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Kazimain

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View of the Imami Shrine
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View of the Imami Shrine

Kazimain or Al-Kazimiyah is a town located in Iraq that is now a neighborhood of Baghdad, located in the northern area of the city about 5 km from the center of the city. The coordinates of Kazimain are 33.38 N, 44.34 E. It is a holy city in Shia Islam and is named after the seventh Shia Imam, Musa al-Kazim who is buried there, along with his grandson and the ninth Shia Imam, Muhammad at-Taqi.

The area that now constitutes Kazimain was originally the location of a graveyard reserved for members of the Quraish tribe, in the north of Baghdad. This land was set aside for this purpose by the Abbasid caliph, Harun al-Rashid who also founded Baghdad. The first person to be buried here was the son of Imam Musa al-Kazim, Jafar. The Imam would later be buried here, and his grandson would be buried near him. A shrine was built over the tombs of both Imams, and thus Kazimain has become an important destination for Shia pilgrims.

In its early history, the town was an important center of Shia learning, perhaps the main center, but over time the town declined, and other cities rose to prominence. The location of the city has lent it to numerous plunders, that have resulted in damage to its shrines at different times in history. Among the most damage ever experienced by the town was after the Mongol sack of Baghdad where the shrine of the Shia Imams was burnt down. The area was also an important center of resistance against the British after World War I.

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