Its population is about 70,000 fixed and 10,000 floating, the latter consisting of pilgrims to the shrine of Imam Reza.'
The shrine of Imam Reza is the most venerated spot in Persia, and yearly visited by more than 100,000 pilgrims. Eastwick thus describes it (Journal of a Diplomat's Three Years' Residence in Persia, London, 1864) "The quadrangle of the shrine seemed to be about 150 paces square.
In the centre of the eastern side of the quadrangle two gigantic doors were thrown open to admit the people into the adytum or inner mosque (shrine) where is the marble tomb of Imam Reza, surrounded by a silver railing with knobs of gold.
' Abul Hassan Ali, al Reza, commonly known as Imam Reza, the eighth imam of the Shiites, a son of Musa al Kazim, the seventh imam, was the leader from whom the party of the Alids (Shiites) had such hopes under the caliphate of Mamun.
Rising north of Teheran, the Kend and Kerej rivers, rising nrthwest of Teheran, the Shureh-rud (also called Abhar-rud), rising near Sultanieh on the road between Kazvin and Tabriz, and the Kara-su, which rises near Hamadan and is joined by the Zarinrud (also known as Do-ab), the Reza Chai (also called Mazdakanrud), the Jehrud River and the Kum-rud.
The guardian of a shrine is called mutavali, or, if the shrine is an important one with much property and many attendants, mutavali-bashi, and is not necessarily an ecclesiastic, for instance, the guardianship of the great shrine of Imam Reza in Meshed is generally given to a high court functionary or minister as a reward for long services to the state.
Kermfln named Mirza Reza, who had resided a short time in Constantinople and there acquired revolutionary and anarchist ideas from Kemalu d-Din, the so-called Afghan sheikh, who, after being very kindly treated by the shah, preached revolution and anarchy at Teheran, fled ~to Europe, visited London, and finally took up his residence in Constantinople.
Mirza Reza was hanged on the 12th of August 1896.