Every religion and community recommends a general or specific greeting before starting any conversation. This greeting is like a practice which everyone is commonly expected to adhere to. Islam has also put a lot of emphasis that when Muslims meet, either in person or communicate with each other through letters or any other medium, they should first convey “salaam” (peace) to each other or in other words effectively pray for peace upon the other.
Allah (swt) has used the words “salaam” or its derivatives 42 times in the Holy Quran. Sometimes He (swt) has said “Salaam upon Nuh”; at other places He (swt) said “Salaam upon Musa” or “Salaam upon Ibrahim.” The traditions which have reached us through the infallible Aimmah (as) have also stressed upon the importance of conveying “salaam.” Here are some such traditions in this regard.
Holy Prophet (sawa) said, Good words and conveying salaams are amongst the causes for forgiveness (Beharul Anwar volume 76 page 11)
Holy Prophet (sawa), Imam Husain (as) and Imam Sadiq (as) said, To convey salaams is worship and its reply is obligatory (Beharul Anwar volume 78 page 243; Tafseer Noorus Saqalayn volume 1 page 525)
Dear readers, this practice of conveying salaams upon a person, whether dead or alive is called “Ziyarat.” Aimmah (as) have put a lot of emphasis for this as well. Here are some traditions in this regard.
Imam Sadiq (as) said, One who visits his brother for the sake of Allah (swt) and for seeking His pleasure, he will be granted clothes of light on the Day of Judgment. Wherever he will pass from, the entire area will be illuminated by his light. (Beharul Anwar volume 74 page 374)
Imam Reza (as) said, Every Imam (as) has a covenant upon his Shiah and those who love him (as). This covenant is fulfilled satisfactorily only by visiting their graves. Therefore every person who, while desiring their ziyarat and acknowledging their rights, visits their grave, will receive their intercession on the day of Judgement. (Beharul Anwar volume 100 page 116)
Imam Kazim (as) said, One who visits our first is like the one who also visited the last amongst us. One who visits our last is like the one who also visited the first amongst us. One who befriends our first is like the one who also befriended the last amongst us. One who befriends the last is like the one who also befriended the first amongst us. (Beharul Anwar volume 100 page 122)
History informs us that after the demise of the Holy Prophet (sawa) in Medina, once Imam Ali (as) entered his house in such a condition that he was crying profusely. His loving wife, Hazrat Zahra (sa) asked him the reason for his lamentation. He remained quiet for a long time and then said, ‘O Fatemah! I have been so alienated in Medina that people do not convey salaam to me anymore. Moreover, when I convey salaam, they do not reply to me.’ Dear readers, in this age of Ghaybat Kubra, perhaps the last son of Ameerul Momeneen (as), Hazrat Mahdi (as) has the same grievance from us that we, his Shiah, his children and those who love him are negligent in conveying our salaam to him. For Imam Mahdi (as), distance does not matter, whether we are close to him or afar, our salutation reaches him.
When Imam Reza (as), reached Khorasan, he participated in the funeral ceremony of one of his Shiah. A person present there asked the Imam (as), do you know this person who has died. The Imam (as) said yes. The person said, but you have come to Khorasan for the first time and this person had never left Khorasan, so how do you know him? The Imam (as) replied, we are the Imam of the Time. For us, distance is of no consequence. We are observing him at the time of death in the same way as we were observing him in his lifetime.
A father has this much right upon his children that they convey salaam to him at least once every day. In the same way, we should convey our salaam to Imam Mahdi (as) at least once every day.
The above traditions and verses and the following incident from Tafseer of Imam Hasan Askari (as) inspired us to collect the various ziyarats of Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as) with the intention that we convey our salaam to him every day with a new ziyarat.
A person says that during the lifetime of the prophet (sawa), I used to begin my day by visiting Masjidun Nabawi and conveying my salaam to the prophet (sawa). If ever I encountered a crowd, I would stand on the tips of my toes and stretch myself to catch a glance of the prophet (sawa), convey salaam and then leave from there to continue with my work. He says that one day when I went to the Masjid, I saw that the companions had surrounded the Holy Prophet (sawa) in such a manner that I could not reach him. Therefore I conveyed salaam to him from afar and went about with my daily work. He says that hardly some time had passed when I felt a desire in my heart to visit the Prophet (sawa) and again convey my salaam to him. I retraced my steps and entered the mosque. This time I saw that the crowd was a lot less. I was able to meet the prophet (sawa) and convey salaam to him. He (sawa) said, what is the matter that you came twice to meet me today? I replied, I don’t know what happened today. When I left for my work after saying salaam to you for the first time, a desire arose in my heart and I was restless to meet you again. Therefore I came again to meet you. The Prophet (sawa) replied, This is because when you left the first time, I raised my hands and prayed to Allah that O Lord! Increase my love in his heart! Allah accepted my prayers and his increase in my love in your heart caused you to return and convey salaam to me.
For some days this person did not come to the mosque. So the prophet (sawa) went out to look for him and reached his tribe. The members of his tribe informed the prophet (sawa) that he passed away. They complained to the prophet about his bad deeds. The prophet (sawa) replied, since he greeted me every morning, Allah (swt) has forgiven all his sins.
Dear readers! The above incident teaches us –
- We should convey salaams upon the chosen representative of Allah for the age, who in this time and age is the last son of Holy Prophet (sawa), Imam Mahdi (as)
- This salaam, whether we are able to see him or not, reaches him (as)
- This salaam becomes the cause of receiving his special attention and includes us in his prayers
- This salaam becomes the cause of the increase in our love for him in our heart
- This salaam will Inshallah become the cause for turning towards the Imam of the Time (as), and may offer us an opportunity to meet him in person. At the time of death, we may be blessed by his visitation
- While conveying salaam is mustahab (recommended), replying to salaam is wajib (obligatory). When we convey salaam, we will receive the reply in return which in itself is his dua for peace upon us. Our prayers may be rejected in the presence of Allah, but the prayer of the Imam (as) in our favour will not be rejected by Allah
- Our sins are forgiven because of this salaam to the Imam of the Time (as)
- By the blessings of this salaam, we will be protected from the fitnah (corruption) of the last age
Keeping the above benefits of salaam in mind, we have brought seven ziyarats of Imam Mahdi (as) in this book so that we can convey our salaam to the Imam (as) in those words which are recommended and call him with the titles which have reached us through Ahle’ Bayt (as). Mo’meneen are requested to recite a new ziyarat every day.
The seven ziyarats of Imam Mahdi (as) are as follows:
- Ziyarat Ale Yaseen. While Allah (swt) has conveyed His salaam upon the previous prophets in Quran, He has granted a special status only and only to the Holy Prophet (sawa) in that He (swt), along with Holy Prophet (sawa), has also conveyed salaam upon the family of the Holy Prophet (sawa) in Quran. In Surah Saffat, verse 130, Allah says, Salamun Ala Ale’ Yaseen (salaam upon the family of the Prophet (sawa)). This verse is the first sentence of this ziyarat.
Imam Mahdi (as) himself says, ‘whenever you desire to remember us, then call us by these words which Allah has referred to us in Quran.’ It is as if we commence this ziyarat with the words of Allah (swt) which is liked by Him (swt).
One of the special characteristics of this ziyarat is that we convey salaam upon Imam (as) in every condition – whether he is standing, sitting, bowing, prostrating or reciting Qunoot. In this ziyarat the believer narrates the fundamentals of his faith to the Imam of the Time (as). At several places in the ziyarat, the believer calls out to the Imam (as) as if he is requesting the Imam (as) to make good and correct any deficiency in his faith. Both the ziyarat and the dua which follows the ziyarat are important. In the dua, a believer seeks goodness for himself and for the Imam (as). It is recommended to recite this ziyarat everyday along with another ziyarat for the Imam (as) and if that is not possible, then at least recite this ziyarat every Thursday night for it is the night when our deeds are presented before the Imam of the Time (as).
- Ziyarat Salamullahe’ Kamelut Taam… Sheikh Abbas Qummi has brought his ziyarat in Mafatihul Jinan page 215 (Urdu edition) from the book Kalematut Tayyab. Sayyed Ibne Tawoos has brought this ziyarat in his book Kashful Hujjah page 194 in which he advises his son to recite this ziyarat. Hazrat Ayatollah Mirza Mohammed Faqeeh has reported this ziyarat in his book, Fauze’ Akbar page 59-60. The method of this ziyarat is as follows – recite two units of prayers in which any surah can be recited in both units after Surah Hamd. However it is recommended to recite Surah Fatah after Surah Hamd in the first units and Surah Eza Ja’a Nasrullahe after Surah Hamd in the second unit. After completing the prayer, the believer should stand under the open sky, raise his hands and recite this ziyarat, which is also called as Ziyarate’ Isteghasah (ziyarat for seeking desires). Many believers have found the recitation of this ziyarat helpful in times of difficulty, especially for the sake of rizq (sustenance).
- Ziyarat on the Day of Friday. As per the traditions of the infallible Imams (as), the day of Friday is reserved for the Imam of the Time, Imam Mahdi (as). Since Friday is largely considered as the day of zohoor (reappearance) of the Imam, this ziyarat assumes that much more importance. While it is essential for the Shiah to convey salaam to Imam every day, this ziyarat is special because it is recited on the day reserved for the Imam (as). In this ziyarat, the believer salutes the Imam (as) through his forefathers and affectionately calls out to the Imam (as) saying that since this is Friday; the day on which your zohoor is ordained, come soon and extract revenge from the enemies of Allah and your enemies and please the hearts of the believers through that. Then the believer pleads to Imam (as) saying, O my master, on this day, I am your guest. You are an marvellous host, you are generous and the son of generous (Imams). So be an excellent host to me!
One of the benefits of reciting these loving sentences is that Inshallah, when the Imam (as) arrives, he will remember our dua and invite us to be his guest. It is the habit of worldly parents that they remember the requests of their children. Imam (as) loves us more than our parents and therefore he will remember our request well. Hence one should not forsake the recitation of this special ziyarat on Friday.
- Daily Ziyarat of Imam. This ziyarat has been reported by Sheikh Abbas Qummi (ar) in his book Mafatihul Jinan right after Dua Nudbah. The sentences of this ziyarat include allegiance to Imam (as), prayers for his reappearance and request for being included amongst his helpers and companions. Allamah Majlisi (ar) has recommended that after reciting this ziyarat, one should place his right palm over his left palm in a symbolic gesture of paying allegiance to the Imam (as). This is an extremely short, but insightful and deep-meaning ziyarat.
- Ziyarat Khalifatullah. This ziyarat is amongst those which is recommended to be recited at the door of the sardab (cellar) in Samarrah. However since we consider the Imam (as) to be always present in our midst, therefore it is permissible to recite this ziyarat from any place. A believer can beautify his house by the regular recitation of this ziyarat. Through extremely loving sentences, through the words of this ziyarat a believer conveys salaam to the Imam (as), narrates his association with his grandfathers, the infallible Aimmah (as); he seeks the early reappearance of the Imam (as) and wants to be counted amongst those who will extract revenge from his enemies. This ziyarat is slightly lengthy, but its words express affection for the Imam (as). Truly, its words echo the words of a lover who stands at the door of his beloved and calls out to him.
- Ziyarat Haqqil Jadeed… This ziyarat is also mentioned in the acts to be performed in the sardaab (cellar) at Samarrah. Through the words of this ziyarat, the believer pleads with the Imam (as) saying, O master! I request you that you intercede on my behalf before Allah that He improves my condition, accepts my supplications and forgives my sins and He holds me firm in the matters of this world and my religion. He seeks the mercy and forgiveness of Allah for himself, for his brothers, sisters and all believing men and women.
- Ziyarat Jameah Kabeerah. Sheikh Sudooq (ar) has brought his ziyarat in his valuable book, which is counted amongst the four reliable books of the Shiah. It is also narrated by Musa Ibne Abdullah Nakhaei in Oyoone’ Akhbare’ Reza. The incident is that Musa Ibne Abdullah presented himself before Imam Naqi (as) and requested the Imam (as) saying, O son of the Prophet! Grant me an eloquent and comprehensive ziyarat. He (as) taught him Ziyarate’ Jameah which can be recited in the shrine of any Imam. Sheikh Abbas Qummi (ar) writes in his book Muntahiyul Amaal that whenever I was granted an opportunity to present myself in the shrine of any Imam, I would give preference to Ziyarate’ Jameah over the recitation of any other ziyarat so much so that I would not leave the shrine till I had completed the recitation. This ziyarat is a complete and comprehensive ziyarat. It may be possible that some ziyarats of Aimmah may have been written in the condition of taqaiyyah (dissimulation), but not this ziyarat.
Sheikh Abbas Qummi (ar) has reported an incident in Mafatihul Jinan where Sayyed Kazim Rashty met Imam Mahdi (as) in which the Imam (as) has recommended three acts to be performed everyday – Namaz Shab, Ziyarat Ashurah and Ziyarat Jameah. This tells us that to recite Ziyarat Jameah every day is to act upon the command of Imam Mahdi (as). Readers are requested not to forsake the recitation of this ziyarat. Mafatihul Jinan also reports a dua to be recited after Ziyarat Jameah which is called Dua Aliyatul Mazameen. One should recite this as well.
- Read More: Duties of Shiahs in Ghaybat