Mazar e Sharif

Mazar-e-Sharif is the fourth-largest city of Afghanistan. It is the capital of Balkh province and is linked by highways with Kunduz in the east, Kabul in the southeast, Herat in the west and Uzbekistan in the north. Mazar-e Sharif, along with Herat, Jalalabad in the east and Kandahar in the south, makes Afghanistan an important strategic location in Asia. The city also serves as one of the many tourist attractions because of its famous shrines as well as the Muslim and Hellenistic archeological sites. The name “Mazar-e Sharif” means “Noble Shrine”, a reference to the large, blue-tiled sanctuary and mosque in the center of the city known as the Shrine of Hazrat Ali or the Blue Mosque. Some Muslims believe that the tomb of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), is at this mosque in Mazar-e-Sharif, after Ali’s remains were transferred to Mazar-e-Sharif as per request of Jafar as-Sadiq. However, most Muslims believe that the grave of Hazrat Ali  is at the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, Iraq.