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Mashhad

MASHHAD

Major city of northeast Iran and capital of Khorasan Province.

Mashhad originally developed as a pilgrimage center after the eighth Shiʿite Islamic imam, Reza, died and was buried (ninth century c.e.) in what then was a small village containing the tomb of Caliph Harun al-Rashid. The village began to develop as a trade center renamed Mashhad, or "place of the martyr," during the fourteenth century, after the Mongols had destroyed the ancient city of Tus, located 15 miles to the northwest of what is now central Mashhad. Its growth was slowed, however, by the general insecurity that prevailed in this region until the nineteenth century. After 1850, Mashhad developed as a major transshipment center for the overland trade between Iran and Russia and Iran and British India. The Qajar dynasty shahs expended funds on the embellishment and expansion of the shrine to Imam Reza (originally built during the early fifteenth century), including its affiliated seminary and other religious institutions. During the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi the city was rebuilt with a ring road around the shrine and wide avenues.

Mashhad began to develop as an important industrial center during the 1930s, initially with carpet and textile manufacturing; by the end of the 1990s, food processing, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals also were significant industries. Its importance as a transportation center is enhanced by air, rail, and road connections to Tehran and the rest of Iran. In 1996 the railway to Turkmenistan was inaugurated; this connected to the main railroad system through the Central Asian republics. Ferdowsi University, established in 1947, provides undergraduate and graduate education in agriculture, art, economics, law, medicine, social sciences, and technology. The Imam Reza shrine continues to be the major tourist site in Iran, attracting several hundred thousand visitors annually. Mashhad is now the second largest city in the country, having grown from a medium-sized city of 147,000 in 1947 to a metropolis of 1,887,405 in 1996.

see also pahlavi, reza; qajar dynasty.


Bibliography


Mashhad web site. Available from <http://www.farsinet.com/mashhad>.

cyrus moshaver
updated by eric hooglund

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"Mashhad." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Mashhad." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mashhad

"Mashhad." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved August 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mashhad

Mashhad

Mashhad (mäsh-häd´), city (1991 pop. 1,759,155), capital of Razavi Khorasan prov., NE Iran. It is an industrial and trade center and a transportation hub. Manufactures include carpets, textiles, and processed foods. Mashhad is a religious center visited annually by large numbers of Muslim pilgrims. Formerly known as Sanabadh, it is the site of the shrine of the Imam Ali Riza, a Shiite holy person. Imam Riza died (819) in the city after visiting the grave of Caliph Harun ar-Rashid, who had died there 10 years before; he was buried next to Harun, and the shrine was built over both graves. The city was attacked by the Oghuz Turks (12th cent.) and by the Mongols (13th cent.), but recovered by the 14th cent., when it came to be known as Mashhad [Arab.,= "place of martyrdom" or "shrine" ]. It prospered under the Safavids, who were devout Shiite Muslims; Shah Abbas I embellished Mashhad with elaborate buildings. It reached its greatest glory in the 18th cent., when Nadir Shah made Mashhad the capital of Persia. The city took on strategic importance in the late 19th cent. because of its proximity to the Russian and Afghan borders. The bombing of the sanctuary of the Imam Riza by the Russians in 1912 caused widespread resentment in the Shiite Muslim world. In 1996 the city became the terminus of a new railroad linking Iran with Turkmenistan and the rest of Central Asia. Near Mashhad are the remains of the former city of Tus, birthplace of the poet Firdausi and the philosopher al-Ghazali. Mashhad itself is the seat of a university (founded 1947). The city is also known as Meshed.

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"Mashhad." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Mashhad." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mashhad

"Mashhad." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mashhad

Mashhad

Mashhad or Meshed. Capital of the Iranian province of Khurāsān and the most important place of pilgrimage for Persian Shiʿites. It is here that the eighth Imām of the Ithna ʿAsharīīyya (Twelvers) ʿAlī al-Riḍā b. Mūsa (d. 818 (AH 203)) is buried. Around his tomb grew a large town. Mashhad contains a sacred area, called Bast, which can only be entered through two gates, and is strictly forbidden to non-Muslims.

Since mashhad means ‘a place where one has borne witness’, i.e. died as a martyr, the word may be used of any place where this has occurred. Notable examples are Karbalāʾ, Najaf, Kazimain (near Baghdad, with the tombs of the 7th and 9th Imams of the Twelvers, Ithnā ʿAsharīyya, namely Musa al-Kazim and Muḥammad al-Jaurad), and Samarra (10th and 12th, ʿAli al-Hadi and Hasan al-Askari).

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"Mashhad." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Mashhad." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mashhad

"Mashhad." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mashhad

Mashhad

Mashhad (Arabic, ‘shrine of martyrdom’) City in ne Iran, close to the border with Turkmenistan; capital of Khorasan province. It is an Islamic holy city and a place of pilgrimage for Shi'ite Muslims. In 809, the Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid was buried here, and in 818 the Imam Ali Riza died while visiting Harun's grave. An ornate shrine was built over both their tombs. In the 18th century, Mashhad became the capital of Persia. Today, Mashhad is Iran's second-largest city and a major trade centre. It is famous for its carpet and textile manufacture. Pop. (2002) 2,040,700.

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"Mashhad." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Mashhad." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mashhad

"Mashhad." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mashhad