The complex consists of two shrines, one that of Imamzadeh Ahmad which dates from 1167 and which is shown above, and the other that of Sjeikh Muammad Taghi, otherwise known as "Agha Najafi" or "Ayatollah Najafi".
The complex contains a number of interesting features. There is a stone below the windows of the shrine of Imamzadeh Ahmad, called 'Sumnat', overlooking the street, which is said to be half the remains of a Hindu idol captured from India by Soltan Mahmoud Ghaznavi, the patron of the Iranian national poet - Firdousi, and placed here, according to the inscription, in 1167 C.E. (563 A.H).
The courtyard contains a fine example of what is probably an 18th century Bakhtiari Lion, used by this tribe to mark the graves of great men. The Lion is decorated with inscriptions and insignia of the man whose grave it marks and a face has been placed in the mouth of the lion. It is excellently preserved and compares well with another in the courtyard of the Darb-e-Imam.
The interior of the two shrines differs markedly in their decorative treatment. Imamzadeh Ahmad's shrine has a beautiful ceiling in the traditional style with gently flowing muqqarnas culminating in the simple dome above which is mounted on a set of clerestory windows. The decorative treatment is sparse with dado tiling above which are painted medallions.
Ayatollah Najafi's shrine is completely different. Once inside, the visitor is almost sutnned by the lavish roccoco painted decoration above the tombs.
"Ayatollah Najafi" (b.20/03/1846 C.E.: d.05/07/1914 C.E.) was a learned and religious man. His title of "Najafi" derives from his spell as a professor of Mathematics in Najaf, where the tomb of the grandson of Muhammad, 'Ali, is found. He also taught in Kerbala, another city holy to the Shi'ites. His interest in mathematics extended to the Sufic implications of the subject.
Last Updated: October 31, 1998