The 'Sundial' consists of the stone set at an angle to the others in the centre of the picture, just below the base of the column. The angle has been so calculated, by Sheikh Bahai that at mid-day the edge of the stone which faces outwards and to the left is completely blackened by the shadow. This indicates the time for prayers. This photograph was taken in the evening.

Sheikh Bahai's full name was Baha' Al-Din Al-'Amili. He was born in Baalbec in the Lebanon, the son of a Shi'ite father who brought him to Iran at the age of 13. He studied at first in Qazvin and then in Herat and finally settled in Isfahan. He was a true homo universalis with an encyclopaediac knowedge of sciences as diverse as horticulture and alchemy, and one of the few Sufis allowed to play a public role under Shah Abbas I. He played a major role in the design of the mosque which houses his sundial and also wrote legal textbooks and mystical epic poetry.


Last Updated: 9 April, 1999