Sheikh Safi ensemble to host Turkish Alevists on Eid al-Ghadir

May 20, 2022 - 19:30

TEHRAN – The Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble in Ardebil, northwest Iran is scheduled to be hosting a delegation of Turkey’s Alevi community on Eid al-Ghadir, the day on which Imam Ali (AS) was appointed as the first Shia Imam as his successor and Muslims’ next leader.

The Eid al-Ghadir celebration, which falls on July 18, is planned to be held jointly in the World Heritage site, in response to a request made by the president of Turkey’s Alevi community Ali Yildirim on Thursday during his visit, Ardebil’s tourism chief has said. 

In recent years, efforts have been made to facilitate the presence of Turkish Alevists in the province to develop foreign tourism and religious tourism, which are yielding positive results today, and after the coronavirus pandemic, Nader Fallahi explained on Friday. 

It was also decided to establish a cultural and tourist complex and a hotel complex jointly and a direct flight from Ardabil to Turkey was proposed, the official added. 

Alevism is a local tradition of Islam, whose adherents follow Haji Bektash Veli’s mystical teachings, believed to have been passed down by Imam Ali (AS) and the Twelve Imams.

Alevists don’t have binding religious dogmas, and their teachings are handed down by a spiritual leader. Approximately 20 percent of Turkish people are adherents of Alevism, and it is commonly practiced in Turkey.

Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble is a microcosm of Sufism where arrays of harmonious sun-scorched domes, well-preserved and richly-ornamented facades and interiors, and, above all, an atmosphere of peace and tranquility have all made a must-see stopover while traversing northwest Iran.

The ensemble is named after Sheikh Safi al-Din Ardebili (1253-1334), who was a Sufi philosopher and leader of Islamic mystic practices. It embodies the essence of Sufi traditions by having a microcosmic ‘city’, which embraces a mosque, a madrasa, a library, a cistern, a bathhouse, kitchens, and a hospital, as well as religious houses amongst others. The place also boasts a remarkable collection of antique artifacts.

Developed between the early 16th century and the end of the 18th century, this place of spiritual retreat enjoys principal elements of traditional Iranian architecture to make the best use of existing space for accommodating a variety of functions.



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