WASHINGTON D.C.: The Shia Muslim Foundation (SMF) profoundly condemns the violent act carried out on the significant Shāh Chérāgh shrine in Shiraz, southern Iran. This unwarranted attack led to the tragic loss of an innocent life and left eight individuals injured.
The Shāh Chérāgh, which translates to "King of the Light" in Persian, is a prominent religious and historical site located in the central part of Shiraz. It stands as the mausoleum for Ahmed bin Musa and his brother Muhammad, both direct descendants of Imam Mūsā al-Kādhim (peace be upon him). Ahmed bin Musa, while on his journey to meet his brother Imam Ali Rida (peace be upon him), is believed to have been martyred by the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun in Shiraz.
The significance of the Shāh Chérāgh is deeply rooted in Shia Islam's history. It was identified as a religious site when a radiant light was observed emanating from a grave. Upon investigation, the grave revealed a warrior with a ring engraved with "The Pride belongs to God, Ahmad son of Musa," confirming its importance as the final resting place of the sons of Imam Mūsā al-Kādhim (peace be upon him).
Historical records indicate that in the 9th century, Sultan Mir Ahmad, a brother to Imam Ali Rida (peace be upon him), was laid to rest beside the tomb of his own brother, Muhammad. Its prominence as a pilgrimage destination grew in the 14th century when Queen Tashi Khatun authorized the construction of an adjoining mosque and theological school.
Rahat Husain, Executive Director of SMF, stated, "The unprovoked attack on such a vital symbol of our faith is deeply saddening. We express our solidarity with the victims and their families and call upon leaders worldwide to denounce these heinous acts unequivocally."
Given this distressing event, and in conjunction with President Biden's recent acknowledgment of the importance of Ashura, the SMF underscores the imperative of fostering global awareness and respect for Shia landmarks and their profound historical significance.
We earnestly implore the global community and individuals of all faiths to unite in opposing such acts and to collaborate in upholding the sanctity and respect for religious landmarks.