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Mausoleum of Abu Lolo

Standing just outside Kashan on the way to Feen Garden is the mausoleum of Baba Shoja al-Din, better known as Abu Lolo. Greatly honored by the local Shiite community, he was allegedly the assassin of Omar, the second Muslim caliph. According to Islamic chronologies, his name was Firuz, and in his youth, he practiced some crafts in Fin. He was brought as a slave to Medina, where he performed his notorious assassination. The story goes that he was pursued as far as the present Kashan by Omar's warriors, who were close to catching him in the desert. In despair, Abu Lolo pleaded to God to give him shelter, and God responded by concealing him in the sands.

As it was near sunset, Abu Lolo's enemies marked the place of his concealment by a pack of straw so that they could find him the next day. However, when they arrived at the site the next morning, they saw that the entire desert was covered with a layer of straw. This straw laying (Persian: Kah Afshan) is one of the apocryphal derivations of the name of Kashan. Every year, on the day of Omar's assassination, a ceremony takes place in the mausoleum. Locals gather to swear at the first caliphs, whom they consider usurpers of power, to praise Imam Ali as the only truly Muslim caliph, and to express their sorrow at his martyrdom by beating their chests. Today the ceremony is confined to these rituals, though in the past people also burnt the effigies of Omar. The present mausoleum is of an unknown date. It has been attributed to both the Buyid and Seljuk periods. However, the earliest date found here is 1367. The building was repeatedly repaired during the Qajar period, and numerous inscriptions are indicative of these repairs. Among these is an inscription in fine Nastaliq script that reports the restoration of the building carried out at the order of Hossein Ali Khan, a local governor, and brother of Fathali Shah.