On this day 14 years ago, the enemies of Islam trespassed the beacon of knowledge and asceticism in the city of Samarra, after they were not able to bear the bright radiance emanating from the golden dome of the Tenth and Eleventh Imams, peace be upon them. The enemies might have done damage to the holy shrine but its bright radiance continues by the will of the Almighty Allah.
Since the tragic demolition of the al-Askariyain Holy Shrine in the northern Iraqi city of Samarra in 2006, Shias around the world commemorate the 27th of Jumada al-Awwal as a day of sorrow and grief.
The holy dome and minarets were bombed by insurgents with over 200 kilograms of explosives planted inside, taking advantage of the country’s unstable security situation to fulfil their bloodthirsty creed.
Five years after the demolition, the reconstruction works began in coordination with UNESCO. Millions of pilgrims have since visited the Al-Askariyain Holy Shrine every year.
In addition to being the burial site of Imam Ali al-Hadi and Imam Hassan al-Askary, peace be upon them, Samarra is also the place from where Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi, known as the "Imam of Our Time”, went into The Occultation. This has made it an important pilgrimage center for the Shias. Furthermore, Hakimah and Narjis, female relatives of the Prophet Muhammad and the Imams, held in high esteem by Muslims, are buried there, making this mosque one of the most significant Islamic shrines.
Samarra, or Sāmarrāʾ, is located on the east bank of the Tigris in the Salah al-Din Province, 125 kilometers (78 mi) north of Baghdad. It has an estimated population of 300,000, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Planning. In 2007, UNESCO named Samarra one of its World Heritage Sites.