The tomb of Hafez and the surrounding area, formerly known as Takiya-ye Ḥāfeẓ. The Hafeziya is located south of the Koran Gate (Darvāza-ye Qorʾān) on the northern edge of Shiraz, at the beginning of Golestān Street, formerly known as Ḵarābāt Street. It is on the site of the famous Golgašt-e Moṣallā, the pleasure ground often mentioned in the poems of Hafez, and occupies about 19,000 square meters, incorporating one of Shiraz’s most famous cemeteries, Ḵāk-e Moṣallā.

In 856/1452, some sixty years after Hafez’s death, the Timurid governor of Fārs, Abu’l-Qāsem Mirzā Bābor b. Bāysonqor (q.v.), ordered his vizier, Šams-al-Din Moḥammad Yaḡmāʾi, to erect a dome-like structure over Hafez’s grave in the Moṣallā garden. In the front part of the garden he also built a large pool, which was filled from the nearby Roknābād stream (Sāmi, 1984, p. 366). This building was restored twice, first in the reign of the Safavid Shah ʿAbbās I (1587-1629), and again on the order of Nāder Shah Afšār (r. 1736-47), both times as the result of omens (fāl; see DIVINATION) taken from Hafez’s Divān (see Danešpažuh, p. 170). In 1187/1772-73, Karim Khan Zand (r. 1751-79) enlarged and enclosed the site. He built a vaulted hall (tālār) in the style of the Divān-ḵāna palace he had made, with four massive tall stone columns, open on the north and south and flanked by two large rooms on the east and west sides. This building effectively divided the area into two separate sections, the Nāranjestān (orange grove) in the front, and the Gurestān (cemetery) in the back. Hafez’s tomb was located outside and behind this building, in the middle of the cemetery. Over the grave he placed a marble slab, which still exists today. On this slab two lyrics (ghazal, q.v.) by Hafez were inscribed in nastaʿliq style (see CALLIGRAPHY) by the calligrapher Ḥāji Āqāsi Beg Afšār-e Āẕarbāyjāni. The ghazal beginning

Možda-ye waṣl-e to ku k’az sar-e jān bar ḵizam

Ṭāyer-e qods-am o az har do jahān bar ḵizam

was inscribed in relief in the center panel on the grave just under the Arabic phrase Howa’l-bāqi, and the ode beginning

Ey del ḡolām-e šāh-e jahān bāš o šāh bāš

Peyvasta dar ḥemāyat-e loṭf-e elāh bāš

on the margin around the first ode. The date of his death is also inscribed in the chronogram “ḵāk-e moṣallā” on the lower corner of the grave (Ḡaffāri, p. 358; Fasāʾi, ed. Rastgār, I, p. 514; Moṣṭafawi, p. 53; Perry, p. 277; Karimi, 1948, pp. 15-16).

Subsequent construction on the site was carried out largely by various governors of Fārs. In 1273/1857, Ṭahmāsb Mirzā Moʾayyed-al-Dawla restored and repaired the tomb. In 1295/1878, Moʿtamed-al-Dawla Far-hād Mirzā (q.v.) built a wooden enclosure around the tomb (Fasāʾi, ed. Rastegār, II, pp. 1201-2). Later, in 1899, again as the result of an omen taken from the Divān, a Zoroastrian philanthropist called Ḵosrow obtained permission from the ulema of Shiraz to build a shrine (boqʿa) of iron and wood around the grave. Before it was completed, however, the influential doctor of religious law (mojtahed) of Shiraz ʿAli-Akbar Fāl-Asiri (q.v.) led his followers to the site and had the building destroyed, on the pretext that a Zoroastrian was raising a building over the grave of a Muslim. Although the resulting public outcry caused the government in Tehran to order its reconstruction, Fāl-Asiri declared that he would destroy anything built there, even by the king himself (Saʿidi-Sirjāni, ed., pp. 582-83; Karimi, pp. 16-17). The building remained in ruins until 1319/1901, when Malek Manṣur Šoʿāʿ-al-Salṭana secured funding for an iron transenna to be built around the grave (PLATE I). The transenna was commissioned and designed by ʿAli-Akbar Mozayyen-al-Dawla Naqqāš-bāši; around it ran a verse inscription including the date and names of the patrons. Mozayyen-al-Dawla also ordered that both sides of Karim Khan’s hall be adorned with marble slabs, on which the ghazal beginning

Rawża-ye ḵold-e barin ḵalwat-e darvišān ast

Māya-ye moḥtašami ḵedmat-e darvišān ast

was inscribed in the calligraphy of Mir ʿEmād (fl. 17th cent.), copied by the Qajar artist ʿAbd-al-Ṣamad Lala-bāši (Karimi, pp. 17-18, who quotes the inscription; Sāmi, 1959, p. 62).

In 1310 Š./1931, Faraj-Allāh Bahrāmi Dabir-e Aʿẓam (q.v.), the governor-general of Isfahan and Fārs, erected a large stone portal in the south wall of the Hafeziya and repaired its walls and nāranjestān (Karimi, 1948, p. 18). Further plans for renovation remained in abeyance until, in 1935, the Department of Education of Fārs, on the initiative of ʿAli-Aṣḡar Ḥekmat (q.v.), the Minister of Education, arranged for the construction of a new building. The French archeologist André Godard (q.v.), the technical director of the Department of Antiquities, drew up an appropriate design. Execution of this project was delegated to ʿAli Riāżi, the head of the Department of Education of Fārs, and ʿAli Sāmi was put in charge of its supervision (Karimi, 1948, pp. 18-19; Sāmi, 1959, pp. 59-60).

The present building is in the style of the period of Karim Khan Zand. Over Hafez’s gravestone—raised one meter above ground level, and surrounded by five circular steps—there is a copper dome shaped like a dervish’s hat, supported by eight columns ten meters in height (PLATE II). The interior of the dome is covered in polychrome glazed tilework; eight distichs of the ghazal beginning

Ḥejāb-e čehra-ye jān mišavad ḡobār-e tan-am

Ḵošā dam-i ke az ān čehra parda bar fekanam

are inscribed in ṯoloṯ script on eight massive stones, one on each column. Karim Khan Zand’s four-columned hall has been incorporated into a new and spacious hall, with sixteen additional identical stone columns; Karim Khan’s four columns occupy the center of this building.

This twenty-columned veranda (ayvān, q.v.) divides the Hafeziya into two sections, north and south. Hafez’s tomb is located in the northern section, as is also a library 440 square meters in area (formerly the tomb of Qāsem Khan Wāli, d. 1873; Karimi, p. 24), which contains 10,000 volumes and is used as a center for Hafez scholarship. On the external façade of the hall, facing the entrance garden, the ghazal beginning Gol-ʿeḏāri ze golestān-e jahān mā-rā bas/ Z’in čaman sāya-ye ān sarv-e ravān mā-rā bas is inscribed on azure glazed tiles. Also in this section are orange trees and two large rectangular pools, on the eastern and western sides, which provide water for the large pools in the entrance garden, as well as a recently established traditional coffeehouse, 330 square meters in area. On the walls of this section of the Hafeziya, odes from Hafez’s Divān are inscribed on tiles and marble slabs in the calligraphy of ʿAbd-al-Ḥamid Malek-al-Kalāmi (q.v.; d. 1949): on the north wall is the ghazal beginning Saḥar-am hātef-e mey-ḵāna be dawlat-ḵᵛāhi/Goft bāz āy ke dirina-ye in dargāh-i; on the south wall the ghazal Čo bešnavi soḵan-e ahl-e del magu ke ḵaṭā’st/Soḵanšenās na-ʾi jān-e man ḵaṭā injā’st;on the east wall the ghazal Mazraʿ-e sabz-e falak didam o dās-e mah-e now/Yād-am az kešta-ye ḵᵛiš āmad o hangām-e derow; and on the west wall the ode Biā ke qaṣr-e amal saḵt sost bonyād ast/Biār bāda ke bonyād-e ʿomr bar bād ast (Sāmi, 1959, pp. 62-64).

The southern section of the Hafeziya constitutes the entrance garden, with orange trees, two large flower gardens, paths, and a stream. In the middle of each garden is a large rectangular pool. The stone edges of these pools came originally from a pool in the north garden of Bāḡ-e Naẓar, a part of the Divān-ḵāna palace of Karim Khan Zand, which was destroyed during the extension of Karim Khan Zand Boulevard (the partially remaining south garden is now the Pārs Museum). The stones were transferred to the Hafeziya to build the present pools (Karimi, 1948, p. 41). On each side of the courtyard there is a large orange grove. The south wall and the entrance are made of iron railings. The area of the southern section, from the entrance to the garden to the steps of the central hall, is 9,985 square meters.

A number of famous people are buried in the vicinity of Hafez’s grave. They include poets, scholars, and other notables of Shiraz: the poets and scholars Ahli Širāzi (q.v.), Mirzā Kuček Weṣāl Širāzi, Moḥammad-Naṣir Forṣat-al-Dawla (q.v.), Loṭf-ʿAli Ṣuratgar, Faridun Taval-lali, Mehdi Ḥamidi, Nāṣer-al-Din Sālār (Sālār-e Jang), Moḥammad-Ḵalil Rajāʾi; the mystic Moḥammad-Hāšem Ḏahabi; and the writer Rasul Parvizi. The mausoleum of Qawām-al-Molk Širāzi and his family (the Qawāmiya) is also found here (Karimi, pp. 23-24).



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(Kuros Kamali Sarvestani)

Originally Published: December 15, 2002

Last Updated: March 1, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XI, Fasc. 5, pp. 505-507