Several studies have been conducted on Naqsh-e Jahān Square so far. However, there is still much to explore regarding the reasons behind its construction and development. Some of the many questions that require further research target the present sizes of its dimensions Full Text
Several studies have been conducted on Naqsh-e Jahān Square so far. However, there is still much to explore regarding the reasons behind its construction and development. Some of the many questions that require further research target the present sizes of its dimensions, the setting of its elements, and the philosophy of using different colors and designs in the various corners of this square. Following two descriptive-analytic and historical-interpretive methods, this study investigated the thoughts and motives behind the architectural design and construction of Naqsh-e Jahān Square. The required data for this study was collected and analyzed through library and content analysis methods. The findings of the study indicate that, in addition to being the Safavid House of Government, this square functioned as a religious-political statement presenting the gnostic-Shi‘ite thoughts which had been hidden in Iranians’ unconscious mind. This square allegorizes the Holy Prophet’s night of ascension and visualizes gnostic wayfaring for wayfarers through reminding them of the different stations of the four-fold journeys. Since the time of Ibn ‘Arabī onwards and, particularly, in Mullā Ṣadrā’s philosophy, four stations have been referred to for this mystic journey called the four-fold journeys. The findings of this study show the correspondence between these four journeys with the four main elements of the square. The four journeys represent an allegory and visualization of the Holy Prophet’s journey on the night of ascension, when he travelled from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven. The 1300-m2 circumference of Naqsh-e Jahān Square allegorizes the 1300 km distance between Mecca and Jerusalem. The designs of Qeysarriyah Bazar symbolize the different aspects of daily and worldly life. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque has no courtyard and bed chamber, and the wayfarer only witnesses the manifestations of Almighty Truth by standing under the dome of the mosque. The Abbasi jām‘ Mosque is the symbol of the station of “jam‘ (reunion)” in gnostic journey. The second journey begins with traveling at the khafi (secret) and akhfi (most secret) levels, at which the wayfarer is mortalized. The third stage of wayfaring, which embodies a kind of shari‘at, is a confirmation of the idea of guardianship. At the end of the journey, the wayfarer returns to the threshold of Qeysarriyah again. However, this is not a vicious circle because the wayfarer returns to his true self through experiencing the previous stages.