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The Blue Mosque – Tomb of the Exalted

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Situated near Afghanistan’s northern borders is Mazar-i-Sharif, which is the fourth-largest city of Afghanistan. Mazar-i-Sharif means “Noble Shrine” or “Tomb of the Exalted,” and its origins are enshrined in several centuries of local legend and religious traditions. The name is a reference to the city’s majestic center piece, a beautiful mausoleum of Islamic inspired architecture, “The Shrine of Ali” or “The Blue Mosque.” Its incredible edifices of shimmering lapis lazuli, silver, and gold, are truly spectacular to behold.

For centuries, the site of the Blue Mosque has been an important pilgrimage destination of Shia, Sunni, and Sufi Muslims, Zoroastrians, as well as a place where celebrants of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, would gather annually. The Holy Shrine of Ali has a reputation of emanating an aura of peace and wellbeing, greatly benefiting those who visit to pay their respects.

Beneath the largest cupola, or dome, measuring 15 meters (49 feet) in width, lies the main tomb chamber, built hundreds of years earlier. A marble slab near the tomb is inscribed, “Ali, Lion of God.” It was, and still is, a characteristic of Islamic culture to perform burials at existing tomb sites.

The biggest day of the year for the Blue Mosque is Nowruz, the Persian New Year, a date that has been celebrated in the region for about 3,000 years. With roots in Zoroastrian culture, the day marks the northern hemisphere’s spring equinox. Expressions of spiritual renewal, love, peace, and goodwill are exchanged by a broad cross-section of the community. It is a special day filled with many expressions of unity.

The current situation in Afghanistan has dominated world news mid-2021 and caused deep concern across the globe. Our hearts go out to the citizens of Afghanistan. We pray that all people may live in peace, freedom, and dignity under wise and compassionate leadership, in Almighty Allah’s Merciful Blessings.
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