Mausoleum of Imam Ali

Coordinates: 36°42′30″N 67°06′40″E / 36.70833°N 67.11111°E / 36.70833; 67.11111
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Imam Ali mosque)
Masjid-e-Kabud in 2012
AffiliationSunni Islam
ProvinceBalkh Province
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusMosque and Shrine
LocationMazar-i-Sharif, Balkh Province
Mausoleum of Imam Ali is located in Afghanistan
Mausoleum of Imam Ali
Location in Afghanistan
Geographic coordinates36°42′30″N 67°06′40″E / 36.70833°N 67.11111°E / 36.70833; 67.11111

The Masjid-e-Kabud (Persian: مسجد کبود) or Rawze-e-Sharif (Persian: روضه شریف), located in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, is a mosque which Sunni Muslims believe contains the tomb of ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib. Sunnis regard Alī as their Fourth Rightly Guided Caliph and they pay tribute to Alī shrine every year. Besides the two aforementioned names the site also has many other native names as Mazar-e-Alī (Persian: مزار علی), Ziyarat-e-Alī (Persian: زیارت علی), Masjid-e-Alī Mazar (Persian: مسجد علی مزار). Abroad, the mosque is often referred to as Blue Mosque, referencing the pale blue tiles, dominating the appearance of the building.[1]

Many pilgrims annually celebrate Nowruz at the site. At the annual Jahenda Bala ceremony a flag is raised in honour of Alī. People touch the flag for supposed luck in the New Year.[2][3]


The first structure of the site dates back to the Seljuk era. It was built by Sultan Ahmad Sanjar in the 11th century, over the grave of the Hanafi Maturidi[4] scholar and mystic, Ali ibn Abi Talib al-Balkhi.[5] He was a distant descendant of the fourth Rashidun caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib. [6] To honour the scholar, the Sultan built the mosque and shrine complex over his grave site.

In the 13th century, the Mongols under Genghis Khan invaded Balkh, where they massacred the Balkhi population and destroyed their places of worship. The mosque built by Sanjar was destroyed by the Mongols in the year 1220.[7]

In the 15th century, the Timurid amir, Sultan Husayn Bayqara, ordered a reconstruction of the destroyed building.[8] Local legend relates that the Sultan and his assistants were digging in the area when they saw a tombstone reading "This is the grave of Asadullah Ghalib, the friend of Rasul Allah, Ali Waliullah" which the other people rejoiced upon seeing.

In later years, various rulers made repairs and endowments, including the Shaybanid emir Abdul-Mo'min bin Abdullah Khan, who built a dome. Later, Berdi Beg, the Khan of the Golden Horde who reigned from 1357 to 1359, added several decorations to the building. In the modern era, a plan was created to renovate the whole complex in 1910.[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Timeless Beauty of Afghanistan's Blue Mosque".
  2. ^ "Janda Bala, flag raising, marked in Balkh". Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  3. ^ "Thousands celebrate Nowruz in Mazar-i-Sharif". UNAMA. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  4. ^ Abu Al-Hasan Al-Balkhi and the Blue Mosque, by Dr. Dhefar Qahtan Abdul Sattar Ali Al-Hadithi. Published in Al-Rased newspaper, 1988
  5. ^ 'Umdat al-talib fi ansab Al 'Abi Talib. Dār Maktabat al-ḥayah, Beirut. 1964. p. 303.
  6. ^ 'Umdat al-talib fi ansab Al 'Abi Talib. Dār Maktabat al-ḥayah, Beirut. 1964. p. 303.
  7. ^ "Rowze-i Sharif | Archnet". 2016-06-11. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  8. ^ "Rowze-i Sharif | Archnet". 2016-06-11. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  9. ^ "Rowze-i Sharif | Archnet". 2016-06-11. Retrieved 2023-11-12.