A survey in the process of construction of tomb complexes in the Islamic architecture of Iran according Abusaeed Abilkheir ideas



During the Islamic period of Iran except for public complexes including buildings as Bazaar, reservoir, Caravansary, etc. there were burial complexes that occupy a special place in the architecture of the epoch. These complexes were first built as the burial ground of a famous political or religious figure and along the time other buildings such as mosque, Madreseh (school), monastery, Caravansary, pilgrimage house…. were added to them. In a general typology, we can divide these complexes in two religious and political types. The king’s complexes are from political types and Sufis or Shiite complexes are from religious types. Religious types are probably the first burial complexes that were made in Islamic period of Iran. These complexes have always been noteworthy to people as the shrines and have developed during centuries from single tombs to magnificent complexes. Imam Reza complex in Mashhad and saint Masoomeh complex in the city of Ghom are the best examples of this type. Sufis complexes made by devotees, are less important than Shiite ones, and in the past centuries were regarded as social services institutes that provided food and resort for poor people. Sheikh Abdolsamad Isfahani complex in the city of Natanz and Bayazid Bastami complex in the city of Bastam are examples of this kind. An important point about these complexes is their fundamental effect on the establishment and later expansion of many Iranian cities throughout this period. The fundamental role of these complexes in the development of architecture in Islamic period necessitates research into the fundamental beliefs, which influenced their emergence and development. The history of construction of the complexes and the effective factors in their appearance in the Islamic architecture of Iran are questions with no exact answers so far. Innumerous attacks to Iran in the Islamic period during which many buildings were destroyed, is one of the most important factors which have resulted in this condition. Process of shaping of burial complexes has not been steady during the Islamic period of Iran and diverse political periods has had vicissitude. According to relics of Islamic period, the oldest complexes belong to the late Saljughid period and accordingly we must search in Saljughid and pre Saljughid periods about factors of shaping of these complexes. The present paper tries to identify the factors which were influenced the establishment and later development of these complexes through surveying literary and historic books. The book surveyed in this paper is Asrar Altovhid, an essay by Mohammad Ibn Monavvar from 6th century Hijrah that describes the biography of Abusaeed Abilkheir, the great Sufi scholar of the 4th and 5th centuries ater Hijrah. According to the findings of the research, the beginning of these complexes in Iran, from Saljughid period, is likely related with Sufism and especially with the mystic views of Abusaeed Abilkheir. Due to the key role of mysticism in the development of this innovative architectural form in Iran, different aspects of the relationship between mysticism and the emergence of burial complexes has also been touched upon.