Atigh Congregational mosque, this 9th-century mosque is the oldest mosque in Shiraz which is also known as Adineh mosque the Persian word for Friday. It’s located in the old quarter of Shiraz with rather easy access to Shah Cheraq shrine–another tourist attraction in its east corner – The mosque was built by the order of the ruler of that time (Amro Leis Saffari) during the Saffarid era in the place that was considered the center of the city.
Let’s know more about this Atigh congregational mosque
There exist some local beliefs about the functions of this mosque even from the pre-Islamic era as they believed it was built on the ruins of a fire temple. Or they named the northern gate as the gate of Imam Hassan –the second holy Imam of Shia – as they claimed he said prayers in this place, this gate was later named as the gate of twelve Imams (the Muslims religious leaders) because there is a wonderful tile work which is decorated by the holy names of twelve Imams, six names on each side of the wall.
Also according to the oral history of people in Shiraz, in construction of the ceiling of this mosque the ruler had used the Cedar trunks from a garden near Shiraz (Sarvestan a small village 80 km to the south of Shiraz city). The owner of the garden that was an old pious woman refused to accept the money for the trunk and endowed them to the mosque. There is a belief that the woman _her name was Afifeh_ was later buried in the old southern prayers hall (Shabestan a place for the Muslims to say prayers in a mosque), and her grave is somewhere between the altar (Mihrab where the religious pioneer of the Muslims stands and the people just queue behind him in lines and say prayers) and the pulpit (the place for the religious pioneer of the Muslims to preach the prayers).
For the commemoration of Afifeh –that pious woman– there is an ancient religious rite that has been held for about 12 centuries, in which in the last Friday of Ramadan the women get together and pray in this mosque. And the last but not the least interesting thing about this mosque is a wall in the southern part which is famous as Nodbeh that is different from the other walls by owning a blue tile work of Cedar or peak-like shape. Regarding the sayings, Boraq (kind of carrier) passed from there on the night of Miraj (literally means ladder and it’s referred to Prophet Muhammad celestial journey).
The construction of Atigh Congregational Mosque:
This a three-portico mosque with six gates around, two gates are located in the east, two in the west, one in the south, and one in the north. Of these three porticos, the northern one that owns two squat minarets is called the pearl porch as it has the most detailed and beautiful bricks muqarnas (a kind of architectural ornamentation using brick, plaster, tile, wood or iron). Also To the east of this portico exists a recently built prayer hall. The southern portico was almost destroyed during the time although the magnificent tile works are still eye-catching. It has a way to the prayer hall with an altar with two spiral stone columns around, which is the feature of the Zandiyeh reign and a wooden pulpit The oldest part of the mosque is placed to the east of it _a prayer hall with forty rather thick stone columns.
The eastern portico is built in the Safavid period by Shah Abass and has gone under the renovation recently. The courtyard has an area of 55*75 m. with a stone pond inside. The most spectacular feature of the mosque is Khodaye Khane the Persian word for God house. This is a stone structure with a length of 12 meters and a width of 10 meters, it has a central chamber of 8*6 meter. This chamber was used as a place for keeping and reading the most precious manuscript Qurans, also they said Hafez the 13th-century poet was staying there for memorizing Quran.
Nowadays those Qurans are kept either in the museums or in the private collections. Around Khodaye Khane there is a verse that was a tile work done directly on the stone. It is a unique piece of art here, which cannot be found in any other part of Iran.
What are some good places nearby Atigh Congregational mosque?
As the Atigh Congregational Mosque is placed in a part accessible to different tourist attractions, it is highly recommended to visit there no matter in which season you’re traveling to Shiraz. It is located to the east of the Shah cheraq shrine, a religious place which is also famous as a mirror house among the tourists. Also, Vakil bazaar, Vakil Historical Bath, and Vakil mosque are the other attractions that are reachable through some walks on the old district. Also, there are lots of good cafes and restaurants in its neighborhood like Vakil Cultural House, Joulep café and restaurant.
The nice places to stay nearby are Niyaesh hotel, a boutique hotel just short walks from the mosque. Also Shiraz Beynol Harameyn Hotel, a four-star hotel with good amenities and Raz Traditional House which is the nearest place to the mosque. Actually, in its neighborhood, there are many more places for having comfortable accommodation and enjoying good meals more than anywhere else in Shiraz.