TEHRAN –(Iranart)- “Erdebilliler”, an encyclopedia of the mystic school of Sheikh Safi ad-Din Ardebili (1253-1334) compiled under the supervision of Turkish author Coskun Kökel was unveiled during a meeting in Ardebil on Friday, the Persian service of IRNA reported on Saturday.
Published in Turkish in Ankara in 2018, the five-volume encyclopedia contains articles about the students of Sheikh Safi ad-Din, founder of a Sufism center in Ardebil, and the ancestor of the Safavid dynasty, whose members migrated from Ardebil in Iran to Anatolia where they promoted Alevism, Islam as practiced by Imam Ali (AS), the first Imam of the Shia.
Kökel and a number of his colleagues and a group of Iranian cultural officials and experts attended the unveiling ceremony held at the mausoleum of Sheikh Safi ad-Din Ardebili, which was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010.
The director of the Ardebil Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Office, Nader Fallahi, pointed to the joint cultural affinities between Iran and Turkey and said that the cultural projects between the two countries can help reinforce bilateral cooperation.
Fallahi also added that reviving tourism in the region can increase the number of tourists who would like to visit the mausoleum of Sheikh Safi.
For his part, Kokel also said that Sheikh Safi is highly respected by the Shia in Iran and Turkey and his mausoleum is a sacred place for them.
Beliefs and rituals practiced by the Alevi Muslims in Anatolia as well as historical documents are collected in the book.
Sheikh Safi was a Sufi philosopher and the leader of Islamic mystic practices. His mausoleum is comprised of structures built between 1335 and 1629 CE.
The main part of the mausoleum, the Allah Allah Tomb, was built by Sadr ad-Din Musa, son of Sheikh Safi, whose descendant Ismail I founded the Safavid dynasty that ruled Iran during the 16th, 17th, and early 18th centuries.
A wood box bearing inlays and intarsia, which is believed to have been presented by Timurid king Homayun, has been placed on Sheikh Safi’s grave.
The mausoleum consists of many sections that have served a variety of functions over the past centuries, including a library, a mosque, a school, an icehouse, a hospital, kitchens, a bakery and some offices.
It incorporates a route to reach the shrine of the sheikh that is divided into seven segments, which mirror the seven stages of Sufi mysticism.
Various parts of the mausoleum are separated by eight gates, which represent the eight attitudes of Sufism.
The site presents characteristics of medieval Iranian Islamic architecture. A collection of fascinating artifacts is also kept at the mausoleum.
Another dome was constructed beside the main dome of the mausoleum after Shah Ismail I was buried beside the grave of Sheikh Safi.
Several parts were gradually added to the main structure during the Safavid dynasty. A number of Safavid sheikhs and harems and victims of the Safavids’ battles, including the Battle of Chaldiran (also known as Chaldoran), have been buried at the site.
source: Tehran Times