Mashhad al-Siqt

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Coordinates: 36°11′32.4″N 37°07′57.6″E / 36.192333°N 37.132667°E / 36.192333; 37.132667

An interior view of the Darih of Mashhad al-Siqt

Mashhad al-Siqṭ (Arabic: مَشهَدالسِّقْطْ) or Mashhad Muḥsin b. al-Ḥusayn (Arabic: مشهد مُحْسن بن الحُسَین) is a pilgrimage destination of Shi'as in Aleppo. This construction is located 300 meters from Mashhad al-Nuqta and was first built in 351/962 at the command of Sayf al-Dawla al-Hamdani. It is attributed to a son of Imam al-Husayn (a) called "Muhsin" who was miscarried by his mother in this place. However, reliable historical sources have never attributed a son called so to Imam al-Husayn (a).

Whose Shrine Is It?

The construction or the shrine is attributed to Muhsin b. al-Husayn (a). According to Yaqut, a historiographer, when the caravan of the Captives of Karbala arrived in this place to take a rest, the baby of one of Imam al-Husayn's (a) widows was miscarried, or a child in the caravan who had died in Aleppo was buried in this place. The baby came to be known as "Muhsin al-Siqt" (the miscarried Muhsin). According to Ibn 'Adim, the miscarried baby was called Muhsin b. al-Husayn (a), but there is no historical source for the naming.

The Story of the Discovery of the Grave

The place was originally a wooden scaffolding on which Sayf al-Dawla al-Hamdani used to sit and watch horse races. It was called "Mashhad al-Dakka" (Arabic: مشهد الدکّة) and "Mashhad al-Tarh" (Arabic: مشهد الطرح). When he heard a story about there being a grave in this place, he ordered the construction of a mausoleum over it on which the following was written with Kufi Calligraphy:

"The great ruler, Sayf al-Dawla Abu l-Hasan 'Ali b. 'Abd Allah b. Hamdan, built this mausoleum in 351/962 for the sake of God and proximity to Him in the name of al-Muhsin b. al-Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abi Talib, may God be happy with them."

Location

The mausoleum used to be located in the foothills of al-Jawshan Mountain in west Aleppo. Today it is located in Mashhad Street of Aleppo and is known by people of the city as Shaykh Muhsin. Mashhad al-Nuqta and mausoleums of some Shiite scholars such as Ibn Zuhra (d. 585/1189), Ibn Shahrashub, and Ahmad b. Munir al-Tarabulusi (d. 548/1153) are located near the mausoleum.

History of the Construction

The mausoleum was first built in 351/962 at the command of Sayf al-Dawla al-Hamdani. Faranj occupied Aleppo in 518/1124 and exhumated the grave, and when he found nothing there, he set it on fire. In the 7th/13th century, Baraqraq b. Radi reconstructed the mausoleum and appointed a supervisor, a mu'adhdhin and a leader of congregational prayers there.

The building includes a central courtyard around which different parts of the building, such as shabistan, porches, and the grave of Muhsin b. al-Husayn, are located. In each of these parts, there are small semispherical domes. On the northern side of the courtyard, there is a script containing salawat for the Fourteen Infallibles (a) going back to Ayyubi kings. The mausoleum was exploded on August 24, 2012 in a terrorist attack.

References