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Imam Ali’s Shrine Throughout History
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Imam Ali’s Shrine Throughout History

Introduction

Chapter One: The Concepts

Chapter Two: Sunni and Shiite’s View over its Location

Chapter Three: The Time of Appearance of the Holy Tomb

Chapter Four: Construction of Building, Dome, and Shrine

Introduction:

How the shrine of Imam Ali (AS) was found and revealed to all is among the most huge and bulky topics in history and narration-telling whose discussion needs analysis of history, re-reading narrations, and interpreting what great scholars from both sects have said. Before the start, we talk about some terms which are going to be mentioned in the first chapter.

Chapter one: The Concepts     

The holy and divine shrine of the first Imam of Shiites, Imam Ali (AS), is located in Najaf.

There have been several names for this city during history and in different narrations. Since we have studied many narrations in this article, it is necessary to mention some of those names in brief for the readers’ familiarity with the topic.

1- Najaf

According to terminologists, “Najaf” means a high, round piece of ground which is like a hill located on a plain land and water does not overtake it and it is dominant over other lands.  

Many terminologists have defined this word, but none have explained it like Zubaidi in Taj Al Arus where he writes:

“Najaf” is a place where water does not go over, but it is a vast ground which is located in low lands. Leith said “Najaf, which is located in the heart of plain land, is like a flat land which has heights on its sides like walls which are neither straight nor tall, but water cannot pass over them. It is a circle shaped land that is dominant over other lands”.

Ibne Arabi said “Najaf means hill and some say it means hill-like”. Azhari said “Najaf is another name for Masnat, the local name, which is located behind Kufa and stops the flood from going over tombs and houses”.     

Abu Ak Ala said “Najaf is a village which is located just before gate of Kufa”.

- Al-Husseini al-Zubaidi, Hanafi , Moheb al-Din Abu Feiz al-sayed Muhammad Murtaza ( died 1205 A.H ) , Taj al-Arus mena Javaher al-Qamous , vol. 12 , p 491 , to achieve : a group of investigators , publisher : Dar Al-Hedaya .

Najaf, today, is located behind the old Kufa which is also called Najaf of Hira and Najaf of Kufa.

This narration tells why Najaf is being called Najaf:

Abi Naim quotes Imam Sadiq (AS) who said:

Najaf is that mount where son of Prophet Noah said ‘I will go over that to escape being drowned in the flood’. There was no higher piece of ground on the whole earth. God, the Almighty, addressed the mount ‘You, Mount! Shall one seek refuge from me to you?’ So, quickly, the mount fragmented into pieces of small stones and pieces were thrown to sides and turned into a huge see and afterwards was called “the Sea of Nei”. Then it dried and was called “Nei Jaf”. Little by little, due to difficulty in pronunciation, people called this land as Najaf.

 Al-saduq , Abu Ja 'far Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Hussein ( died 381 A.H ) , Elal Al-sharayeh , vol. 1 , p 31 , Publisher : Dawari , Qom , First Edition .

2- Qarrey

Another term which has been used for Najaf is “Qarrey”. In its denotative aspect, it means “best of something” or “beautiful building”.

“Qarrey” is name of the location in Kufa where Imam Ali’s shrine is located.

Bakri Andolosi writes:

“Qarrey” is a place in Kufa where is it said that tomb of Ali Ibne Abi Talib is located in. 

 Al- Bakri Al-Andulasi , Abu Obaid Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz  ( died 487 A.H ) , Majmah ma Astajam  Asma al-Bulad Va al-mvazah , vol. 3 , p 996 , Research : Mustafa  Al-seqa , Publisher : Alam Al-kotob – Beirut , Al- tabaha : Al-salesah , 1403 A.H .

Ibne Manzur writes:

“Qarrey” means beauty and it means beautiful men. In other cases it means beautiful view and a beautiful building was called so. There are two tall buildings in Kufa which are called “Qarreyan”. It is said that tombs of Malik and Aqil is located in there. 

Al-Afriqi al-Masri , Jamal al-Din Muhammad ibn Mokarram ibn Manzour ( died 711 A.H ) , Lesan al-Arab , vol. 15 , p 122 , Publisher: Dar sader – Beirut , Al-tabaha : 1 .

Zubaidi, in Taj Al Arus, writes:

“Qarrey” means beautiful building and the words “Qarreyan” is derived from that. Qarreyan are two famous buildings in Kufa which are close to tomb of Imam Ali (AS).

- Al-Husseini al-Zubaidi, Hanafi , Moheb al-Din Abu Feiz al-sayed Muhammad Murtaza al-Husseini al-waseti ( died 1205 A.H ) , Taj al-Arus mena Javaher al-Qamous , vol. 39 , p 155 , to achieve : a group of investigators , publisher : Dar Al-Hedaya .

Fakhr Al Din Tarihi writes:

Qarrey, like Qani (Which means rich) means beautiful building. That is why those two famous buildings which are located in Kufa are called Qarreyan. Qarrey is the place where Imam Ali’s shrine is located now.

- Al-Turaihi , Fakhruddin ( died 1085 A.H ) , Majmah al-Bahrain , vol. 1 , p 315 , achieving : al-sayed Ahmed Al-Husseini , publisher : Maktab al-Nashr al-seqafah Islamic  , second printing : 1408 A.H. - 1367 A.S.

Yaqut Humawi writes:

“Qarrey” means best in all aspects. It can be even used for man who is funny and good looking.

- Al- Hamvy ,  Abu Abdullah bin Yaqout ibn Abdullah (died 626 AH ) , Mahjam Buldan , vol. 4 , p 196 , Publisher : Dar Al-fekr – Beirut .

Until here, it is made clear that the word “Qarrey” is name of the location where the grave of Imam Ali (AS) is located. In these narrations, the word “Qarreyan” is also mentioned and was repeated. So we must make it clear what this word means.

Bagdadi writes about this word:

Qarreyan is the location in Kufa which is about 12 kilometers away from the city borders. And Qarreyan are two buildings which were built over the tomb of Amro Ibne Masoud and Khalid by Naman, who killed them.

Jowhari and a number of his followers thought those two buildings were tombs of Malik and Aqil. That places is called so because when Naman got angry, he would kill the subject and wet those two with the dead person’s blood. But Jowhari and others were wrong about it.

- Al-Baghdadi, Abdel Qader Omar (died: 1093 A.H), Khazaneh al- Adab va Leb Laban Lesan al-Arab , vol. 11 , p 289 , Research by Mohammad Nabil Tarifi  / Emil Badih al-Jacob , Dar al-Nashr : Dar Al-kotob Al-Elmyah – Beirut , Al-tabaha : Awwal , 1998 A.D .

Naman Ibne Munzar, king of Hira, chose two days for himself; one for happiness and greatness and another one for hatred and wrath.

Hamuwi writes:

Qarreyan were two tall towers behind the city of Kufa which were near shrine of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS).

- Al- Hamvy ,  Abu Abdullah bin Yaqout ibn Abdullah (died 626 AH ) , Majmah Buldan , vol. 4 , p 196 , Publisher : Dar Al-fekr – Beirut .

3- Mashhad

Denotatively, Mashhad means where people gather.

Ibne Manzur writes:

Mashhad means where people gather. It is the place where people come together.

- Al-Afriqi al-Masri , Jamal al-Din Muhammad ibn Mokarram ibn Manzour ( died 711 A.H ) , Lesan al-Arab , vol. 3 , p 241 , Publisher: Dar sader – Beirut , Al-tabaha : 1 .

But today, this word is used only for religious places like cemeteries of Imams where people from different nations and different races come together for pilgrimage. For instance, the shrine of Imam Ali (AS) is usually called Mashhad in Iraq. It is the same about the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Iran.

Importance of Qarrey in Narrations:

According to narrations, the location of shrine of Imam Ali (AS) is of very high value. That is because, according to these narrations, not only this place bares the holy body of Imam Ali (AS) and it is buried in there, but also body of some Prophets such as Adam and Noah had been buried here. More to that, Qarrey is a part of a mount where Moses spoke to God, Christ got sacred and clean in there, Ibrahim was named “Khalil Allah” (meaning friend of God), and Prophet Muhammad called “Habib Allah” (meaning loved by God). This is the mount which many prophets inhabited on.   

These virtues are mirrored in a narration from Imam Sadiq (AS) which had been quoted in two ways in Kamil Al Ziyarat and Tahzib by Sheikh Tusi and both of them are accurate regarding their source:

Ibne Sanan quoted Mufzal Ibne Omar who said “I went to Imam Sadiq (AS). I said “I am eager to go to Qarrey”. Imam said “Why are you eager to do so?” I replied “I like Imam Ali (AS) and also like his pilgrimage”. Imam asked “Do you know how valuable this pilgrimage is?”

I replied “No. I’d be glad if you inform me of that”. Imam said “Whenever you intended to visit shrine of Imam Ali (AS), beware that you are visiting bones of Prophet Adam, body of Prophet Noah, and flesh of Imam Ali (AS)”. I said “Prophet Adam died in Sarandib and many believe his bones had been buried in Kaba (in Mecca). So how do you say that it is in Kufa?”

Imam replied:

Allah, the Almighty, told Noah while he was in his ship to turn around Kaba seven times. He did as he was ordered to do. Then he got off his ship and the level of water was until his knees. He took the coffin which contained bones of Prophet Adam into his ship and again turned around Kaba seven more times and then he arrived at the gate of Kufa which is located in the middle of Mosque of Kufa. It was the time when God ordered the Earth to absorb the water over it. So the earth absorbed the whole water over it from the Mosque of Kufa as it poured out from there. And then the people who were with Noah in his ship separated from one another and Prophet Noah buried the coffin in Qarrey.Qarrey is a part of a mount where Moses spoke to God, Christ got sacred and clean in there, Ibrahim was named “Khalil Allah”, and Prophet Muhammad called “Habib Allah”. This is the mount which many prophets inhabited on.

Then Imam said “I swear to Allah; after the great ancestors of Prophet Muhammad, who were Adam and Noah, no one better than Imam Ali (AS) had ever rested in this land”. Then he continued “So, whenever you intended to visit Najaf, you visit bones of Adam and body of Noah and flesh of Ali Ibne Abi Talib. Truly you are visiting the great ancestors (Adam and Noah) and Imam Ali (AS) who is the great successor of the Holy Prophet. And also doors of heavens are opened for one who visits that Imam. So never lose such great virtue”.   

- AL-Qomi , Abu Qasim Jafar bin Mohammed bin Qoloue (died 368 A.H ) , kamel Al-zyarat , pp. 89 , Al-Tahqiq : Sheikh Jawad Al-qayoma , Al-nashr : Al-feqaha Publishing Institute , al-Matabaha Institute of al-Nasr al-Islami , al-Tabaha : 1 , 1417 A.H .

- Tusi , Sheikh Abu jafar , Mohammed bin Hassan bin Ali bin Hassan ( died  460 AH ) , Tahzib al-Ahkam , vol. 6 , pp. 23 , achieve : al-sayed Hassan Musawi Khersan , publisher : Tehran Islamic Library , fourth edition , 1365 A.S .

- Al-Thaqafi Kufi , Abi Ishaq Ibrahim Mohamed ( died 283 A.H ) , al-Qarat , vol. 2 , p 853 , achieving : al-sayed Jalaluddin al-Mohaddes .

Conclusion:

The place where the sacred body of Imam Ali (AS) had been buried has been called Najaf, Qarrey, and Mashhad. In different narrations, Qarrey has been frequently used and this place is of high respect and sanctity.

Chapter Two: Sunni and Shiite’s View over its Location

Imam Ali (AS) was martyred in the 40 (after Hijrat). Imam Hassan (AS) and Imam Hussein (As) buried his sacred body in company of some of his loyal companions during night time and no one was ever informed about the location of his tomb not until decline of Umavid Dynasty and coming to power of Abbasid Dynasty except for those who took part in his burial.

There is argument among Sunnis about where his tomb is located, but Shiites all agree with each other over the issue. To prove the truth, we quote words by some scholars of both sects.

Shiites’ View:

All Shiites believe that the holy shrine of Imam Ali (AS) is located in Najaf. It is where Shiites from all around the world come to visit his tomb. Here are some quotations from great scholars:

1- Sheikh Mufid

Sheikh Mufid in Irshad writes:

As Imam Ali (AS) had earlier ordered, Imam Hassan (AS) and Imam Hussein (AS), his two sons, washed his body and did the related rituals and took the body to Qarrey in Najaf and buried it there and, according to his own will, did not mark or reveal his shrine. The reason for this secrecy was that he knew that Bani Umayye government, which came to power after his death, had strong enmity with him and they would do whatever they could in this regard.

- Al-Sheikh al-Mofyd , Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Nehman Ibn al-Mohalem Abi Abdullah al-Akbary al-Baghdadi ( died 413 AH) , al-Ershad Faye Mahrefah Hojaj Ayatollah Ali Ebad , vol. 1 , p 10 , Research : Institute of Al al-Bayt (PBUH ) Letahqyq Al-tras , Publisher : Dar al-Mofyd Leltabaha Va al-Nashr Va al-Tozih , Beirut , Lebanon , al-Tabaha :  2 , 1414 A.H - 1993 AD.

2- Ali Ibne Isa Al Erbeli

In his Kashf Al Qimma, he writes:

All Shiites believe that he had been buried in Qarrey and this is accepted among all Shiites and they go for pilgrimage to that land. The reason for this unity is different narrations among Shiites which are passed to them from the elder and among narrators are innocent Shiite Imams.

-Al-Arbely , Abi al-Hasan Ali ibn Isa ibn Abi al-Fatah ( died 693 AH ) , kashf al-Ghameh fi Mahrefah al-Imams , vol. 2 , p 66 , Publisher: Dar al-Azva’ -  Beirut , al-Tabaha : 2 , 1405 AH, 1985 A.D.

3- Hassan Al Deilami

Deilami, a, eighth-century scholar, offers three reason for this claim:

The following are clear evidences that the holy shrine of Imam Ali (AS) is located in Qarrey:

1- Several narrations which are narrated from Shiite scholars from the past until now

2- Consensus of Shiites over this matter and this consensus alone can be a proof

3- Secrets, signs, and miracles which have been seen and presented from this holy place

- al-Daylami , Hassan ibn Abi al-Hassan Mohammed , (of the Ahlam of the eighth century) , Ershad al-Qolob al-Monjy mena Amal Beh mena Elim  al-Aqab , vol. 51 , p 13 , Research : al-sayed Hashem al-mylany numbers : al-Aqayedyah al-Abhas Center.

4- Allamah (Polymath) Majlisi

Allamah Majlisi first point out disagreements over tomb of Imam Ali (AS) and writes about Shiite’s view over the matter:

All Shiites believe that body of Imam Ali (AS) had been buried in a well-known place named Qarrey. And this is accepted by all Shiites since they have heard it from their great scholars and these words root in their Imams’ words.

- Al-Majlisi , Mohammad Baqer ( died 1111 A.H ) , Bihar al-Anwar al-Jameha Ledurr Akhbar al-Imams al-Atar , vol. 42 , p 338 , Research : Mohammad al-Baqer al-Behbody , Publisher : Institute of al-vafa’, Beirut , Lebanon , al-Tabaha Alsanyah al-Mosaheh , 1403 AH - 1983 AD .

5- Seyyed Muhsen Amin

The author of Ayan Al Shiite, after quoting what Sheikh Mufid said, writes:

The true word is that the tomb of Imam Ali (AS) is located where now his lovers go to visit him. That is because, doubtlessly, his children, kin, and Shiites (which means followers) are more aware of his tomb’s location than others. They come here for pilgrimage and this is what great scholars of Shiites and Ahle Bait and Muslims believe in. There is only a small minority who do not have strong faith.

- Al-Amin , al-sayed Mohsen , ( died 1371 ) , Ahyan al-shiite , vol. 1 , p 535 , Research and Takhrij : Hassan al-Amin , Publisher : Dar al-Taharof Lelmatboat , Beirut , Lebanon .

 

Reasons to Prove Shiite View According to Narrations

The view of Shiites about location of tomb of Imam Ali (AS) could be proved according to narrations and words of famous scholars.

A- Narrations before His Martyrdom

1- The Prophet’s Prediction about Imam Ali’s Tomb

Ibne Tawous says “I read it in Hassan Ibne Hussein Ibne Tahal’s book that Ibne Ibne Abbas quoted the Holy Prophet who said to Imam Ali (AS) that ‘You will be buried in Kufa’”.

The Holy Prophet told Imam Ali (AS) “You, Ali! Lord of the existence granted our love to whole heavens and earth. The first to accept it was the sevenths sky, so God honored it with throne. Then the fourth sky accepted, so it was honor with Beit Al Mamur (a castle in the fourth sky). Then the worldly sky accepted, so it was honored with stars. Then the land of Hijaz accepted, so it was honored with Kaba, the great house. Then the land of Sham accepted, so it was honored with Beit Al Muqaddas. Then the land of Medina accepted, so it was honored with my tomb. Then the land of Kufa accepted, so it was honored with your (Imam Ali) tomb”. Then Imam Ali asked “Will I be buried in Kufa in Iraq?” The Prophet replied “Yes! You will be martyred and will be buried in a desert behind the mount Qarreyn (which was discussed earlier). And the most wicked and miserable of these people will kill you, who is Abdul Rahman Ibne Muljam. I swear to the God who sent me to guide these people that this man is more cursed and will be more tormented than the one who bothered the camel of Prophet Salih. You, Ali! You will be helped by one hundred thousand warriors from Iraq”.            

Seyyed Ibne Tawous says in the end:

This hadith is true and it is enough to prove what is being claimed.

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 56 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

- Al-Majlisi , Mohammad Baqer ( died 1111 A.H ) , Bihar al-Anwar al-Jameha Ledurr Akhbar al-Imams al-Atar , vol. 27 , p 281 , Research : Mohammad al-Baqer al-Behbody , Publisher : Institute of al-vafa’, Beirut , Lebanon , al-Tabaha Alsanyah al-Mosaheh , 1403 AH - 1983 AD .

2- Imam Ali’s Word about his Tomb’s Location

Ahmad Ibne Hubab says “Imam Ali (AS) looked toward Najaf and said ‘What a great visit is your visit. O, God! May you assign my tomb in this land’”.

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 61 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

A- Narrations after His Martyrdom

Many narrations have been quoted from Imams that some of them are mentioned here:

1- Narration from Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein (AS)

Ibne Quluya and Sheikh Mufid quoted Imam Hussein (AS) that he said Imam Ali (AS) had been buried in the land of Qarrey:

We asked Imam Hussein (AS) where Imam Ali (AS) is buried. He replied “It was night time when we took his body out and passed Ashas Mosque and somewhere outside Kufa toward Qarrey buried him”.

- AL-Qomi , Abu Qasim Jafar bin Mohammed bin Qoloue (died 368 A.H ) , kamel Al-zyarat , pp. 82 , Al-Tahqiq : Sheikh Jawad Al-qayoma , Al-nashr : Al-feqaha Publishing Institute , al-Matabaha Institute of al-Nasr al-Islami , al-Tabaha : 1 , 1417 A.H .

- Al-Sheikh al-Mofyd , Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Nehman Ibn al-Mohalem Abi Abdullah al-Akbary al-Baghdadi ( died 413 AH) , al-Ershad Faye Mahrefah Hojaj Ayatollah Ali Ebad , vol. 1 , p 25 , Research : Institute of Al al-Bayt (AS ) Letahqyq Al-tras , Publisher : Dar al-Mofyd Leltabaha Va al-Nashr Va al-Tozih , Beirut , Lebanon , al-Tabaha :  2 , 1414 A.H - 1993 AD.

Abu Al Faraj Isfahani, a Sunni scholar, quotes this hadith from Imam Hassan (AS) through another reference:

We asked Imam Hassan (AS) where Imam Ali (AS) is buried. He replied “It was night time when we took his body out and passed Ashas Mosque and somewhere outside Kufa toward Qarrey buried him”.

- Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani , Ali bin Hussein ( died 356 A.H ) ,  Maqatel al-Talebiin , vol. 1 , p 11 , according to al-Jameh al-Kabeer .

Ibne Abi Al Hadid quotes Abu Al Faraj through the same reference, but he mentions the name of Imam Hussein (AS) instead. The texts of both narrations are the same as well as their reference. He continues:

This narration is true and we should act according to that. Earlier, we mentioned that sons of a person are more aware about their father’s tomb than others. And the tomb in Qarrey; the one that Ali’s sons always have visited and would say “This is our father’s tomb”. None of Shiites and offspring of Hassan and Hussein doubt about it and they only visit this place and do not go anywhere else for this purpose.

- Ibn       Abi al-Hadid al-Madaeni al-Mohtazeli , Abu Hamed Izz al-Din ibn Hobullah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ( died 655 A.H ) , Sharh Nahjol – Balaghah , vol. 6 , p. 76 , research by Muhammad Abdul karim al-Nimri , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah , Beirut – Lebanon , first edition , 1418 A.H , 1998 A.D .

2- Narrations from Daughters of Imam Ali (AS)

Umme Kolthum, daughter of Imam Ali (AS), says

The last thing my father said to my brothers, Imam Hassan (AS) and Imam Hussein (AS), was “You, my children! When I passed away wash my body and dry it. Dry me with the cloth which you dried the body of the Holy Prophet and your mother, Fateme, with that. Put me in the coffin and cover it with a cloth. Then wait for the front of the coffin to rise. Then you lift the back of it”.      

Umme Kolthum says “I came out for funeral of my father. When we reached Najaf, the front of the coffin moved downward and so my brothers put it down. Imam Hassan (AS) took a pick to dig a grave. With his first beat, a dug grave was revealed to us. There was a piece of wood in there. On it, it was written in Syriac “In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful; this is the grave that Noah, the Prophet, dug for Ali, the successor of Muhammad, before the Great Flood during 700 years”. Umme Kolthum then says “When they prepared the grave, it suddenly ripped and we could not understand whether the dead body vanished in the earth or in the sky. Then we heard a sound which said ‘May God grants you peace and patience in the great tragedy of loss of the best of mankind and God’s proof to all mankind’”.   

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 63 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

3- Imam Sajad’s Word to Abu Hamze Thumali about Imam Ali’s Tomb

Abu Hamze Thumali says

When Imam Sajad (AS) came to Kufa, I asked him “You, Son of the Holy Prophet! How come you traveled to this city?” He replied “This (saying salat in Mosque of Kufa) you saw was the reason”. Then he continued “If people were informed about the virtue of salat in this mosque, they would come here from all over the globe even on foot or even like children who crawl”. Then he told me “Do you want to visit the tomb of my grandfather with me?” I said “Yes!” So I followed him and he was telling me narrations and talking to me until we reached the land of Qarreyn (that was desert of Najaf); a white land from which white light was rising. Imam got off his camel and put both sides of his face on the ground and said “You, Abu Hamze! This is the grave of my grandfather, Ali Ibne Abi Talib”. Then he did ziyarat which began with “السّلام على اسم اللَّه الرّضى و نور وجهه المضى‏ء”. Then he bid farewell and left for Medina and I returned to Kufa.    

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 47 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

4- Imam Baqer’s Word to Jabir Ibne Yazid about Imam Ali’s Tomb

Sheikh Mufid and Seyyed Ibne Tawous say:

Jabir Ibne Yazid says “I asked Imam Baqir (AS) ‘Where is Imam Ali (AS) buried?’ He said ‘In a place called Qarreyn. He was buried before the dawn and by Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein and Muhammad Ibne Hanafiye and Abdullah Ibne Jafar’”.

- Al-Sheikh al-Mofyd , Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Nehman Ibn al-Mohalem Abi Abdullah al-Akbary al-Baghdadi ( died 413 AH) , al-Ershad Faye Mahrefah Hojaj Ayatollah Ali Ebad , vol. 1 , p 25 , Research : Institute of Al al-Bayt (AS ) Letahqyq Al-tras , Publisher : Dar al-Mofyd Leltabaha Va al-Nashr Va al-Tozih , Beirut , Lebanon , al-Tabaha :  2 , 1414 A.H - 1993 AD.

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 80 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

5- Imam Sadeq’s Word to Safwan Jamal about Imam Ali’s Tomb

Kuleini quotes through valid reference:

Safwan, the keeper of camels, said “Amer Ibne Abdullah Ibne Khazae and I were sitting with Imam Sadeq (AS). Amer said ‘People say Imam Ali (AS) is buried in Rahbe in Kufa.’ He said ‘No!’ I said ‘So where is he buried?’ He replied ‘When he died, Imam Hassan took his body to the back of Kufa. That location led to Qarrey from left and Hire from right. He buried the body in white lands’’. Safwasn said ‘After some time, I went to the described location and visited that place. When I returned to Imam (AS), I described about the place and he said ‘You were right’. And then he said ‘God bless you’ three times”.       

- Al-klini al-Razi , Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jacob ibn Ishaq , ( died 328 A.H ) , al-Usool of al-kafi , vol. 1 , p. 456 , publisher : Islamiah , Tehran , second edition , 1362 A.H .

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 92 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

6- Imam Musa Ibne Jafar’s Word to Ayub Ibne Nuh about Imam Ali’s Tomb

Seyyed Ibne Twous writes:

In the book of Abi Yali Jafari (Sheikh Mufid’s son-in-law), I read this narration that Ayub Ibne Nuh says “I wrote a letter to Imam Musa (AS) that companions have arguments over location of Imam Ali’s tomb. Some say it is Rahbe in Kufa and some say it is in Qarrey”. Imam wrote “It is in Qarrey”.

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 129 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

7- Imam Reza’s Word to Ahmad Ibne Muhammad Ibne Abi Nasr about Imam Ali’s Tomb

Ibne Quluye quotes through a valid reference:

Ahmad Ibne Muhammad Ibne Abi Nasr says “I asked Imam Reza (AS) ‘Where is location of Imam Ali’s tomb?’ Imam replied ‘In Qarrey’. I said to Imam ‘But some say it is in Rahbe’. Imam replied ‘No, but some believe that he is buried in the mosque’”.

- AL-Qomi , Abu Qasim Jafar bin Mohammed bin Qoloue (died 368 A.H ) , kamel Al-zyarat , pp. 88 , Al-Tahqiq : Sheikh Jawad Al-qayoma , Al-nashr : Al-feqaha Publishing Institute , al-Matabaha Institute of al-Nasr al-Islami , al-Tabaha : 1 , 1417 A.H .

Conclusion:

According to these narrations, it is made clear that the shrine of Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS) is located in the city of Najaf. This location in some narrations is called Qarrey and this is exactly where the holy shrine of Imam Ali (AS) is located and Shiites’ view is based upon that.

Sunnis’ View: Different Quotations about the Shrine

Among Sunnis, there are several locations that Sunni scholars believe Imam Ali’s shrine is located:

1- Corner of Mosque of Kufa

2- Rahbe in Kufa

3- Palace of Al Imara in Kufa

4- Baqi Graveyard

5- Some say Iraqis believe he moved to skies over clouds

6- Ibne Abi Al Hadid says Bani Umayye and their followers believe that the tribe of Tey found the coffin of Ali Ibne Abi Talib and buried it in an unknown place

7- Najaf, where his lovers go for his pilgrimage

Asemi Makki Shafei, who has the most quotations in this issue, believes that the tomb of Imam Ali (AS) is located in palace of Al Imara in Kufa:

وقد اختلف في قبره فقيل في زاوية الجامع بالكوفة وقيل بالرحبة من الكوفة وقيل بقصر الإمارة منها وقيل بنجف الحيرة في المشهد الذي يزار به اليوم وأصح ما قيل إنه مدفون بقصر الإمارة بالكوفة.

- Al-Asmi al-Mecci , Abdul Malak ibn Hussein ibn Abdul Malak al-Shafei , ( died 1111 A.D ) , Samt al-Nojom al-Hawali fi Anba al-Avael va al-Tavali , vol. 3 , p. 75 , research by Adel Ahmad Abdul Mojod , Ali Muhammad Mouawaz , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah – Beirut 1419 A.H , 1998 A.D .

Ibne Samoun Bagdadi quotes some narrations and then writes some believe that Imam Ali’s tomb is located in Baqi Graveyard:

Some consider his tomb to be located in Baqi, though it looks far from reality.   

- Al-Baghdadi, Ibn Samaon , Abu Hassan Mohammed bin Ahmad bin Ismail bin Anbas (died. 387 AH) Amalie Ibn Samaon , vol. 1 , p. 43 , Publisher:

Ibne Abi Al Hadid quotes the sixth narration in this manner:

Some false and different news were spread in that morning and different places were mentioned as the tomb. Some believed that a group of people from the tribe of Tey found a camel which was carrying a box on it. The riders of the camel had lost it. They thought the box contained gold or money, but they were afraid that the real owners might ask for it. So they buried the box with its content and killed the camel and ate the meat. This story is common among Bani Umayye and their followers and they thought it to be true.

- Abu Hamed Izz al-Din ibn Hobullah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad Ibn Abi al-Hadid al-Madaeni ( died 655 A.H ) , Sharh Nahjol – Balaghah , vol. 4 , p. 49 , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah , Beirut – Lebanon , first edition , 1418 A.H , 1998 A.D , research by Muhammad Abdul karim al-Nimri .

Ibne Hajar and Soyuti write about the fifth narration:

When Ali (AS) was killed, they took his body and decided to bury it next to the Holy Prophet’s tomb. During night, the camel which was carrying the body winced and ran away. They could not find it and did not know where it went. That is why people of Iraq say that his body of Imam Ali (AS) went to sky over the clouds.

- Al-Suyuti , Jalal al-Din Abu al-Fazl Abdul Rahman bin Abi Bakr ( died 911 A.H ) , the history of the caliphs , vol. 1 , p. 176 , achieving : Mohammed Mohiuddin Abdul Hamid , publisher of: Matbaha al-Sahadah , Press - Egypt, the first edition, 1371 AH – 1952 A.D.

- Al-Haithami , Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Hajar ( died 973 A.H ) , al-Savaeq al-Moharraqah Ali Ahl al-Rafaz va al-Zelal va al-Zandaqa , vol. 2 , p. 391 , research by Abdul Rahman ibn Abdullah al-Turkey – kamel Muhammad al-kharrat , publisher : institute of al-Resala – Lebanon , first edition , 1417 A.H. – 1997 A.D .

But mostly they say that Imam Ali (AS) is buried in palace of Al Imara in Kufa.

The following references approve it:

- Ibn Samaon , Al-Baghdadi , Abu Hussein Mohammed bin Ahmad bin Ismail bin Anbas (died. 387 AH) Amalie Ibn Samaon , vol. 2 , p. 85 , according to al-Jameh al-kabir .

- Al-Yafei , Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Asaad bin Ali bin Suleiman ( died 768 A.H ) , Merah al-Janan va Ebrah al-Yaqtan , vol. 2 , p. 398 , publisher : Dar al-ketab Islamic , Cairo - 1413 A.H – 1993 A.D ;

- AL-Demeiri Egyptian Shafi 'i , Kamal al-Din Muhammad ibn Musa bin Isa ( died 808 A.H ) , Hayat al-Haivan al-kubra , vol. 2 , p 308 , achieving : Ahmed Hassan Basj , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah , Beirut , Lebanon , second edition , 1424 A.H. – 2003 A.D ;

- Al-Suyuti , Jalal al-Din Abu al-Fazl Abdul Rahman bin Abi Bakr ( died 911 A.H ) , Baghyah al-Weha fi Tabaqat al-Loqavin va al-Nehah , vol. 2 , p. 85 , research by Muhammad Abulfazl Ibrahim , publisher : al-Maktabah al-Asryah , Lebanon – Sidon .

- Al-Asmi al-Mecci , Abdul Malak ibn Hussein ibn Abdul Malak al-Shafei , ( died 1111 A.D ) , Samt al-Nojom al-Hawali fi Anba al-Avael va al-Tavali , vol. 3 , p. 18 , research by Adel Ahmad Abdul Mojod , Ali Muhammad Mouawaz , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah – Beirut 1419 A.H , 1998 A.D .

Ibne Khalkan also considers this idea to be true, but in the end he says “And God Knows” which shows he is not absolutely sure:

وأصح ما قيل فيه إنه مدفون بقصر الإمارة بالكوفة والله أعلم.

- Ibn Khalkan , Abu al-Abbas Shams al-Din Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr ( died 681 AH) , vafyat al-Ahyan va Anba’ al- Zaman, vol 4 , p 55 , Research : Ahsan Abbas , Publisher : Dar al-seqafah – Lebanon .

Sunnis’ Agreement with Shiites

Among great scholars of Sunnis, some agree with Shiites about the place of burial of Imam Ali (AS).

1- Yaquni, writer of Tarikh:

Yaqubi, a Sunni historian, writes about location of Imam Ali’s tomb:

Imam Ali (AS) was washed by his son, Imam Hassan (AS), and he said salat to Imam Ali’s body and said 7 takbirs in the salat and said “Beware, no one ever will have 7 takbirs on his corpse but my father”. He was buried in a place in Kufa called Qarrey and his Khilafat (being in throne) lasted for four years and ten months.

- Al-Yaqoubi , Ahmad ibn Abu Ya 'qub ibn Ja 'far ibn Wahab Ibn Vazeh ( died 292 AH ) , Al-Yaqoubi History , vol. 2 , p 213 , Publisher : Dar sader – Beirut .

2- Ibne Hazm Andolosi:

Ibne Hazm Andolosi writes:

 وقتل، رضي الله عنه، غيلة وهو داخل المسجد لصلاة الصبح، ضربه عبد الرحمن بن ملجم المرادي- من الخوارج- ضربة مات منها بعد ثلاثة أيام. وقبره بالغري عند الكوفة.

- Al-Andulasi , Abu Muhammad Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Saeid ibn Hazm ( died 456 A.H ) , Asma al-kholafa va al-velah va zekr Madadhom , vol. 2 , p. 162 , research by Ehsan Abbas , Dar al-Nashr : institute of al-Arabi Lelderasat va al-Nashr , Beirut – Lebanon , second edition , 1987 A.D.

3- Abu Al Qanaim Ibne Al Nersi:

Abu Al Faraj in the book Al Muntaza writes about Muhammad Ibne Ali Ibne Meimun Ibne Muhammad, Abu Al Qanaim Al Nersi:

Our master, Abubakr Ibne Abdul Baqi, used to say “I heard from Abi Al Qanaim who would say there is no better narrator among Sunnis in Kufa than me. The tomb of 313 of the Holy Prophet’s companions are located in Kufa and none of them are revealed to ordinary people except for tomb of Ali Ibne Abi Talib which was visited by Imam Muhammad Baqer and Jafar Sadeq (AS) and they visited this place and there was no sign over the tomb at that time until Muhammad Ibne Zeid made a monument over it”.

And then he praised Ibne Jowzi Abu Al Qanaim in this manner:

I have seen no one like Abi Al Qanaim regarding memorizing hadiths. His word was in manner that no one ever could add anything to it. He would stay awake at nights (for praying and salat). 

- Al-Jozi , Abdul Rahman ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Jozi Abu al-Faraj , ( died : 597 A.H ) , al-Montazam fi Tarikh al-Molok va al-Umam , vol. 17 , p. 151 , publisher : Dar Sader – Beirut – first edition , 1358 A.H .

Ibne Athir Jizri:

Ibne Athir also writes:

The most accurate quotation is that the tomb of Imam Ali (AS) is where it is known now and people go there for pilgrimage.

- Ibn Asir al-Jazri , Izz al-Din ibn al-Asir Abi al-Hassan Ali ibn Muhammad , (died 630 A.H ), AL-KAMEL fi Tarikh , vol. 3 , p. 396 , research by Abdullah al-Qazi , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah – Beirut , second edition , 1415 A.H.

4- Ibne Abi Al Hadid Madaeni:

Ibne Abi Al Hadid Mutazeli, who is a famous interpreter of Nahj Al Balaqa of Imam Ali (AS), writes:

Shrine of Imam Ali (AS) is located in Qarrey and narrators’ argument over this issue is void and there is no truth about that. His sons’ knowledge about this matter (that where his tomb is located) is more than others’ as well as other people’s information about their father. They came to Iraq to visit their father’s tomb. From among them were Jafar Ibne Muhammad and some other great people from his tribe. 

- Ibn       Abi al-Hadid al-Madaeni al-Mohtazeli , Abu Hamed Izz al-Din ibn Hobullah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ( died 655 A.H ) , Sharh Nahjol – Balaghah , vol. 1 , p. 17 , research by Muhammad Abdul karim al-Nimri , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah , Beirut – Lebanon , first edition , 1418 A.H , 1998 A.D .

5- Ibne Taqtaqi:

Muhammad Ibne Ali, known as Ibne Taqtaqi, who is a famous Sunni scholar, writes:

But location of tomb of Ali Ibne Abi Talib; he was buried in Qarrey during night time and his grave remained hidden until some later time.

- Ibn al-Taqtaqa , Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Tabataba al-Mahruf Ibn al-Taqtaqa , ( died 709 A.H ) , al-Fakhri fi al-Adab al-Sultanyah , vol. 1 , p. 36 , according to al-Jameh al-kabir .

6- Ibne Sabbaq Maliki:

Ibne Sabbaq who is a famous Maliki scholar also writes that Imam Ali’s shrine is located in Qarrey:

Imam Ali (AS) was buried during night time in a place named Qarrey. It is the place which is popular among his lovers.

- Al-Maleki al-Maki, Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Al-Sabbagh , ( died 855 A.H ) ,  al-fosol al-Mohemah fi Mahrefah al-Imams , vol. 1 , p 624 , Al-Tahqiq : Sami al-Gharyry , al-Nashr : Dar al-Hadith Leltabaha Va al-nashr – Qom , first edition , 1422 A.H.

7- Shahab Al Din Khaffaji:

Qarrey is a place in Kufa in which Ali Ibne Abi Talib is buried.

- Al-khafajy , Shihab al-Din Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Umar (died :  1069 AH), Ryhanah Alalba and Zahrah al-Hayat al-Donya , vol 1 , p 20 , according to al-Jameh al- Kabeer .

Conclusion:

According to many Sunni scholars, and here some of their ideas are reflected, tomb of Imam Ali (AS) is located in Najaf. That place is called Qarrey and they agree with Shiites over that issue.

Analyzing Sunnis’ Hallucination; Muqaira’s Tomb Is in Najaf

Some Sunni scholars, with this fake and wicked thought that they can decrease value and dignity of tomb of Imam Ali (AS), spread a rumor that the tomb which is visited by Shiites and it is in Najaf belongs to Muqaira Ibne Shabe and not Ali Ibne Abi Talib.

Khatib Bagdadi and some others quote this idea:

Abu Naim Ahmad Ibne Abdullah says “We heard that Ababakr Talhi says ‘Aba Jafar Hazrami (Matin) ignores the idea that the tomb which is being visited and is located behind Kufa is not tomb of Ali Ibne Abi Talib. He says ‘If Shiites knew whose tomb is there, they would stone that place. This is the grave of Muqaira Ibne Shabe’. Matin says ‘If here was tomb of Ali Ibne Abi Talib, I would inhabit there forever’”.

- Al-Baghdadi, Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Ali ibn sabet al-Khatib , (died 463 A.H ) The history of Baghdad, vol. 1, p 148, research and research Province: Mostafa Abdel Qader Ata , Publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah , Beirut – Lebanon , first edition , 1417 A.H. ,   1997 AD.

- Ibn Asaker al-Damascene al-Shafei , Abi al-Qasem Ali ibn al-Hassan ibn Hobullah ibn Abdullah , ( died 571 A.H ) , The history of the city of Damascus and Zekr Fazloha va Tasmiha mena Haloha menal – Amasel , vol. 42 , p. 567 , research by Ali Shiri , publisher : Dar al-Fekr – Beirut , first edition , 1417 A.H . / 1996 A.D.

Ibne Jowzi, after quoting the above narration, writes:

God knows which of narrations are more accurate.

- Al-Jozi , Abdul Rahman ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Jozi Abu al-Faraj , ( died : 597 A.H ) , al-Montazam fi Tarikh al-Molok va al-Umam , vol. 5 , p. 178 , publisher : Dar Sader – Beirut – first edition , 1358 A.H .

  - Al-zahbi , Shamsuddin Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Osman , (748 A.H. ) , Tarikh al-Islam va vafyat al-Mashahir va al-Ahlam , vol. 3 , p. 651 , research by Dr. Umar Abdul Salam Tadmouri , publisher : Dar al-ketab al-Arabi – Lebanon / Beirut , al-tabaha : 1 , 1407 A.H. – 1987 A.D .

Responding the Hallucination:

This hallucination is void and fake in several ways:

First response: Some Sunni scholars say that Qarrey is where Imam Ali is buried.

Some of the great Sunni scholars believe that tomb of Imam Ali (AS) is where it is believed to be now. At least eight of those narrations were mentioned in earlier parts of the article.

Second Response: Some express that Muqaira’s tomb is in Thawiyye.

To reject this fake idea, it is enough to say that some great Sunni scholars have expressed that Muqaira was buried in a place called Thawiyye which is located in Najaf.  

1- Ibne Asakir Dameshqi:

Ibne Asakir Dameshqi, a famous Shafei scholar, writes:

Abu Hassaan said “Muqaira Ibne Shabe died in the month of Ramadan of the year 50 (after Hijrat) and he was buried in a place called Thuya which is in Kufa.

- Ibn Asaker al-Damascene al-Shafei , Abi al-Qasem Ali ibn al-Hassan ibn Hobullah ibn Abdullah , ( died 571 A.H ) , The history of the city of Damascus and Zekr Fazloha va Tasmiha mena Haloha menal – Amasel , vol. 60 , p. 62 , research by Moheb al-Din Abi Saeid Umar ibn Gharamah al-Amri , publisher : Dar al-Fekr – Beirut ,  1995 A.D.

 

2- Hazimi Hamdani:

Abu Ihasn says “Muqaira Ibne Shabe was buried in a place in Kufa named Thuya and in that place, Abu Musa Ashari is also buried.

- Al-Hazmi Hamdani, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Musa bin Othman (died 584 A.H), al-Amaken ,  mah Atafaq Lafza Va Eftaraq Masmah , vol. 1 , p 22 , publisher ;

3- Yaqut Humawi in Mujam Al Baladan:

Humawi first had described this place and then had reminded that Muqaira’s tomb is there:

Thawiyye is a place near Kufa. Some believe it is located inside Kufa and some others believe that this is a wasteland in the path to Hira which is an hour away from Kufa. Scholars have mentioned that Thawiyye was prison of Naman Ibne Munzar. Whoever he wanted to be killed was kept in that prison and whoever was kept there was named “Thawi”.

Ibne Habban says that “Muqaira Ibne Shabe was buried in Thawiyye, the same place that Abu Musa Ashari is buried. He died in the year 50 after Hijrat.

- Al- Hamvy ,  Abu Abdullah bin Yaqout ibn Abdullah (died 626 AH ) , Mahjam Buldan , vol. 2 , p 78 , Publisher : Dar Al-fekr – Beirut .

4- Ibne Najjar Bagdadi:

Abu Ihsan says “Muqaira Ibne Shabe died in the month of Shaban in the year 50 after Hijrat and was buried in place in Kufa named Thawiyye.

- Ibn Najjar al-Baghdadi, Moheb al-Din Abi Abdullah Muhammad ibn Mahmud ibn al-Hassan (died 643 A.H) , Tarikh Baghdad , vol. 1 , p. 193 , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah – Lebanon / Beirut .

5- Ibne Abi Al Hadid:

Ibne Abi Al Hadid says “I asked several trustworthy people about this thought and they replied me. So I understood that this quotation is absolutely false”.

About what Abubakr, the lecturer, quoted in his Tarikh (that he says the tomb which is in Qarrey and Shiites visit that belongs to Muqaira), I asked some of the famous people in Kufa which I had trust on them. They replied me “This word is not true. The tombs of Muqaira and Ziyad are in Thawiyye in Kufa and we know where they are and we quoted you these words from our fathers and ancestors”.

I asked Qutb Al Din Naqib Talibiyin about what this person told me and his word that Muqaira’s tomb is in Thawiyye. He replied “This is true. All people of Thawiyye, including myself, know tombs of Thaqif which are located in Thawiyye and Muqaira’s tomb is located in there, too. But it is not clear which one it is. That is because some changes occurred in the place and some natural changes removed the signs”. Then he continued “If you want to search about Muqaira’s tomb, have a look at Al Qaani which is written by Abi Al Faraj. In there, it is mentioned that his tomb is among those of Thaqif. His word might be enough for you (which means his word is reliable and true), becaue he is a trustable and just critic. I found what he said about Muqaira true”.  

  - Ibn Abi al-Hadid al-Madaeni al-Mohtazeli , Abu Hamed Izz al-Din ibn Hobullah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ( died 655 A.H ) , Sharh Nahjol – Balaghah , vol. 6 , p. 77 , research by Muhammad Abdul karim al-Nimri , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah , Beirut – Lebanon , first edition , 1418 A.H , 1998 A.D .

Their Response: The narrators themselves were not sure about this matter.

From among those who narrated this matter is Ibne Jowzi. When he finishes the quotation, in the end he says:

And God knows which of these words are more accurate.

- Al-Jozi , Abdul Rahman ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Jozi Abu al-Faraj , ( died : 597 A.H ) , al-Montazam fi Tarikh al-Molok va al-Umam , vol. 5 , p. 178 , publisher : Dar Sader – Beirut – first edition , 1358 A.H .

It shows that the narrators of these hadiths do not strongly believe in what they said and this shows weakness of their narration and its reliability.

This because of this matter that Ibne Jowzi, himself, quotes a person named Aba Al Qanaim that he says “313 of companions of the Holy Prophet are buried in Kufa, but location of none of their tombs, except for that of Ali Ibne Talib (AS), is known and Ali’s tomb is where people are visiting now. Imam Baqer (AS) and Imam Sadeq (AS) visited this place, though there was no sign over it and it was a plain land, until the time Muhammad Ibne Dai came and revealed the tomb to all. 

Then he quotes his master who said about Aba Al Qanaim that he was unique in reliability and truth in narrating:

Our master said about Abi Al Qanaim, who said this word, “I have never seen someone as reliable and trustworthy in narrating hadiths as him. He would quote hadiths in a way that no one could add a word to it or remove any. He would stay awake all night long (for praying)”.

- Al-Jozi , Abdul Rahman ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Jozi Abu al-Faraj , ( died : 597 A.H ) , al-Montazam fi Tarikh al-Molok va al-Umam , vol. 17 , p. 151 , publisher : Dar Sader – Beirut – first edition , 1358 A.H .

Conclusion:

This hallucination that the tomb which is being visited now belongs to Muqaira and not Imam Ali (AS) is totally false. According to what great scholars among Sunnis believe, tomb of Muqaira is located in Thawiyye which is a different district in Kufa.

Chapter Three: The Time of Appearance of the Holy Tomb

Before starting the discussion about the time of appearance of tomb of Imam Ali (AS), it is necessary to mention why the holy tomb of that Imam was hidden.

The Reason for Secrecy of Imam Ali’s Tomb

As it was made clear in earlier parts, after burial of Imam Ali (AS), his grave was not revealed to public and only his sons and special companions were informed about its location.

Now there remains a question; although that Imam was considered as the true successor of the Holy Prophet after his death and is also considered as the 4th successor (Khalifa) of the Holy Prophet, so why then his grave was remained as a secret?

By studying writings of historians and scholars of both sects, we can find three reasons for this issue:

First Reason: Fear of Exhumation by Bani Umayye

Some very important matters happened during reign of Imam Ali (AS); namely wars of Jamal, Seffein, and Nahravan. Leaders of each of these opponents had strong enmity toward Imam Ali (AS).

The most important of enemies of Imam Ali (AS) was Muawiya, who posed the war of Seffein and had a look to the throne. Imam Ali (As) completely knew this person as well as his personality, manners, and wicked wills and that of his tribe. He knew that even if after Imam’s death they can they overcome him, they would do whatever evil acts they could.

So, according to some scholars, that was Imam’s will not to reveal the place of his tomb to public and, in some others’ idea, it was his son’s decision to hide Imam’s tomb in order to remain safe from wickedness of Bani Umayye.

Sheikh Mufid:

Sheikh Mufid, in Irshad, writes:

They hid the place of his tomb according to his own will. The reason was Imam knew that the government of Bani Umayye, which came to power after his death, was a strong enemy to him and will do whatever they could, in word or action, in this regard.

- Al-Sheikh al-Mofyd , Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Nehman Ibn al-Mohalem Abi Abdullah al-Akbary al-Baghdadi ( died 413 AH) , al-Ershad Faye Mahrefah Hojaj Ayatollah Ali Ebad , vol. 1 , p 10 , Research : Institute of Al al-Bayt (AS ) Letahqyq Al-tras , Publisher : Dar al-Mofyd Leltabaha Va al-Nashr Va al-Tozih , Beirut , Lebanon , al-Tabaha :  2 , 1414 A.H - 1993 AD.

Seyyed Ibne Tawous:

Seyyed Ibne Tawous in the second introduction of the book Farhat Al Qarrey, after mentioning the steps that Bani Umayye took to remove signs and symptoms of Ahle Bait, writes “It was Imam Ali’s own will to hide the place of his tomb”.

These matters forced Imam Ali (AS) to will that they do not reveal the location of his tomb. They buried Imam Ali (AS) secretly because of the fear from Muawiye, Khawarij, and their followers. They informed no one of the location, because they feared exhumation by enemies. That might result in a war between them and Bani Abbas and, as a result, hierarchy might rule in the society. That was exactly opposite to Imam’s manner of life and governing during his life time. He always looked for peace. How can we accept that he did not make such a will in order to control the society after his death?

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 54 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

Ibne Samoun Bagdadi:

Ibne Samoun and Damiri Shafei considered the reson of this secrecy as Imam’s own will. They write:

Ali (AS) was the first Imam whose tomb remained secret. It is said that he, himself, made such a will. That was because he knew Bani Umayye will come to power after him and any act of wickedness might be probable if the tomb is known to all.

- Al-Baghdadi, Ibn Samaon , Abu Hassan Mohammed bin Ahmad bin Ismail bin Anbas (died. 387 AH) Amalie Ibn Samaon , vol. 1 , p. 43 , Publisher:

- AL-Demeiri Egyptian Shafi 'i , Kamal al-Din Muhammad ibn Musa bin Isa ( died 808 A.H ) , Hayat al-Haivan al-kubra , vol. 1 , p 75 , achieving : Ahmed Hassan Basj , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah , Beirut , Lebanon , second edition , 1424 A.H. – 2003 A.D ;

Ibne Abi Al Hadid:

He thinks that Imam Ali’s children made this decision not to reveal the location of his tomb:

When Ali (AS) was killed, his children hid his tomb from the public, because they feared Bani Umayye would disrespect his body…

- Ibn Abi al-Hadid al-Madaeni al-Mohtazeli , Abu Hamed Izz al-Din ibn Hobullah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ( died 655 A.H ) , Sharh Nahjol – Balaghah , vol. 4 , p. 49 , research by Muhammad Abdul karim al-Nimri , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah , Beirut – Lebanon , first edition , 1418 A.H , 1998 A.D .

Anyway, whether it was Imam’s own will or it was his son’s decision, the point is it was because of Bani Umayye’s enmity and the head of them at that era was Muawiye.

Muawiye did somethings that peoves if he could reach Imam’s tomb, he would certainly disrespect it. 

1- Promotion of Cursing Imam Ali (AS)

Muslim Neishabouri writes in his Sahih:

Amer Ibne Sad Ibne Abi Waqqas quotes his father who said “One day Muawiye Ibne Abi Sufyan ordered me [to curse Ali Ibne Abi Talib. I disobeyed him]. Muawiye asked me about the reason of disobedience. I said ‘I heard three virtues about Ali Ibne Abi Talib from the Holy Prophet. Because of that, I will never curse him or oppose him. Each of those virtues, for me, might be much pleasing and better than herds of red camels’”.

- Sahih Moslim , vol. 4 , p. 1871 , H – 2404 , Book Fazael al-Sahabah , chapter of the virtues of Ali Ibn Abi Talib ( JMay God be well pleased with him ).

Then Sad Ibne Abi Waqqas named those three virtues as Hadith of Dignity, triumph of Kheibar, and Aya of Mubahia.

Some Sunni scholars admitted that Muawiye ordered Sad Ibne Abi Waqqas to insult Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS) and he refused to do so because of his own reasons, which were mentioned here. Ibne Timiya Hurrani writes in this regard:

And here is Sad’s narration: when Muawiye ordered Sad Iben Abi Waqqas to insult Ali Ibne Abi Talib, he refused to do so. Muawiye asked him “How come you refused to insult him?” Sad said “I heard three virtues about Ali Ibne Abi Talib from the Holy Prophet. Regarding them, I will never insult him. If one of those virtues were in me, it was better than a herd of red camels”.

This is a true hadith that Muslim had quoted in his Sahih.

- Menhaj al-Sunnah , vol. 3 , p. 15 , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah , Beirut , 1420 A.H.

Here Ibne Timiye, who is famous for his enmity with Ahle Bait, clearly confesses that Muawiye ordered Sad to disrespect and insult Imam Ali (AS), but de did not accept doing it. In fact, the true sentence was this “Muawiye ordered Sad Ibne Abi Waqqas to insult Ali, but he refused to do it”.

Abu Al Fada writes in his Tarikh:

All Khalifas of Bani Umayye from the year 41, when Hassan Ibne Ali (AS) was removed from power, until the year 99, when Omar Ibne Abdul Aziz came to power, used to curse and insult Ali (AS).

- Abu al-Fada Emad al-Din Ismail ibn ALI (died 732 A.H), al-Mukhtasar fi Akhbar al-Bashar , vol. 1 , p. 139 , according to al-Jameh al-kabir .

Of course, we have compiled documents and evidences which show Muawiye and other Bani Umayye kings used to insult Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS). That can be read at:http://www.valiasr-aj.com/fa/page.php?bank=maghalat&id=104

2- Distortion of Reason of Descent of a Verse

One thing that Muawiye did was spending money to make history. He would give money to some people to change reason of descent of verses 204 and 205 of Sura Al Baqara to be thought that they were descended about Imam Ali (AS). Also he did the same about verse 207 and ordered it to be interpreted about murderer of Imam Ali (AS), though it was about Imam Ali (AS) himself.  

Muawiye gave 100,000 Dirhams to Samarat Ibne Jundab to say that this verse was sent about Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib:

“There is the type of man whose speech about this world´s life May dazzle thee, and he calls Allah to witness about what is in his heart; yet is he the most contentious of enemies.

When he turns his back, His aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and cattle. But Allah loveth not mischief”. (Sura Al Baqara, verses 204 and 205)

And the other verse to be interpreted about Ibne Mujim:

“And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah: And Allah is full of kindness to (His) devotees”. (Sura Al Baqara, verse 207)

But he did not accept. So, he proposed 200,000 and again he did not accept. This time, he offered a 400,000 Dirhams proposal and he accepted to do it.

- Ibn Abi al-Hadid al-Madaeni al-Mohtazeli , Abu Hamed Izz al-Din ibn Hobullah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ( died 655 A.H ) , Sharh Nahjol – Balaghah , vol. 4 , p. 43 , research by Muhammad Abdul karim al-Nimri , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah , Beirut – Lebanon , first edition , 1418 A.H , 1998 A.D .

Bani Umayye could not tolerate anyone saying virtues of Ahle Bait, especially Imam Ali (AS). They even did not accept the narrations which came through Imams. Even if when they wanted to say a narration about religious rules, they would say “Abu Zeinab” instead of “Ali Ibne Abi Talib”. This manner of Bani Umayye is reflected by Ibne Abi Al Hadid in this way:

Truly Bani Umayye banned narration of virtues of Ali (AS) and the narrator would be punished. They were so serious in this matter that even if they wanted to tell a narration not about virtues of Imam Ali (AS), but just about religious rules through Imam Ali (AS), they would say “Abu Zeinab said …”.

- Ibn Abi al-Hadid al-Madaeni al-Mohtazeli , Abu Hamed Izz al-Din ibn Hobullah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ( died 655 A.H ) , Sharh Nahjol – Balaghah , vol. 4 , p. 43 , research by Muhammad Abdul karim al-Nimri , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah , Beirut – Lebanon , first edition , 1418 A.H , 1998 A.D .

Enmity with Ali (AS) was not limited to Muawiye. All his followers and descendants had such view. Walid’s word when he was sick and was in bed is an example:

People who were going to visit Walid Ibne Aqabe saw Imam Hassan (AS) in their path. Imam Hassan (AS) accompanied them and went to visit him. Walid said to Imam Hassan “I repent for all things I have done to these people except what I have done to your father”.

- Ibn Abi al-Hadid al-Madaeni al-Mohtazeli , Abu Hamed Izz al-Din ibn Hobullah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ( died 655 A.H ) , Sharh Nahjol – Balaghah , vol. 4 , p. 49 , research by Muhammad Abdul karim al-Nimri , publisher : Dar al-kotob al-Elmyah , Beirut – Lebanon , first edition , 1418 A.H , 1998 A.D .

There are many more examples and these were just some examples of their behavior toward Imam Ali (AS). These acts were to fade virtues of Ahle Bait.

Now, considering the situation at that era of time, how could Imam Ali’s sons reveal the place of his tomb to public. That, for sure, might result in disrespect to his body and nothing else!

Bani Umadyye’s Decision for Exhumation of Imam Ali’s Tomb

According to some sources, Muawiye had some plans for exhumation of Imam Ali’s tomb. He even consulted two of his advisors in this regard. One of them was Marwan Ibne Hakam.

Qazi Abi Hanife Naman Maqribi writes about Marwan:

Ali (AS) arrested Marwan in the war of Jamal. He forgave him and freed him. But he was ignorant to that. He consulted with Muawiye about exhumation of Ali’s tomb when he gained power. He even motivated Muawiye to do so. He reminded Muawiye how members of Bani Abd Al Shams Tribe were killed in the war of Badr and they were not buried, like pagans.

- Al-Tamimi al-Maqrebi , al-Qazi Abi Hanifa al-Nehman ibn Muhammad (died 363 A.H), Sharh al-Akhbar fi Fazael Imams al-Atar , vol. 3 , p. 162 , research by al-Sayed Muhammad al-Husseini al-Jalali , publisher ; institute of al-Nashr al-Islami al-Tabeha Lejamaha al-Modarresin – Qom , second edition , 1414 A.H.

Then Muawiye consulted Abdullah Ibne Amer about this matter, but he denied this matter and banned Muawiye from doing so:

Muawiye consulted Abdullah Ibne Amer about exhumation of Ali’s tomb. He said “I do not like to know where Ali’s tomb is located; neither I like to ask for it. I do not want our people have such an end”. Muawiye accepted what he said and rejected Marwan’s decision for exhumation.

- Al-Tamimi al-Maqrebi , al-Qazi Abi Hanifa al-Nehman ibn Muhammad (died 363 A.H), Sharh al-Akhbar fi Fazael Imams al-Atar , vol. 3 , p. 162 , research by al-Sayed Muhammad al-Husseini al-Jalali , publisher ; institute of al-Nashr al-Islami al-Tabeha Lejamaha al-Modarresin – Qom , second edition , 1414 A.H.

Second Reason: Fear of Exhumation by the Hypocrite

The second reason why Imam Ali’s tomb remained hidden was fear of exhumation by the hypocrite. If the location was known to all, hypocrites for sure would never stop disrespecting there.

Abi Ishaq Ibrahim Thaqafi and Allama Majlisi write:

The reason for argument over location of Imam Ali’s tomb is that they feared Khawarij and hypocrites would disrespect his shrine. The sacred tomb of Imam Ali (AS) was known only to his faithful followers.

- Al-Thaqafi Kufi , Abi Ishaq Ibrahim Mohamed ( died 283 A.H ) , al-Qarat , vol. 2 , p 881 , achieving : al-sayed Jalaluddin al-Mohaddes .

- Al-Majlisi , Mohammad Baqer ( died 1111 A.H ) , Bihar al-Anwar al-Jameha Ledurr Akhbar al-Imams al-Atar , vol. 42 , p 338 , Research : Mohammad al-Baqer al-Behbody , Publisher : Institute of al-vafa’, Beirut , Lebanon , al-Tabaha Alsanyah al-Mosaheh , 1403 AH - 1983 AD .

Third Reason: Fear of Exhumation by Khawarij

Khawarij were those who insisted upon arbitration. But after it (and when the results were shown), they rebelled why Imam Ali (AS) accepted it. So, they used this matter as an excuse to rebel against Imam Ali (AS) and even killed a number of defenseless Muslims. They did not show mercy even to the pregnant and killed them, as well. Imam went to war with them and killed them all.

Those few who survived always were seeking revenge of their dead and finally one of them named Ibne Muljim (who was a member of Khawarij) hit Imam Ali (AS) with a poisonous sword on the dawn of 19th of Ramadan in the head and this caused Imam Ali’s death.

A number of scholars from both sects believe that enmity of this group and this idea among them that fighting Ali (AS) is worship and service to Allah was a reason for secrecy of Imam’s tomb.

Ibne Kathir, a famous Sunni scholar, says:

Ali (AS) was buried in Al Imara Palace in Kufa, because they feared Khawarij’s exhumation.

- Ibn Kasir al-Damascene, Abu al-Fada Ismail ibn Umar al-Qurashi , ( died 774 A.H. ), al-Badayah va al-Nahayah , vol. 7 , p. 331 , publisher : Maktabah al-Maharef – Beirut .

According to Ibne Kathir, Ibne Kalbi has also expressed that the reason of secrecy of Imam Ali’s tomb was fear of exhumation by Khawarij and others.

Hassan, Hussein, Ibne Hanafiye, Abdullah Ibne Jafar, and some others buried his body at night. They buried him in a location behind Kufa and never revealed its place because of their fear from Khawarij and others.

- Ibn Kasir al-Damascene, Abu al-Fada Ismail ibn Umar al-Qurashi , ( died 774 A.H. ), al-Badayah va al-Nahayah , vol. 7 , p. 331 , publisher : Maktabah al-Maharef – Beirut .

Conclusion:

From all said, we can conclude that the sacred shrine of Imam Ali (AS) was remained secret due to his own will or his son’s discretion. And also after the burial, no one but his sons and some of Imam’s loyal and trusted companions was informed about its location. It can be derived from what famous scholars say that fear of access of Bani Umayye, enemies of companions of the Holy Prophet, and also Khawarij, who were considered as Imam’s strongest enemies, to his dead body was reason of secrecy of his tomb.

Secret Visit before its Appearance:

While the sacred tomb of Imam Ali (AS) was revealed to all, his children used to visit his shrine in secret. An instance is where Imam Baqer (AS) says in a narration “There was no one with us when my father and I came to visit Imam Ali’s tomb”.

There are several narrations which show that Imam Sajjad (AS) and Imam Baqer (AS) had visited tomb of Imam Ali (AS). Here is one example:

Seyyed Ibne Tawous quotes:

Imam Muhammad Baqer says “My father, Ali Ibne Al Hussein (AS), built a tent made up of مو and set it in a desert and lived in it for some years. He did not come to the society due to abundance of sadness and enemies’ disrespect and insults. He hated being with such people. From that desert, he used to go to Iraq to visit his father and his grandfather’s tomb and no one was informed of it. One day, he set out for pilgrimage and I was with my father. No one accompanied us except our two camels. When we entered Najaf in Kufa, he stood somewhere and started crying so much that his beard was wet and read this ziyarat:

ثُمَّ قَالَ السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا أَمِينَ اللَّهِ فِي أَرْضِهِ وَحُجَّتَهُ عَلَى عِبَادِهِ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ جَاهَدْتَ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ وَعَمِلْتَ بِكِتَابِهِ وَاتَّبَعْتَ سُنَنَ نَبِيِّهِ صلي الله عليه وآله- حَتَّى دَعَاكَ اللَّهُ إِلَى جِوَارِهِ..... ثُمَّ وَضَعَ خَدَّهُ عَلَى قَبْرِهِ وَقَالَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّ قُلُوبَ الْمُخْبِتِينَ إِلَيْكَ وَالِهَةٌ وَسُبُلَ الرَّاغِبِينَ إِلَيْكَ شَارِعَةٌ.

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page73 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

This narration shows that Imam Sajjad (AS) and Imam Baqer (AS) used to visit the tomb of Imam Ali (AS) in secret and alone.

There remains a question here and it is when and by whom was the tomb of Imam Ali (AS) revealed to all, so that people could visit there publically?

Appearance of the Holy Tomb to Public in Several Steps:

The holy and sacred tomb of Imam Ali (AS) was revealed to all in several steps:

First Step: By Imam Sadeq (AS)

Ahle Bait knew where the holy tomb of Imam Ali (AS) was located, but they never spoke of its location. Some of the reasons were mentioned in earlier parts. Of course, sometimes they would show it to some of their loyal and special companions, like Abu Hamze Thumali, which was mentioned in earlier parts. But revealing its location to public first happened at the time of Imam Sadeq (AS). That was because in the era, Bani Umayye was weakened and Banni Abbas was in power and there was no fear from them and Khawarij ad the hypocrites. It was in that period of time that Shiites and Imams were freer.

Regarding this partial freedom which Imam Sadeq (AS) had, he publically visited tomb of Imam Ali (AS) and showed its location to his followers and students. He even taught his students about rituals of visiting Imam Ali’s tomb. Here are some cases:

A- Visiting the Holy Tomb Alone:

Seyyed Ibne Tawous narrates one of Imam Sadeq’s sole visits to the tomb of Imam Ali (AS) in this way:

Ishaq Ibne Jarir says “Imam Sadeq (AS) said ‘When I was in Hira with Abi Al Abbas Saffah, I went to Imam Ali’s tomb and visited there. His tomb is located in Qarrey and said my night salat there and left there before the sunset’”.

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 100 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

B- Showing the Tomb to Safwan:

Imam’s students and followers asked him about the location of Imam Ali’s tomb. Imam told them the exact direction and even sometimes went there with some of his companions. There are several narrations in this case and only some of them are going to be mentioned here to prove the above mentioned matter:

First Narration:

Muhammad Ibne Jafar Mashhadi, Ibrahim Ibne Muhammad Thaqafi, Seyyed Ibne Tawous, and some others have quoted this narration:

Safwan, the keeper of camels, says “I went to Imam Sadeq (AS) in Kufa. It was when he was going to see Mansour Dawaniqi. In a place, he said ‘Stop here! Here is my grandfather’s tomb’. I stopped the camel. He got off and washed his body and said ‘Do whatever I do’. Then he went toward hills around Najaf and said ‘Do not take long steps and put your head down. For whatever step you take, angels write one hundred thousand حسنه and wipe of one hundred thousand سیئه. Your position in heaven will rise one hundred thousand times more one hundred thousand of your wishes will come true. They will rank you as well as martyrs’. We were mentioning names of Allah and praying while we were moving toward the hills. When we reached there, Imam stopped and looked to his right and left and drew a line on the ground with the stick he was holding. Then he said ‘Search’. I started to search and suddenly the tomb appeared. Imam started to cry hardly and said ‘Truly we are from Allah and to Him we shall return’. Then he saluted the one who was buried in the grave in this manner:

السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا الْوَصِيُّ الْبَرُّ التَّقِيُّ...

After the end of ziyarat, I said ‘My Lord! Do you allow me to inform other companions and followers in Kufa of this matter?’ He replied ‘Yes!’ And he gave me some money and I repaired the tomb”.

- Al-Thaqafi Kufi , Abi Ishaq Ibrahim Mohamed ( died 283 A.H ) , al-Qarat , vol. 2 , p 856 , achieving : al-sayed Jalaluddin al-Mohaddes .

- Al-Mashadi al-Haeri , Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Jafar ibn Ali ( died 610 A.H ) , al-Mazar al-kabir , p. 242 , Research : Jawad al-Ghayoma al-Isfahani , publisher : Nashr al-Ghayom , al-Matbaha : institute of al-Nashr al-Islami , first edition , Qom 1419 A.H .

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 122 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

- Al-Hor al-Ameli , Muhammad ibn al-Hassan ( died 1104 A.H ) , Tafsil Vasael al-Shiite ela Tahsil Masael al-Sharyah , vol. 14 , p. 393 , research and publication : Institute of Al al-Bayt (AS) Lehya al-Tras , second edition , 1414 A.H .

In this narration we clearly see that Imam ordered Safwan to mark the holy tomb of Imam Ali (AS) and this repair, surely, means he wanted it to be marked. That was for ease of Shiites in finding the holy shrine of Imam Ali (AS).

Second Narration:

Ibrahim Thaqafi narrates:

Safwan Ibne Mihran Jammal says “I took Imam Sadeq (AS) to Najaf with my camels. When we reached Hira, which was a city near Kufa, he said ‘You, Safwan! Turn left and pass Hira and go toward Qaim (apparently it was a palace or place near Kufa). We reached a place where he said it was Imam Ali’s tomb. He got off and made wudu and stood for salat with Abdullah Ibne Al Hassan. When he finished his salat, I asked ‘Where is here?’ He said ‘This is tomb of Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS). This is where his Shiites and followers visit him’”. 

- Al-Thaqafi Kufi , Abi Ishaq Ibrahim Mohamed ( died 283 A.H ) , al-Qarat , vol. 2 , p 851 , achieving : al-sayed Jalaluddin al-Husseini al- Ermoa al-Mohaddes , Publication Series of the National works Association 115 , second edition .

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 85 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

Seyyed Muhsin Amin writes about this narration:

Perhaps it happened at the time of reign of Saffah, the first Abbasid Khalifa. That is because Saffah is the one whom Abdullah Ibne Hassan visited.   

- Al-Amin , al-sayed Mohsen , ( died 1371 ) , Ahyan al-shiite , vol. 1 , p 535 , Research and Takhrij : Hassan al-Amin , Publisher : Dar al-Taharof Lelmatboat , Beirut , Lebanon .

Third Narration:

According to this narration, Imam Sadeq (AS) drew a line around tomb of Imam Ali (AS) and showed him where it is located by doing so:

Safwan Jammal says “I went out of Medina with Imam Sadeq (AS) and we were leaving for Kufa. When we passed Hira, Imam (AS) said ‘You, Safwan! Ride us to Qaim (which had been a palace) and go to Qarrey’. When we reached Qaim, Imam (AS) took a rope out of his bag and tied it to the ground and moved to the west and marked an area with that piece of rope. Then he stopped and picked up a handful of soil and smelled it for a good long time and then shouted and got unconscious. I thought Imam Sadeq (AS) passed away. When he got conscious again, he said ‘I swear to Allah! This is the grave of Imam Ali (AS)’. Then he marked the area around the grave. I said ‘You, son of the Holy Prophet! Why didn’t the other innocent Imams talk about this?’ he answered ‘From fear of Bani Mawan and Khawarij, they did not talk about this and kept it secret’”.           

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 119 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

- Al-Majlisi , Mohammad Baqer ( died 1111 A.H ) , Bihar al-Anwar al-Jameha Ledurr Akhbar al-Imams al-Atar , vol. 97 , p 235 , Research : Mohammad al-Baqer al-Behbody , Publisher : Institute of al-vafa’, Beirut , Lebanon , al-Tabaha Alsanyah al-Mosaheh , 1403 AH - 1983 AD .

C- Teaching Muhammad Ibne Muslim How to Visit the Tomb

In another narration, Imam Sadeq (AS) teaches Muhammad Ibne Muslim, one of his followers, how to visit the tomb of his grandfather, Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS). This shows that companions and followers of Imam used to visit the tomb and this place was known to all during that period of time.

Muhammad Ibne Mashhadi writes in his Al Mazar:

Imam Sadeq (AS) taught this ziyarat to Muhammad Ibne Muslim Thaqafi and said “Whenever you set out for pilgrimage of Imam Ali (AS), wash yourself (that is doing Qusl) and put on your finest clothes and wear perfume, as well. Walk slowly and gently, as your heart is at peace. When you were close, turn to Qibla and say Allah Akbar (God is the greatest) thirty times and then say: 

السَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ السَّلَامُ عَلَى خَيْرِ خَلْقِ اللَّهِ..

- Al-Mashadi al-Haeri , Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Jafar ibn Ali ( died 610 A.H ) , al-Mazar al-kabir , p. 205 , Research : Jawad al-Ghayoma al-Isfahani , publisher : Nashr al-Ghayom , al-Matbaha : institute of al-Nashr al-Islami , first edition , Qom 1419 A.H .

- Al-Sayed ibn Tawous , Rezai al-Din Ali ibn Musa ibn Jafar ibn Tawous ( died 664 A.H ) , al-Eqbal Belahmal al-Hassaneh , vol. 3 , p. 130 , Research : Jawad al-Ghayoma al-Isfahani , publisher : Maktab al-Ahlam al-Islami , first edition , 1616 A.H .

D- Visiting the Holy Tomb by the Companions of Imam Sadeq (AS)

After showing the location of the tomb, Shiites, followers, and lovers of Imam Ali (AS) would leave for his pilgrimage. Here are some narrations which show some instances:

First Narration:

Kuleini, with accurate source, quotes that Abdullah Sanan, Omar Ibne Yazid, and Hafs Kannasi visited tomb of Imam Ali (AS):

Abdullah Ibne Sanan says “Omar Ibne Yazid came to me and said ‘Let’s go’. I got on and followed him to the house of Hafs Kannasi. He also came with us. We moved to Qarrey and saw a tomb. Omar said ‘Get off! This is tomb of Imam Ali (AS)’. We said ‘How do you know?’ He replied ‘When Imam Sadeq (AS) was in Hira, we came here together and he told me ‘This is Imam Ali’s tomb’”.   

- Al-klini al-Razi , Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jacob ibn Ishaq , ( died 328 A.H ) , al-Usool of al-kafi , vol. 1 , p. 456 , publisher : Islamiah , Tehran , second edition , 1362 A.H .

Second Narration:

Suleiman Ibne Khalid and Muhammad Ibne Muslim visited the tomb of Imam Ali (AS):

Suleiman Ibne Khalid and Muhammad Ibne Muslim said that “We went to Imam Sadeq (AS) in Hira. We asked him about location of Imam Ali’s tomb. He replied ‘When you are departing Kufa, pass Thawiyye and Qaim. When you throw an arrow, it touches a land called Najaf. In there, there is a tomb which is surrounded with some water. That is Imam Ali’s tomb’. We went where he addressed us and found the tomb as he explained for us. We got off the animals and said salat and returned. The next day, we went to Imam again and quoted him what we saw. He said ‘You went to the right direction. May God lead you the right path all the time’”.

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 126 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

- Al-Majlisi , Mohammad Baqer ( died 1111 A.H ) , Bihar al-Anwar al-Jameha Ledurr Akhbar al-Imams al-Atar , vol. 97 , p 237 , Research : Mohammad al-Baqer al-Behbody , Publisher : Institute of al-vafa’, Beirut , Lebanon , al-Tabaha Alsanyah al-Mosaheh , 1403 AH - 1983 AD .

Second Step:

As it was mentioned earlier, the partial freedom that Ahle Bait had during the beginning of Abbasid Dynasty was limited little by little by the following rulers and their internal wicked purposes toward Ahle Bait and the Holy Prophet was revealed. It was so broad that they even monitored holy Imams and arrested them and put them in jail. They even buried Allavis (followers of Imam Ali) alive. Life was more and more difficult for Shiites of Imam Ali (AS). In this regard, a poet says:

I wish brutality of Bani Marwan would continue and I hope justness of Bani Abbas would burn.

Under such circumstances, Shiites could not visit tombs of holy Imams, including that of Imam Ali (AS). This tendency of Abbasid rulers resulted in vacancy of these tombs from pilgrims and again, tomb of Imam Ali (AS) turned into a pile of soil, as it was before.            

During the reign of Haroun, there was a hunting that revealed the tomb again (and its story is very famous) and it gained its great dignity again. After that story, not only Haroun did not ban visit of Imam Ali’s tomb, but he himself visited the holy tomb of Imam Ali (AS).

The story of appearance of Imam Ali’s tomb is mentioned in some history books, but it is interesting that one historian had quoted the story in two different ways:

Abdullah Hazim says “One day we left Kufa with Haroun Al Rashid for hunting. In Qarrey and Thawiyya, we saw some deer. We sent dogs and hawks after them. They chased them for an hour. Finally, those poor animals sheltered behind a hill. Hawks went to another direction and dogs returned to us. Haroun was shocked with it. But, immediately, the deer left there and again dogs and hawks chased them. Again they returned to their previous place and this happened three times. That day, we could not hunt.

Haroun ordered us to find someone in that neighborhood and inform us of what went on.

They took a person from Bani Assad Tribe to us. Haroun asked ‘Inform us of what went on. What is the matter with this hill?’ He replied ‘Promise no one will hurt me and I shall tell you about it’. Haroun said ‘I swear to Allah, if you tell the truth, I would not hurt you’.   

That man said ‘My father quoted his fathers that the holy tomb of Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS) is located under that hill. That place is secure and safe by the will of Allah the Almighty and whoever refuges to that place, he will be safe from all dangers and problems’.

Haroun was shocked by hearing that. So, he got off, made wudu, and said salat over that hill. He put his face on the soil and cried. Then we returned”.

Muhammad Ibne Aisha says “I quoted this narration as I heard it from Abdullah Hazim. But I could not accept it by my heart. I thought of it as a legend. Some years later I went out for Hajj. In there, I met Rashid, whose job was to transfer passengers by camel. After Tawaf, we sat speaking about different topics until he said ‘One night we were returning from Mecca. We stopped in Kufa. Haroun told me ‘You, Yasir! Tell Isa Ibne Jafar to follow us’. We went on until we reached Qarrey. Isa slept, but Haroun went toward a hill and started saying salat. After each salat, he would start praying and crying and he would put his face over the soil and say ‘You, my cousin! I swear to Allah, I know your virtue and greatness. I know that you accepted Islam just before anyone else. If now I have this position, that is because of you. But your children annoy me and do not follow me’. Then he would move and say salat again and after it, he would repeat what he said and cry. This continued until dawn. Then he told me to wake Isa up. When he woke up, Haroun told him ‘Come and say salat over tomb of your cousin’. He said ‘which of my cousins?!’ Haroun replied ‘This is tomb of Ali Ibne Abi Talib’. Isa made wudu, too and started praying and continued until the sunrise. Then I went to them and said ‘The sun is rising’. So we left for Kufa”.          

- Al-Ameli , al-Sheikh Jamal al-Din Yusuf ibn Hatam , ( died 664 A.H ) , al-Dur al-Nazim , p. 428 , publisher : institute of al-Nashr al-Islami .

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 142 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

- Al-Hely , Jamal al-Haq va al-Din Hassan ibn al-Motahar (May his spirit be sanctified ) ( died 726 A.H ) , al-Mostajad menal – Ershad , p. 30 , publisher : Maktab Ayatullah al-ozma al-Marashi al-Najafi , press : al-Sadr – Qom , in print 1406 A.H , Tabaha Hajaria / name al-Majmoha : Majmoha Nafisah / Behtemam : al-Sayed Mahmud al-Marashi .

- Al-Amin , al-sayed Mohsen , ( died 1371 ) , Ahyan al-shiite , vol. 1 , p 536 , Research and Takhrij : Hassan al-Amin , Publisher : Dar al-Taharof Lelmatboat , Beirut , Lebanon .

In some quotations, it is mentioned that Haroun asked that man who told him that it was location of Imam Ali’s tomb “How do you know this?” He replied:

I used to visit this place with my father who used to come and visit this place with Imam Sadeq (AS). Also Imam Sadeq (AS) used to visit this place with his father, Imam Baqer (AS) who used to visit this place with his grandfather, Imam Hussein Ibne Ali (AS). Imam Hussein (AS) showed them where his father’s tomb is located. So Haroun built a monument and building over the tomb and his was the first who built a building over Imam Ali’s tomb. After that, many did so.  

- Ibn Samaon , Al-Baghdadi , Abu Hussein Mohammed bin Ahmad bin Ismail bin Anbas (died. 387 AH) Amalie Ibn Samaon , vol. 2 , p. 85 , according to al-Jameh al-kabir .

- Al-Damascene al-Baona , Shamsuddin Abi al-Barakat Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Shafei , ( died 871 A.H ) , Javaher al-Mataleb fi Managhib al-Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib , vol. 2 , p. 114 , research by Muhammad Baqer al-Mahmudi , al-Nasher : Majmah Ehya al-Seqafah al-Islamia – Qom , al-Tabaha : 1 , 1416 A.H.

- Al-Turaihi , Fakhruddin ( died 1085 A.H ) , Majmah al-Bahrain , vol. 3 , p 433 , achieving : al-sayed Ahmed Al-Husseini , publisher : Maktab al-Nashr al-seqafah Islamic  , second printing : 1408 A.H. - 1367 A.S.

What Shiite Scholars say about the Tomb’s Appearance:

Great Shiite scholars also believe that it was by Imam Sadeq (AS) that the holy tomb of Imam Ali (AS) revealed to public for the first time. After that Shiites used to visit that place. Here two of them are mentioned:

1- Sheikh Mufid:

Sheikh Mufid, a great Shiites scholar, writes in this regard:

The sacred tomb of Imam Ali (AS) was always hidden until the period of Abbasid Dynasty when Imam Sadeq (AS) showed that to all. He even visited the tomb when he was going to meet Mansour Dawaniqi who was in Hira. It was by this pilgrimage that people knew where Imam Ali’s tomb is located and they visited there afterwards.

- Al-Sheikh al-Mofyd , Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Nehman Ibn al-Mohalem Abi Abdullah al-Akbary al-Baghdadi ( died 413 AH) , al-Ershad Faye Mahrefah Hojaj Ayatollah Ali Ebad , vol. 1 , p 10 , Research : Institute of Al al-Bayt (PBUH ) Letahqyq Al-tras , Publisher : Dar al-Mofyd Leltabaha Va al-Nashr Va al-Tozih , Beirut , Lebanon , al-Tabaha :  2 , 1414 A.H - 1993 AD.

2- Seyyed Muhsen Amin:

Imam Sadeq (AS) informed some of his companions of the place of Imam Ali’s tomb which was located somewhere behind Kufa, somewhere which is well-known now. These companions and followers include Abu Basir, Abdullah Ibne Talhe, Mualli Ibne Khunais, Yunis Ibne Zibiyan, and some others. Before Imam Sadeq (AS), Imam Sajjad (AS) used to come to Kufa for visiting Imam Ali’s tomb by his servant. But not all of people were informed about the tomb. After Imam Sadeq (AS), Haroun Al Rashid, the fifth Khalifa of the Abbasid Dynasty, revealed the tomb in the year 170 (after hijrat) and, as the result, people understood where it is located.

- Al-Amin , al-sayed Mohsen , ( died 1371 ) , Ahyan al-shiite , vol. 1 , p 535 , Research and Takhrij : Hassan al-Amin , Publisher : Dar al-Taharof Lelmatboat , Beirut , Lebanon .

Conclusion:

According to different narrations, the holy tomb of Imam Ali (AS) was revealed to all in two steps. The first step was at the time of Imam Sadeq (AS) and the second during the reign of Haroun Al Rashid, the Abbasid Khalifa. 

We should be aware that the gap between Imam Sadeq’s martyrdom and Haroun’s coming to power was about twenty two years. It is natural that in such a time, if no one could visit that place, it would be forgotten and even if there was a wall or building around there, it could have been destroyed.

By appearance, we mean Imam Ali’s lovers and followers could freely and without any fear go and visit his tomb and they had no stress about that. Otherwise, the holy shrine was known to Ahle Bait and their loyal followers, but they could not visit this place freely and publically but during these two periods.

Chapter Four: Construction of Building, Dome, and Shrine

Building a dome and shrine over the tomb of Imam Ali (AS) has passed several steps during several ages.

Before this, we mentioned that it was after Imam Sadeq (AS) that Haroun, as the second time, found the tomb of Imam Ali (AS) and revealed it to all.

According to historical evidences, when Haroun was informed about location of Imam Ali’s tomb, not only he allowed all people visit that place, but also he used to visit that place once in a while. He even ordered to build a dome and shrine over that tomb. This was the first dome over Imam Ali’s tomb.

Great Shiite and Sunni scholars expressed this matter. Here are some of them:

1- Ibrahim Thaqafi:

And then Haroun ordered to build a dome over Imam Ali’s tomb. After that, people used to visit that place and buried their dead near that place until the time of Azed Al Dula, from Ale Buya Dynasty. He built a great building over the tomb on his own expense and assigned some usual budget (called as waqf) for there. That building was standing until the year 753 after hijrat. Its walls were made up of teak wood which had carvings over them. That was burned and a new building was built over the tomb which is the one that now exists, but some parts of the building of Azed Al Dula is still remaining and tombs of Ale Buya which were not ruined in fire are still visible.

- Al-Thaqafi Kufi , Abi Ishaq Ibrahim Mohamed ( died 283 A.H ) , al-Qarat , vol. 2 , p 885 , achieving : al-sayed Jalaluddin al-Mohaddes .

2- Seyyed Ibne Tawous:

According to what Ibne Tahal says, Rashid built a wall around Imam Ali’s grave which was one cubit (about 20 inches) long from each side and it was a bit smaller than today’s shrine. It was made up of white bricks. When we found the holy tomb of Imam Ali (AS), it was made up of soil and plaster. Rashid ordered to build a dome over the tomb and it was made up of red mud and there was a green sign over that. It is now kept in the treasury of the shrine.

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 145 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

3- Jamal Al Din Ahmad Husseini:

After quoting the story of salat and visit of Isa Ibne Jafar, he quotes the same thing that Ibrahim Thaqafi Kufi said:

... ثم إن هارون أمر فبنى عليه قبة وأخذ الناس في زيارته والدفن لموتاهم حوله،.... لم تحترق.

- Al-Husseini , Jamal al-Din Ahmad ibn Ali al-Mahruf Beibn Anbah ( died 828 A.H ) , Omdah al-Taleb fi Ansab Al Abi Talib , p. 63 , research and correct ; Muhammad Hassan Al al-Taleqani , publisher : Manshourat al-Matbaha al-Haidariah – Najaf al-Ashraf , second edition , 1380 A.H. – 1961 A.D .

4- Hassan Deilami:

Haroun ordered to build a dome and four doors under it and it was built. It remained until the time of Sultan Azed Al Dula of Ale Buya Dynasty. When he came to Najaf, he stayed there for about one year with his army and he took architects with him, too. They destroyed that building and built a good and strong building in its stead. He spent a lot of money for this purpose and this is the one just before the present building.

- al-Daylami , Hassan ibn Abi al-Hassan Mohammed , (of the Ahlam of the eighth century) , Ershad al-Qolob al-Monjy mena Amal Beh mena Elim  al-Aqab , vol. 51 , p 13 , Research : al-sayed Hashem al-mylany numbers : al-Aqayedyah al-Abhas Center.

5- Allama Majlisi:

He also quotes the story of hunting and finding the tomb. Then he mentions exactly the same matter as the above mentioned.

- Al-Majlisi , Mohammad Baqer ( died 1111 A.H ) , Bihar al-Anwar al-Jameha Ledurr Akhbar al-Imams al-Atar , vol. 97 , p 252 , Research : Mohammad al-Baqer al-Behbody , Publisher : Institute of al-vafa’, Beirut , Lebanon , al-Tabaha Alsanyah al-Mosaheh , 1403 AH - 1983 AD .

6- Seyyed Muhsin Amin  

The first building over Imam Ali’s tomb was made by Haroun Al Rashid in 170 after hijrat. This that some books mentioned the year as 155 is false. That is because Rashid came to power in 170 and passed away in 193. Appearance of the tomb and building a monument happened during his reign.

- Al-Amin , al-sayed Mohsen , ( died 1371 ) , Ahyan al-shiite , vol. 1 , p 536 , Research and Takhrij : Hassan al-Amin , Publisher : Dar al-Taharof Lelmatboat , Beirut , Lebanon .

Conclusion:

According to narrations and what Shiite scholars say, it is clear that the first dome over Imam Ali’s tomb was made by Haroun Al Rashid, the Abbasid Khalifa, in 170 after hijrat.   

The Second Building by Muhammad Ibne Zeid Hassani:

The second building over the tomb of Imam Ali (AS) was built by Muhammad Ibne Zeid Al Hassani. He was commander of Tabarestan. This story is also mentioned in many sources:

1- Seyyed Muhsin Amin:

The author of the book Aayan Al Shiite first introduces this person and his bloodline and his position among people. Then he points to his building the monument over tomb of Imam Ali (AS):

The second building was that which was made by Muhammad Ibne Hassani. He is master of lands of Deilam and Tabarestan. He ordered to build the buildings of Imam Ali’s tomb and Hair Building in Karbala in some time after the year 279 after hijrat. Also he built a fortress over Imam Ali’s tomb which had seventy roofs. His full name was Muhammad Ibne Muhammad Ibne Ismail Ibne Hassan Ibne Zeid Ibne Hassan Ibne Ali Ibne Abi Talib. He came to power after his brother, Hassan Ibne Zeid.  

- Al-Amin , al-sayed Mohsen , ( died 1371 ) , Ahyan al-shiite , vol. 1 , p 537 , Research and Takhrij : Hassan al-Amin , Publisher : Dar al-Taharof Lelmatboat , Beirut , Lebanon .

2- Seyyed Tahsin Al Shubaib Musavi:

The compiler of the book Farhat Al Qarrey writes in the introduction of the book:

The second building was the one which was built by Muhammad Hassani. He was commander of Deilam and Tabarestan. He ordered building of monument over Imam Ali and Imam Hussein’s tombs after the year 279 after hijrat. He built was wall around Imam Ali’s tomb which had seventy roofs. Imam Sadeq (AS) had predicted building of such structure. He had said “Time will not pass unless (which means it will come to pass that) a man who loves Jihad by his heart will come and build a wall over Imam Ali’s tomb which holds seventy roofs.         

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 17 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

The narration that Al Shubaib referred to has been mentioned in many other sources and its narrator, Habbib Ibne Al Hussein, adds in the end:

I heard this narration before building any structures over the tomb. Then Muhammad Ibne Zeid decided to build a structure over the tomb. It was not long before Muhammad showed his qualities and was killed (in a Jihad).

- Al-Tabari al-Shihi , al-Sheikh Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rostam al-Tabari al-Saghir , ( died century 4 A.H ) , Dalael al-Imama , p. 459 , Research : Qesm al-Derasat al-Islamia , Institute of al-Behsah , Qom , publisher : Center of al-Tabahah va al-Nashr fi institute of al-Behsah , first edition , 1413 A.H.

- Al-Bahrani al-Sayed Hashem ibn Suleiman al-Bahrani , ( died 1107 A.H ) , Madina Mahajez al-Imams al-Asna Ashar va Dalael al-Hojaj Ala al-Bashar , vol. 6 , p. 158 , Research : al-Sheikh Ezatullah al-Mulaei al-Hamedani ,  publisher : institute of al-Maharef al-Islamia – Qom , first edition , 1413 A.H .

Some narrations say that this building was made by Muhammad Ibne Zeid’s brother, who was named Hassan Ibne Zied. He came to power in 250 after hijrat and was commander of Tabarestan and died in 270 after hijrat.

According to some narrations, the building was made by Muhammad Ibne Zeid and not Haroun!

Until here, it is proved that the first building over Imam Ali’s tomb was made by Haroun and the second one by Muhammad Ibne Zeid. Seyyed Ibne Tawous expresses:

The green sign which is put over the dome of Imam’s tomb is kept in the treasury.

This strengthens the idea. But according to some other narrations, the first building was made by Muhammad Ibne Zeid and not by Haroun.

Here are some narrations:

1- Ibne Jowzi in Al Muntazim:

Our master, Abubakr Ibne Abdul Baqi, told us that he heard from Abu Al Qanaim Ibne Narsi who said “313 of the companions of the Holy Prophet died in Kufa. None of their tombs are known except for that of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS). Jafar Ibne Muhammad (AS) and Muhammad Ibne Ali Ibne Hussein (AS) came to Kufa and visited the tomb and at that time, there was no marking over the tomb and it was only plain, empty land. It was at the time of Muhammad Ibne Zeid that he revealed the tomb to all.

- Al-Jozi , Abdul Rahman ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Jozi Abu al-Faraj , ( died : 597 A.H ) , al-Montazam fi Tarikh al-Molok va al-Umam , vol. 17 , p. 151 , publisher : Dar Sader – Beirut – first edition , 1358 A.H .

2- Tabari:

It is quoted from Habib Ibne Hussein who quoted Ubeid Ibne Khariji who quoted Ali Ibne Othman who quoted Furat Ibne Ahnaf who wuoted Imam Sadeq (AS) who said, in ziyarat of Imam Ali (AS):

“Here is shrine of Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS). Beware that it is before long that a man who loves jihad in his heart will come and build a building over this tomb”.

Habib Ibne Hussein says “Before there was any building over the tomb, I heard this hadith. Then Muhammad Ibne Zeid came here and built a structure here”.

- Al-Tabari al-Shihi , al-Sheikh Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rostam al-Tabari al-Saghir , ( died century 4 A.H ) , Dalael al-Imama , p. 459 , Research : Qesm al-Derasat al-Islamia , Institute of al-Behsah , Qom , publisher : Center of al-Tabahah va al-Nashr fi institute of al-Behsah , first edition , 1413 A.H.

- Al-Bahrani al-Sayed Hashem ibn Suleiman al-Bahrani , ( died 1107 A.H ) , Madina Mahajez al-Imams al-Asna Ashar va Dalael al-Hojaj Ala al-Bashar , vol. 6 , p. 158 , Research : al-Sheikh Ezatullah al-Mulaei al-Hamedani ,  publisher : institute of al-Maharef al-Islamia – Qom , first edition , 1413 A.H .

Seyyed Muhsin Amin’s Answer:

It is possible that the building which Rashid made over the tomb was destroyed. That gets more probable when we know that the building was made up of red mud. And this that it is claimed a building with white brick was build, we should say that perhaps it was the basement which was only some centimeters out of soil and that, also, was ruined by pass of time.

- Al-Amin , al-sayed Mohsen , ( died 1371 ) , Ahyan al-shiite , vol. 1 , p 537 , Research and Takhrij : Hassan al-Amin , Publisher : Dar al-Taharof Lelmatboat , Beirut , Lebanon .

So, it is possible that the monument which Haroun Al Rashid built was destroyed and Muhammad Ibne Zeid built another one. Here, there is no contradiction.

The Third Building by Azed Al Dula (369 after hijrat):

 The third building and monument over Imam Ali’s tomb was made by Azed Al Dula Fana Khosrow Ibne Hassan from Ale Buya Dynasty. His was among the best ones which were ever made over the holy tomb of Imam Ali (AS). He applied best architects of that age for this task and they covered the walls with teak wood and he even assigned a regular budget for the affairs of the holy shrine.

The following people have quoted this matter:

1- Seyyed Muhsin Amin:

The author of Aayan Al Shiite writes in this regard:

The third person who built a monument over tomb of Imam Ali (AS) was Fana Khosrow Ibne Buya Deilami. He built the monuments of Imam Ali (AS) and Imam Hussein (AS). He did a lot for glorification of these two holy places and even assigned a budget for the two. He made a big building over Imam Ali’s tomb and granted some valuable items to there. He covered the walls with carved, teak wood and built a white dome over it. Ibne Hajjaj, the great poet, writes about that dome:

You, the owner of the white dome in Najaf! Whoever visits your shrine and asks for healing; then you shall have the power to heal!”

Azed Al Dula conquered Iraq in 367 after hijrat and died in 372 after hijrat. Apparently, the building of this monument dates back to the year 369 after hijrat. Some books have mentioned that this building was made in 338 after hijrat or 376, but they are wrong. That is because the first date is before his conquest and the second is after his death. 

- Al-Amin , al-sayed Mohsen , ( died 1371 ) , Ahyan al-shiite , vol. 1 , p 537 , Research and Takhrij : Hassan al-Amin , Publisher : Dar al-Taharof Lelmatboat , Beirut , Lebanon .

2- Hassan Deilami:

Author of Irshad Al Qulub writes:

Haroun ordered to build a dome over Ali’s tomb with four doors. This structure was stable until the age of Sultan Azed Al Dula. When he went there, he and his army stayed in that very place for a year. He gathered some of the best architects from all lands and ruined this place and spent a lot and made it so nice and glorious. This monument was stable until building the present one.

- Al-Daylami , Hassan ibn Abi al-Hassan Mohammed , (of the Ahlam of the eighth century) , Ershad al-Qolob al-Monjy mena Amal Beh mena Elim  al-Aqab , vol. 51 , p 13 , Research : al-sayed Hashem al-mylany numbers : al-Aqayedyah al-Abhas Center.

In Sunni sources we also see that Azed Al Dula built the monument:

3- Ibne Samoun Bagdadi:

Azed Al Dula is the one who revealed the tomb of Ali Ibne Abi Talib and build the tomb and even willed to be buried in there.

- Ibn Samaon , Al-Baghdadi , Abu Hussein Mohammed bin Ahmad bin Ismail bin Anbas (died. 387 AH) Amalie Ibn Samaon , vol. 2 , p. 85 , according to al-Jameh al-kabir .

5- Shams Al Din Zahabi:

Azed Al Dula is buried in Kufa in the shrine of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS). He is the one who revealed Ali’s tomb in Kufa and claimed that here is Ali’s tomb and he was Shiite, so he built a monument over his tomb.

  - Al-zahbi al-Shafei , Shamsuddin Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Osman , (748 A.H. ) , Tarikh al-Islam va vafyat al-Mashahir va al-Ahlam , vol. 26 , p. 523 , research by Dr. Umar Abdul Salam Tadmouri , publisher : Dar al-ketab al-Arabi – Lebanon / Beirut , al-tabaha : 1 , 1407 A.H. – 1987 A.D .

6- Salah Al Din Safadi:

Azed Al Dula is the one who revealed Ali’s tomb in Kufa and built a monument over that and spent a lot in that regard.

- Al-Safadi , Salah al-Din khalil ibn Aibak , ( died 764 A.H ) , al-vafi Belvafyat , vol. 24 , p. 67 , research by Ahmad al-Arnoot and Turkey Mustafa , publisher : Dar Ahya al-Tras – Beirut – 1420 A.H. – 2000 A.D.

7- Akri Hanbali:

Azed Al Dula revealed tomb of Ali (AS) in Kufa and built a monument over that and repaired the hall and dig some springs in that neighborhood and repaired the road to Mecca. He built a wall in Medina and built Azudi Hospital in Bagdad. He spent uncountable amount of money for building these places. He was a man of literature who also had knowledge of some other sciences and techniques. He was really a wise man.

- Al-Akri al-Hanbali , Abdul Hay ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad , ( died 1089 A.H ) , Shazarat al-Zahab fi Akhbar mena Zahab , vol. 3 , p. 78 , Research : Abdul Qader al-Arnoot , Mahmud al-Arnoot , publisher : Dar Ibn kasir – Damascus , first edition , 1406 A.H .

Conclusion:

According to Shiite and Sunni scholars, the third monument and building was made by Azed Al Dula who was a Shiite king in the year 369 after hijrat over the sacred tomb of Imam Ali (AS).

The Fourth Building by Some Unknown People

The fourth building was made in the year 760 after hijrat after the building which Azed Al Dula made was destroyed in fire. It was done by a group of people. That is why we cannot name one person as builder of this building.

Seeyead Ibne Tawous and author of Aayan Al Shiite wrote:

This building was after the building which Azed Al Dula made and later, as mentioned before, was destroyed in fire. After the fire, the building was made again in 760, but we do not know who did this. Perhaps this action was not done by an individual and a group of people did it. That is why we do not clearly know who did it. If the builder was one person, we would probably know him, especially if he is a famous and well-known person. Also, those who witnessed the process of building, such as Ibne Atayiqi, did not mention name of its constructors. After that time through the present time, several changes have been done over the building by Ale Buya, the Hamdanis, some kings of the Abbasid Dynasty, some children of Changiz, the IlKhani Dynasty, and some others.     

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 19 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

- Al-Amin , al-sayed Mohsen , ( died 1371 ) , Ahyan al-shiite , vol. 1 , p 538 , Research and Takhrij : Hassan al-Amin , Publisher : Dar al-Taharof Lelmatboat , Beirut , Lebanon .

The Fifth Building by Shah Safi, the Safavid King

The fifth building over Imam Ali’s tomb was made by Shah Safi, the Safavid king.

Of course there are two quotations in this regard:

The first quotation believes that this building was made by Shah Safi, the grandchild of Shah Abbas I.

Seyyed Ibne Tawous writes:

After passage of time, the building started to ruin after decades and the dome was ruining severely. Also, the building was small for the growing population which came to visit this place. Shah Safi, grandson of Shah Abbas I ordered to expand the area of the holy shrine in the year 1047 after hijrat and, therefore, some sides of the holy tomb were destroyed. Expansion project continued until the year 1052, when Shah Safi died and his son, Shah Abbas II continued what his father left unfinished.

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 21 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

There is another narration which says Shah Abbas I built this monument.

It is said that Shah Abbas built this monument and Shikh Baha’i was his architect and advisor. He changed the color of the dome from white to green.

- Al-Hasani , Sayyid Abd al-Karim ibn Tawous , ( died 693 A.H ) , Faraha al-Qara Faye Tahiin  grave of Amir al-Moaminin Ali (AS) , page 20 , Research : al-sayyed Tahsin Al Shabib Al-Musawi , al-Nasher : Center of  Ghadir Lelderasat al-Islamic , first edition ,1419 AH - 1998 AD .

The writer of Aayan Al Shiite expresses clearly that it is famous among people of Najaf that Shah Abbas I built this monument:

The fifth building is the one which now exists. Among people of Najaf, it is famous that Shah Abbas I build this monument and structure and the advisor and architect was Shikh Baha’i. He changed the white dome into green dome.

- Al-Amin , al-sayed Mohsen , ( died 1371 ) , Ahyan al-shiite , vol. 1 , p 538 , Research and Takhrij : Hassan al-Amin , Publisher : Dar al-Taharof Lelmatboat , Beirut , Lebanon .

Which of these narrations are true? Has Shah Abbas I built this monument or Shah Abbas II?

The author of Aayan Al Shiite writes in this regard:

Building such structure took more than 20 years. Perhaps the project started at the time of Shah Abbas I and Shah Abbas II repaired its lacks and expanded it:

From all said, we can conclude that the whole building project took more than 20 years and the one who ordered this project was a great king. Furthermore, in the book Al Muntazam Al Nasiri we can read under events of the year 1042 after hijrat “When Shah Safi visited the holy tomb of Imam Ali (AS), he saw many shortcomings and problems in its building. So, he ordered his advisor, Mirza Taqi Mazandarani, to work for betterment of this place. Mirza Taqi took some architects and engineers to Najaf and they worked there for over 3 years”. Perhaps this is true. More to that, we can understand from some texts that Shah Safi expanded the whole building and made it bigger. And God knows everything.

A Summary of Repairs after the Fifth Building:

By passage of time and lovers’ attention to this place, the holy shrine of Imam Ali (AS) has always experienced change and some construction projects had been dome once in a while to expand to complete this holy place.

The writer of Aayan Al Shiite reports that in this way:

The building which Safavid Kings made was renewed by Nadir Shah of Afsharid Dynasty. He gave a lot of jewel and gold for reconstruction. Some of those jewels can still be seen now. It is said that over any brick, there was a gold coin. In another stage, he gave lots of jewels to the shrine in the year 1156 or 1154 after hijrat. He even wrote his name on one part of the ceiling of the shrine as المتوكل على الملك القادر السلطان نادر. Under it, there was a date written that I do not exactly remember that.    

After Nadir Shah, Nasir Al Din Shah also made some changes over the tomb and after him some other kings gave some jewel as gift to the shrine. Sultan Abdul Aziz, the Othmani king, gave two big silver vases which were glittered to the shrines of Imam Ali (AS), Imam Hussein (AS), shrine of Imams who were buried in Kazemein, and shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani. 

- Al-Amin , al-sayed Mohsen , ( died 1371 ) , Ahyan al-shiite , vol. 1 , p 538 , Research and Takhrij : Hassan al-Amin , Publisher : Dar al-Taharof Lelmatboat , Beirut , Lebanon .

Conclusion:

In the first chapter, the words Najaf, Qarrey, and Mashhad were studied. These were names which were assigned to the place where Imam Ali (AS) was buried in different texts. According to narrations, this shrine is of high value. That is because great divine prophets such as Adam and Noah had been buried in this place, too. Qarrey is name of a mount where Moses spoke to God, Christ got sacred and clean in there, Ibrahim was named “Khalil Allah” (meaning friend of God), and Prophet Muhammad called “Habib Allah” (meaning loved by God). This is the mount which many prophets inhabited on.   

In the second chapter, we studied different ideas about where Imam Ali (AS) has been buried.

It was said that according to narrations from the Holy Prophet and Imam Ali (AS) and some other Imams, especially Imam Sadeq (AS), Imam Ali’s body has been buried in a place which is known today as Najaf.

But there are arguments among Sunni scholars about the location of Imam Ali’s tomb. Most of them agree with Shiites and it was reflected in this chapter.

The big doubt which was raised in this chapter was this quotation among some Sunni scholars that they believed this place that now Shiites consider as Imam Ali’s tomb is in fact grave of Muqaira Ibne Shuba and not that of Imam Ali (AS).

This doubt is false in several aspects:

First: at least eight great Sunni scholars believe that Imam Ali’s tomb is located in Qarrey which is now known as Najaf.

Second: some their scholars have expressed that Muqaia’s tomb is located in Thawiyya in Thaqif graveyard.

Third: the narrators of these hadiths were not sure about what they said.

In the third chapter, the time of appearance of the holy and sacred tomb of Imam Ali (AS) was discussed which this chapter was the bulkiest one.

According to narrations, the sacred shrine of Imam Ali (AS) was revealed to public in two stages.

The first was by Imam Sadeq (AS) visited the tomb at the time of Abi Al Abbas Saffah, the first Abbasid Khalifa. Also at the time of Mansour, before meeting him, Imam Sadeq (AS) visited the sacred tomb of Imam Ali (AS). He, in this voyage, showed his followers and companions the location of his grandfather’s shrine. He also taught them about qualities of visiting Imam Ali’s tomb. He showed Safwan Jamal where the tomb is located and gave him some money to repair that. It was at this time when people could freely visit Imam Ali’s tomb. It is what Shiites believe.

The tomb revealed for a second time at the time of Haroun Al Rashid. That was because Abbasid kings were not tough to Alavis and Shiites of Imam Ali (AS), but after a while and when they gained power, their limits and pressure was even harder than that of Bani Umayya. Under such circumstances, Shiites could not visit Imam Ali’s tomb anymore. There was a time gap of 22 years from martyrdom of Imam Sadeq (AS) and Khilafat of Haroun and naturally this is a long time for the tomb to be damaged, especially when no one visits there. It got more difficult when we know that the tomb was struck by flood.

But at the time of Haroun something happened that released the holy tomb from loneliness and vacancy. It was more like a miracle. There again turned into passage of lovers of Imam Ali (AS).

The key point in this chapter was reason of secrecy of the holy tomb. It was said that there are three probable reasons that the sacred tomb of Imam Ali (AS) was never revealed until that time to people according to Imam’s own will or his children’s decision.

The fourth chapter was about construction of shrine and dome over the sacred tomb.

According to some narrations and history, the first dome over Imam Ali’s tomb was made by Haroun. He, in the year 170 after hijrat, ordered to build a dome over the tomb with four doors. This was made and remained until the time of Sultan Azed Al Dula from Ale Buya Dynasty. According to what Seyyed Ibne Tawous says, Rashid built a wall of white brick around the tomb which was about 20 inches from each side.

The second building (which was a fortress with 70 roofs) was made in the year 279 after hijrat by Muhammad Zeid.

According to great Shiite and Sunni scholars, the third building was made by Azed Al Dula, who was a Shiite king in the year 369 after hijrat.

The fourth building was made in the year 760 after hijrat after a fire which destroyed the previous structure.

And the fifth building over the holy tomb of Imam Ali (AS) was made by Shah Safi. After that, the holy shrine had always been fixed and repaired in several eras.

It is useful to remind that there had been several minor constructions through which some parts of lesser importance were added. Here only major and more important parts were mentioned.

We finish this article with a poem by a lover of Imam Ali (AS):

Suda Hamidani, the woman who sacrificed herself for Imam Ali (AS), saluted Imam Ali (AS) in presence of Muawiya and said:

May God salute the man whose body is buried under soil and with him, justice is buried, too. He had allegiance with truth, none of whose parts change and there are no substitutes for that. His existence was mixed up with truth and faith.  

Good Luck

 

 

 

 



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