Mashhad

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Glossaries

Term Definition
Mashhad

Literally, the term "mashhad" in Arabic refers to the place where a martyr has been martyred. Mashhad is Iran's the second most populous city and also the capital of Razavi Khorasan province. Due to having the honor of being host to the holy shrine of the eighth Imam of Shia, Ali b. Musa al-Rida (Reza) (a.s.) (764–818 C.E.), Mashhad "is the country's most important pilgrimage site, visited annually by over thirteen million pilgrims from Iran and abroad" (Ja'fariyan 436). By the same token, Mashhad is also known as the "spiritual capital" of Iran. The academic side of the city of Mashhad also deserve mention. It has a seminary second to Qom seminary in size and importance, the fruit of which have been considerable number of outstanding Islamic scholars. Besides that, the Imam Reza's Holy Shrine complex (known as Astane Quds) "maintains a major library, one of the oldest in Iran and dating from tenth century, with 26,400 manuscripts, 2,820 Qur'an manuscripts, and over 300,000 printed books" (Ja'fariyan 437).

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