Qajar-era hosayniya being restored to its former grandeur

September 15, 2020 - 19:30

TEHRAN- Qajar era (1789–1925) Navvab Hosayniya in Birjand, the capital of South Khorasan province, has undergone some rehabilitation works, a provincial tourism chief has said.

A Hosayniya is a congregation hall for holding Shiite Muslim commemoration ceremonies, especially those associated with the mourning month of Muharram, the month in which Imam Hussein (AS) was martyred by the then ruler Yazid.

A budget of 2 billion rials (about $47,000 at the official rate of 42,000 rials) has been allocated to the project, which aims at repairing electrical installations as well as walls, windows, interior, and exterior plasterworks and rooms’ flooring, Ali Shariatimanesh said on Tuesday.

Navvab Hosayniya is known for its exquisite plasterworks, which were done by the masters of the time, who came to from the central province of Isfahan.

 Several poems and elegies about Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), have been engraved on hosayniya’s entering gate. It has two iwans, a vaulted space that opens on one side to a courtyard, and a big courtyard.

For centuries, the commemoration of the battle of Karbala on the day of Ashura (literally meaning 10th as the battle took place on the 10th day of Muharram) and the epic passion and courage of Imam Hussein (AS) and his 72 loyal companions who were all martyred (in 680 CE) have been honored by Iranians, who are mostly Shia Muslims.

Therefore, hosayniyas and tekyehs, venues for the gathering of mourners who honor Imam Hussein (AS), have been considered important structures through Iranian architecture history.

Mourners, known as ‘heyat’ (literally meaning group or delegation), gather in these places to attend various ceremonies and rituals including Sineh-Zani, in which hundreds of men, all clad in black beat on their chests according to the rhythm of a sung eulogy.

Located in eastern Iran, South Khorasan province is home to many historical and natural attractions such as Birjand Castle, Dragon Cave, Furg Citadel, and Polond Desert.

It is also known for its famous rugs as well as its saffron and barberry which are produced in almost all parts of the province.