Jami’s Tomb

Mawlana Abdur Rahman Jami was Herat’s greatest poet and one of the greatest Sufi poets who wrote in Persian. He was a regular at the court of Sultan Baiqara, where he composed many treatises on the soul’s meditation of the divine. He died in 1492 and is still revered by modern Heratis, who can often quote from his greatest work, HaftAwrang (Seven Thrones), and regularly visit his grave (Sarakh-e Tanki Mawlawi; donation welcome, sunrise-sunset). The tomb is a quiet and contemplative place, inside a modest enclosure under a pistachio tree, with a finely carved headstone. A large pole is hung with green banners and has had many nails hammered into it as prayer offerings. The tomb is visited by both men and women, who sit either side of the grave, in prayer or meditation. It’s commonplace to walk around the grave and to take a pinch of earth as a blessing. There is also a small donation box here. A larger mosque stands adjacent to the grave. Both are modern, rebuilt after being severely damaged by Soviet shelling in 1984. A taxi ride from the centre of Herat costs 80Afg.