Al-Askari Shrine in Samarra

Al-Askari Shrine

Al-Askari Shrine is located in Samarra in the Salah al-Din Governorate, 2 km from the minaret of Al-Malviya, about 129 km north of Baghdad.

Imam Ali Al-Hadi: He is the tenth imam in Shiite Islam. A descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.

Imam al-Hasan al-Askari: He is the eleventh imam in Shiite Islam.

The Shi’a believe that Imam al-Mahdi is the only son of Imam Hasan al-Askari (the 11th Imam) who was born on the 15th of Sha’ban 255/869 in Samarra, Iraq. He became the divinely appointed Imam when his father was martyred in 260/874. Imam al-Mahdi went into occultation (disappearance; leaving among people while he is not identified) at the same time. He will re-appear when Allah wills.

The mausoleum was rebuilt by the order of Nasser al-Dawla al-Hamdani. The dome is one of the largest in the Islamic world, with a circumference of 68 meters, covered with 72,000 pieces of gold.

On both sides of the golden dome, there are two large minarets with a height of 36 meters. Prince Muzhad Mirza, uncle of Nasir al-Din Shah, spent a lot of money on the work of gilding the minarets.

The Askari Shrine is one of four shrines in Iraq sanctified by Shiite Muslims. The other three shrines are located in Kadhimiya in Baghdad, Karbala and Najaf.

The shrine is visited by thousands of Shiite Muslims annually from Iraq and other countries.

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