Architectural Criticism of Nasir Al-Molk Mosque in Shiraz Based on Religious Texts

Document Type : Research Article


1 PhD. Candidate in Islamic Architecture, Architecture Department, Art University of Isfahan, Iran

2 Art Research Department, Art University of Isfahan, Iran

3 Architecture Department, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran


Problem statement: Nasir al-Molk mosque, which is described in architectural writing resources as a distinct mosque, has become a tourism center in Shiraz for many years and seems to have lost its devotional function. This distinction from the mosques with a more historical dating in Shiraz results in the assumption that the architectural features of this mosque are the reason for this distinction. Characteristics that come with the change or emphasis of common patterns in traditional mosques, and field observations and reviewing the documents of related resources include the lack of elongation of the prayer hall perpendicular to the axis of the qibla, the aberration of the perception of the qibla, the maximum decorations in the space of worship and the likeness to non-Muslim patterns. In order to examine these characteristics that cprayer hallenge the historic originality, it is necessary to refer to non-timely religious criteria, which goes beyond this feature, to ensure the devotional function of the mosque in an optimal way.
Research objective: Hence, the main purpose of this research is to judge and critique the distinctive features of the design of the Nasir al-Molk mosque in Shiraz based on religious criteria.
Research method: In the present article, using the verses of the Qur’an and narrations, especially those who refer to the construction of Masjid al-Nabi(The prophet’s Mosque) by the prophet (pbuh), as criteria for criticism, the judgment of these four attributes in the mosque of Nasir al-Molk will be considered.
Conclusion: The findings show that the division of the prayer hall into the eastern and western parts, which contradicts the policies of the prayer hall design from the point of view of Islam, as well as the aberration from the axis of the qibla alongside the maximum decorations that damage the experience of the worshipers, and finally use the signs and patterns of imported architecture in the Qajar era prove that the effect of these features is to enhance the mosque’s exhibitive capabilities and, hence, reduce its worshipability.


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