The Museum of Religious Figures in Ardabil was established in 1382 SH. This museum is located inside a historic house namely Mir Fattahi, in Imam Hossein street. The house is related to the late of Qajar period and since 1312 AH it was being used, for a long time, as the first girl high school in Ardabil. The house was built by one of the main merchants of this city namely Haj Mir Fattah in one of the old districts of the city, Tazeh Meydan or Qonbolan. The architecture of the building is in the style of Qajar houses including Andaruni and Biruni (internal and external houses).
The area of the internal house is one thousand and one hundred square meters and the external section is six hundred square meters. Interesting among the decorations of this building are brickworks, beautiful Shash windows and arabesque motifs. This mansion was gifted to the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization after the death of its owner and since the family was among the scholars and scientific figures of Ardabil, their historical house was converted into the Museum of Religious Figures.
Paintings, photos and statues of famous scholars of Ardabil are exhibited in this museum. Interesting among them are Ahmad Moqaddas (a Marja), Mirza Mohsen Mojtahed Ardabili, Mir Saleh Mojtahed Anvari, Sayed Morteza Khalkhali, Mirza Ali Akbar Mojtahed Ardabili, Sayed Yunes Mousavi Ardabili and many other scholars. Most of these figures had reached Ijtihad. Ijtihad is the highest scientific level in the knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence and means the ability to infer religious rules from religious sources. One who reaches this level is called Faqih or Mojtahed. In order to become a Faqih (jurist) one has to master different sciences among which the literature, Arabic, the principles of jurisprudence and logic are just a small part.
A book entitled “Goharhaye Shab Cheragh” (meaning the gems that shine in the nights) has been published in order to better introduce these religious figures that include their biographies and paintings. All paintings in the museum have been created by the Ardabil painter, Hasan Mardaneh. In addition to their portraits, the manuscripts and some souvenirs of these honorable individuals are kept and exhibited in this museum.