The Shrine of Husayn ibn ‘Alī is one of the oldest mosques in the World and a holy site of Shīah Islām in the city of Karbalā, Iraq. It stands on the site of the grave of Hussein ibn ‘Alī, the second grandson of Muhammad, near the place where he was killed during the Battle of Karbalā in 680 C.E.. The tomb of Husayn ibn ‘Alī is one of the holiest places for Shī‘as outside of Mecca and Medina, and many make pilgrimages to the site. Every year, millions of pilgrims visit the city to observe ‘Āshūrā, which marks the anniversary of Husayn ibn ‘Alī's death.
The Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs prevented construction of the shrines and discouraged pilgrimage to the sites. The tomb and its annexes were destroyed by Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil in 850-851 and Shi'a pilgrimage was prohibited, but shrines in Karbala and Najaf were built by the Buwayhid emir 'Adud al-Daula in 979-80.
Two main roads lead the visitor to Karbala. One is from the Iraqi capital Baghdad, through Al-Musails, and the other is from Najaf. At the city's entrance there is a row of houses decorated with wooden columns. The boundary wall of the shrine surrounds wooden gates covered with glass decorations. The gates open into a courtyard separated into smaller rooms or precincts with many "Iwans" along the walls. The grave of Husayn is enclosed within a cage-like structure, found directly beneath the golden dome. Al Abbas Mosque is located nearby.