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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 three hundred 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,[1] or a child in the caravan who had died in Aleppo was buried in this place.[2] 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.[3]

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).[4] 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."[5]

Location

The mausoleum used to be located in the foothills of al-Jawshan Mountain in west Aleppo.[6] 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.[7]

History of the Construction

The mausoleum was first built in 351/962 at the command of Sayf al-Dawla al-Hamdani.[8] Faranj occupied Aleppo in 518/1124 and exhumed the grave, and when he found nothing there, he set it on fire.[9] In the seventh/thirteenth century, Baraqraq b. Radi reconstructed the mausoleum and appointed a supervisor, a mu'adhdhin and a leader of congregational prayers there.[10]

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 semi-spherical domes. On the northern side of the courtyard, there is a script containing salawat for the Fourteen Infallibles (a) going back to Ayyubi kings.[11] The mausoleum was exploded on August 24, 2012 in a terrorist attack.[12]

Notes

  1. Ḥamawī, Muʿjam al-buldān, vol. 2, p. 186.
  2. Ḥamawī, Muʿjam al-buldān, vol. 2, p. 284.
  3. Ibn ʿAdīm, Bughyat al-ṭalab, vol. 4, p. 411.
  4. Ḥalabī Ghuzzī, Nahr al-dhahab, vol. 2, p. 210.
  5. Ḥalabī Ghuzzī, Nahr al-dhahab, vol. 2, p. 210.
  6. Ḥamawī, Muʿjam al-buldān, vol. 2, p. 186.
  7. Ḥusaynī Jalālī, Mazārāt Ahl al-Bayt wa tārīkhuhā, p. 234-235.
  8. Ḥalabī Ghuzzī, Nahr al-dhahab, vol. 2, p. 210.
  9. Ibn ʿAdīm, Bughyat al-ṭalab, vol. 4, p. 412.
  10. Ḥalabī Ghuzzī, Nahr al-dhahab, vol. 2, p. 210.
  11. Khāmayār, Takhrīb zīyāratgāh-hayi islāmī, p. 62.
  12. Khāmayār, Takhrīb zīyāratgāh-hayi islāmī, p. 63.

References

  • Ḥamawī, Yāqūt b. ʿAbd Allāh al-. Muʿjam al-buldān. Beirut: Dār al-Ṣādir, 1995.
  • Ḥalabī Ghuzzī, Kāmil b. Ḥusayn. Nahr al-dhahab fī tārīkh Ḥalab. Ḥalab: Dār al-Qalam, 1419 AH.
  • Ḥusaynī Jalālī, Muḥammad Ḥusayn. Mazārāt Ahl al-Bayt wa tārīkhuhā. 3rd edition. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī, 1415 AH.
  • Ibn ʿAdīm, ʿUmar b. Aḥmad. Bughyat al-ṭalab fī tārīkh al-Ḥalab. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, [n.d].
  • Khāmayār, Aḥmad. Takhrīb zīyāratgāh-hayi islāmī dar kishwarhā-yi ʿArabī; Irāq, Syria, Tunis and Libya. Qom: Dār al-Aʿlām li Madrisat Ahl al-Bayt, 1391 Sh.
  • Qummī, Shaykh ʿAbbās. Nafas al-mahmūm fī muṣībat sayyidinā al-Ḥusayn al-mazlūm. Najaf: al-Maktaba al-Ḥaydarīyya, 1421 AH.