Meshed, or Mashhad, an important town in the north-east of Persia. It has a splendid mosque built over the tomb of Imam Riza, and is the Mecca of the Shiite Moslems, or followers of Ali. As such it is visited every year by something like 700,000 pilgrims. It is also an important trade centre, the greater part of the trade being with Russia and India. Haroun-al-Raschid and Firdausi were buried near Meshed.