The Sacred Golden Dome

The sacred golden dome of the Imam Ali Holy Shrine that surmounts the holy tomb is regarded as one of the most prominent features of the holy shrine for both its massiveness and its height. It is distinguished by its long neck which adds on to its majesty and brilliance, in addition to the accuracy and harmony of its art, offering a spectacular scene to viewers from both the inside and outside. The dome of the Imam Ali Holy Shrine is the only dome out of all the shrines that is higher than the minarets next to it.  From the inside, the dome provides a spectacular view for it is adorned with the most wonderful Islamic Qashani, as well as glazed decorations and inscriptions. From the outside, the dome is covered with copper tiles that have been coated with pure gold. Due to the shape of the dome, it is quite difficulty to count all of the gold tiles which is why the exact number is disagreed upon. It is said that the number can be one of the following:    8787, 7777, 8888, 9990. The globetrotter, Nayboor, who visited Najaf in the year 1765, said, “There is no building in the world that has a more valuable roof than this one.”  The dome is placed on four large pillars. If we were to include the gilded name of Allah, the total height of the dome would measure to be 33.5m. Its outer diameter is 16.6 meters and its circumference is 51.85 meters.  A 1.46 m long gilded band, which is made out of blue enamel and coated with gold—and  upon which the blessed Quranic chapter, Al-Fajr, is depicted separates between the dome and its neck. A gold spherical ball, with a height of 3.5 meters, is placed above the dome stands between the base and the gilded name of Allah (swt). It was last coasted in the mid-sixties of the twentieth century, when 63 kilograms of pure gold were added onto it.