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The Transnational MosqueArchitecture and Historical Memory in the Contemporary Middle East$
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Kishwar Rizvi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469621166

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621166.001.0001

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Iran and Shiʿi Pilgrimage Networks

Iran and Shiʿi Pilgrimage Networks

A Postrevolutionary Ideology

Chapter:
(p.107) 3 Iran and Shiʿi Pilgrimage Networks
Source:
The Transnational Mosque
Author(s):

Kishwar Rizvi

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621166.003.0004

Commemoration is central to the rituals of devotion and nationalism enacted in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This chapter pertains to Shiʿi networks that have moved beyond national boundaries to create new regional zones of influence. For example, the mosque-shrine complex of Sayyida Zaynab in Damascus, serves local Shiʿi residents as well as the multitude of pilgrims arriving from faraway places. Renovations since 1990 resemble sixteenth-century Safavid architecture, thanks to the patronage of the Iranian. Just as the Islamic Republic is disseminating an aesthetic and religious ideology abroad, at home the architectural typology is reverting to the wide-scale construction of musallās throughout the country. In Tehran the Imam Khomeini Musallā (opened 2013) is a gigantic monument, simultaneously imitating the Arch of Ctesiphon in Iraq and the great mosques of Isfahan. The first reference is to recent history—namely, the Iran-Iraq War, which ended in 1988, and the second is a marker of the Shiʿi ideology asserted in Iran in the sixteenth century. This temporal collapse marks the mutability of religious experience and the ways in which architectural signification is manipulated.

Keywords:   Islamic Republic of Iran, Shi’ism, Commemoration, Safavid architecture, Sayyida Zaynab, Shrines, Damascus, Imam Khomeini Musallā, Tehran, Iran-Iraq War

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