Because of Mashhad's ancient history and geographic location, our city offers its patrons a chance to experience ancient places first hand. Explore the ancient city of Toos, which was once captured and then burned to the ground by Alexander the Great or marvel in the amazing spirituality of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) and learn about its exciting history. As history shows, Mashhad has always been a hub for intellectuals, influential leaders, and astonishing architecture. It has rapidly expanded since the burial of Imam Reza (PBUH), causing it to be a city for migration, pilgrims/tourists, cultural, economic, intellectual, and industrial growth.
The Making of Present Day Mashhad
In 818 CE, Imam Reza (PBUH), who was the eighth spiritual and socio-political leader (or imam) of the Shia Muslims, was martyred by the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun in the ancient city of Toos. It was decided that the Imam be buried next to the grave of Harun al-Rashid, Ma'mun's father, in the garden of the royal residence of Homayd ibn Qahtaba al-Ta'i in the nearby village of Sanabad. Because of the people's high regard for Imam Reza (PBUH), his gravesite began to attract many pilgrims. Hence, the small village of Sanabad was transformed over the centuries into the metropolis of Mashhad, which means "place of martyrdom".