Al-Askari Mosque

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The Al Askari Mosque in Samarra before and after the February 2006 bombing.

Al-`Askarī or the `Askariyya Mosque/Shrine (Arabic: مرقد الامامين علي الهادي والحسن العسكري; transliterated: Marqad al-Imāmayn `Alī l-Hādī wa l-Ħassan al-`Askarī) is a Shī`a Muslim holy site located in the Iraqi city of Samarra 60 miles from Baghdad. It is one of the most important Shī`ite mosques in the world, built in 944.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Its dome was destroyed in February 2006 (see al-`Askarī Mosque Bombing).

The remains of the tenth and eleventh Shī`a Imāms, `Alī l-Hādī and his son Hassan al-`Askarī, known as "the two `Askarīs" (al-`Askariyyān), rest at the shrine.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> It stands adjacent to a shrine to the Twelfth or "Hidden" Imām, Muħammad al-Mahdī. The `Askariyya Shrine is also known as the "Tomb or Mausoleum of the Two Imāms", "the Tomb of Imāms `Alī l-Hādī and Hassan al-`Askarī" and al-Hadhratu l-`Askariyya.

Also buried within the Mosque are the remains of Hakimah Khatun, sister of `Alī l-Hādī, and of Narjis Khatun, mother of Muħammad al-Mahdi.<ref>Shrine of Imām al-Hādī and Imām al-`Askarī (ArchNet Digital Library)</ref>

Time Magazine reported at the time of the Al Askari Mosque bombing that “al-Askari [is] one of Shiite Islam's holiest sites, exceeded in veneration only by the shrines of Najaf and Karbala. Even Samarra's Sunnis hold al-Askari in high esteem. The expression 'to swear by the shrine' is routinely used by both communities". <ref>An Eye For an Eye, Time Magazine, February 26, 2006.</ref>


[edit] History

The Imāms `Alī l-Hādī (also known as an-Naqī) and Hassan al-`Askarī lived under house arrest in the part of Samarra that had been Caliph al-Mu'tasim's military camp (`Askaru l-Mu'tasim). As a result, they are known as the `Askariyyān ("Dwellers in the Camp"). They died and were buried in their house on Abī Ahmad Street near the mosque built by Mu'tasim.<ref>Shrine of Imām al-Hādī and Imām al-ˤAskarī (ArchNet Digital Library)</ref> A later tradition attributes their deaths to poison.

The shrine around their tombs was developed in 944 by the Hamdanid governor Nasīr ad-Dawla and became a focus for pilgrims. It was developed and rebuilt several times in succeeding centuries,<ref>Al-jazeera</ref> including, in particular, by Arslan al-Basasiri around 1053 and by Caliph an-Nasīr li-Dīn Allāh in 1209.

Nasir ad-Din Shah Qajar undertook the latest remodelling of the shrine in 1868, with the golden dome added in 1905. Covered in 72000 gold pieces and surrounded by walls of light blue tiles, the dome was a dominant feature of the Samarra skyline. It was approximately 20 metres in diameter by 68 metres high.

[edit] Bombing

On February 22, 2006, at 6:55 a.m. local time (0355 UTC) explosions occurred at the mosque, effectively destroying its golden dome and severely damaging the mosque. Several men, one wearing a military uniform, had earlier entered the mosque, tied up the guards there and set explosives, resulting in the blast. Two bombs were set off<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> by five<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> to seven<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> men dressed as personnel of the Iraqi Special forces<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> who entered the shrine during the morning.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

[edit] References

<references />

[edit] External links

da:Imam Ali al-Hadi moskéen de:Al-Askari-Schrein es:Mezquita Al Askari ko:알아스카리 모스크 id:Masjid Al Askari he:מסגד אל-עסכרייה nl:Gouden Moskee nn:Al-Askaria sv:Al Askari-moskén

Al-Askari Mosque

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