Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Safavid Iranian architecture, standing on the eastern side of Naghsh-i Jahan Square, Isfahan, Iran. The Shaykh Lutfallah (Sheikh Lotf Allah) Mosque was begun in about 1603 under the auspices of Shah Abbas Safavi who rightly so is called Shah Abbas the Great. It was completed in 1619. The Shaykh Lutfallah Mosque has no minarets as it was a private mosque used by the Safavid royal family members, presumably they did not need to be called to prayer. It is also known as the “Lady’s or Women’s Mosque” as the ladies of the court could worship there in private.
The Lutfallah Mosque takes its name from Sheikh Lutfallah (Lotf Allah) Maisi Al-Amili, the distinguished scholar and teacher who came to Isfahan at Abbas’s request and took up ‘residence on the site; the mosque was only named after him later, after his death in 1622/23. Emerging from such a dark, twisting corridor, the interior of the mosque is a huge contrast, for the vast, glowing room is probably the most perfectly balanced interior in all Persian architecture. The additional function of the building is rather puzzling. In the foundation inscription over the entrance portal, it is called a mosque but the building lacks the standard accoutrements such as a courtyard, side galleries or minarets.