top of page

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.

Washington, D.C. – July 12, 2023 – The Shia Muslim Foundation (SMF) is honored to acknowledge and appreciate the recent tweet by Senator Gary Peters, Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, recognizing the sacrifice of Imam Husain, a pivotal figure in Shia Islam.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, led by Senator Peters, is renowned for its influential role in maintaining national security, examining government efficiency, and ensuring public safety. The committee's focus includes critical aspects of the U.S. government that affect American lives daily. It is instrumental in developing policies that keep our homeland secure, ensure efficient governmental operations, and protect civil rights.

Senator Peters' recognition of Ashura and the values it signifies, such as sacrifice, justice, and equality, is not just an acknowledgment of a significant religious observance but also signifies a shared understanding of these universal values, central to the mission of his committee and the American ethos at large. This resonates deeply with the Shia Muslim community that finds these values embodied in the life and sacrifice of Imam Husain.

This tweet comes accompanying President Biden's acknowledgement of Ashura, reinforcing the importance of these shared values at the highest levels of U.S. leadership.

Rahat Husain, the Executive Director of SMF in Washington DC, applauded these gestures, saying, "Such acknowledgments from leading political figures like Senator Peters and President Biden, help to foster inclusivity, mutual respect, and understanding among diverse communities. It also strengthens our shared commitment to the values of justice, equality, and sacrifice, mirrored in both the American spirit and the ethos of Ashura."

The Shia Muslim Foundation will continue to work tirelessly to foster understanding and dialogue around Shia Muslim traditions and values, promoting a more inclusive society. It appreciates the commitment demonstrated by Senator Peters and President Biden to uphold and highlight these values that serve to unify us as a nation.

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 27, 2023 — The Shia Muslim Foundation (SMF) today extended its heartfelt gratitude to President Joe Biden for his thoughtful acknowledgement of Ashura and the profound sacrifice of Imam Husain (as).

In a tweet that touched the hearts of Shia Muslims across the nation, President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden recognized the observance of Ashura, expressing solidarity with the Muslim community and honouring the profound values of sacrifice, justice, and equality. This important acknowledgement is not just a tribute to Imam Husain, but also a testament to the inclusive and diverse nature of the United States.

"We are sincerely grateful to President Biden for his recognition and understanding of our faith and its significant observances," said Rahat Husain, Executive Director of the Shia Muslim Foundation. "Imam Husain (as) is a beacon of resilience and integrity for Shia Muslims, and his sacrifice in the Battle of Karbala underscores the ultimate stand against oppression and injustice. President Biden's tweet reflects a deep respect for these shared human values."

The SMF, with its ongoing commitment to promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding, helped in facilitating the President's message. By continuously educating and engaging with local and national leaders, the SMF aims to strengthen the representation of Shia Muslims and foster an environment of mutual respect and understanding.

Imam Husain’s sacrifice is a cornerstone of Shia Muslim faith, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to justice, integrity, and the dignity of all people, regardless of their background or faith. President Biden's recognition of Ashura is therefore not only an honour to Imam Husain but also a clear message of unity and respect for diversity.

"Through our ongoing efforts, we hope to foster a better understanding of Shia Islam and its valuable contributions to our diverse society," Husain added. "We look forward to more instances of interfaith and cross-cultural dialogue like this, which contribute significantly to the strength and vibrancy of our nation."

The Shia Muslim Foundation is deeply committed to promoting social justice, mutual respect, and understanding, values that align with the teachings of Imam Husain. We are heartened by President Biden's message and remain steadfast in our mission to serve the Shia Muslim community and promote understanding and harmony among all people.

**About Shia Muslim Foundation**

The Shia Muslim Foundation (SMF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting understanding, co-operation, and respect among all faiths. Through interfaith dialogue, education, and community service, the SMF serves as a beacon of peace and understanding in an increasingly complex world.

bottom of page