The Continuation of the Conception of Justice and Imamate in the Timurid and Safavid Architectural Decorative Motifs, with an Emphasis on Motifs of Goharshad Mosque in Mashhad and Imam Mosque in Isfahan

Document Type : تاریخ هنر خراسان بزرگ


According to the Shiite, Justice and Imamate are two of the pillars of Islamic anthology. These two are behind the secrets hidden in decorative motifs particularly in architecture. The value of Justice and Imamate in Islamic decorative motifs of Persian Architecture looks more to the eye after the Timurid period.
This research tried to depict the existence of Justice and Imamate concepts in the different decorative motifs including plant derived, geometric and inscriptions, focusing on the motifs of the Goharshad mosque in Mashad in Timurid era and comparing it to Imam Mosque in Isfahan during the Safavid period. The goal of the study is to investigate the Shiite notions in the decorative motifs of the Islamic Iranian architecture in Goharshad mosque, as a mosque commissioned by the sunnit and the existence of the same motifs in Imam mosque of Isfahan, as a mosque ruled by the Shiite. To achieve this goal, library and field studies have been conducted. Meanwhile, historical, analytical and comparative methods have been used as well.
The results demonstrate that the inscriptions had a considerable role in promoting Shiite beliefs in both Timurid and Safavid periods. Utilizing Quranic verses, prophetic traditions(Hadith) and supplications (prayers) on Justice and Imamate in the inscriptions of Goharshad mosque shows how Timurid Sunni rulers supported the Shiite beliefs and the Safavid rulers considered it a religious duty to support those beliefs.