The Islamic Republic of Iran commemorates the Martyrdom of Imam Reza as a public holiday on 29 and 30 Safar, according to the Islamic Calendar. The date varies on the Gregorian Calendar.
|2019||29 Oct||Tue||Martyrdom of Imam Reza|
|2020||17 Oct||Sat||Martyrdom of Imam Reza|
In Shia Islam, such as is predominantly practiced in Iran, Ali Al-Ridha, often called “Imam Reza”, is considered the eighth Imam. Imam Reza was a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad and was the heir of his father. He was very influential in the Abbasid Empire, which corresponds to Persia and modern Iran.
At first, he was appointed to be the next Caliph, but the sitting Abbasid Caliph became wary of the great popularity of Imam Reza and decided to murder him instead. After becoming Imam in A.D. 799, Reza was killed in A.D. 818. Shiites generally say that he was poisoned to death by the Caliph.
As Imam Reza is buried in Iran in the large city of Masshad, it’s easy for millions of people to stream to his burial shrine every year. The crowds are especially keen to visit on or around Martyrdom of Imam Reza Day.
Imam Reza is highly esteemed in Iran as a martyr and one who should have been caliph. His martyrdom day is a time of intense national mourning.