammad Panahi

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