This text is a gateway to understanding the essence and ettiquete of Ziyarat and Du'a, primarily Ziyarat-e-Ashura, which has then been singled verse by verse, and has been explained in detail.
May the peace and mercy of Allah be upon you. This work, a brief expose on Ziyarat ‘Ashura was originally translated as a work which would be sent via email in a series of ‘weekly thoughts’. It is for this reason, that we decided to keep each section short and concise – 400 words at maximum. Obviously, much more can and has been said and written about this visitation, which some scholars deem as being Hadith al-Qudsi or a sacred tradition taught directly by Allah (swt) to the followers of His path.
Since we wished for this work to be released during the sacred month of Muharram 1426 AH/2005 C.E, it was decided to publish this work in electronic format in its summarized version.
Insha-Allah, with the power and permission of Allah (swt), we intend to revisit this translation, refer back to the original source and present a complete look at the explanation of this beautiful and moving greeting. This work is, Insha-Allah, expected to be ready by the ‘Arbain (40th) of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (as) and his family and friends.
It should be noted that whereas we have tried to remain faithful to the original text, we have added our own thoughts into some segments to better assist in this brief understanding – these will be amended in the final version.
In the Name of Allah, the Source of General Mercy to all Humanity, the Source of Specific Grace to the Believers
Peace be upon you O’ Aba ‘Abdillah; Peace be upon you O’ son of the Messenger of Allah; Peace be upon you O’ son of the Commander of the Faithful and the son of the leader of the inheritors (of the Prophet); Peace be upon you O’ son of Fatimah, the leader of the women of the entire Universe.
أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا أَبَا عَبْدِ اللّٰهِ، أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا بْنَ رَسُولِ اللّٰهِ، أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا بْنَ أَمِيرِ الْـمُؤْمِنِينَ، وَابْنَ سَيِّدِ الْوَصِيِّينَ،أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا بْنَ فَاطِمَةَ سَيِّدَةِ نِسآءِ الْعالَـمِينَ،
Peace be upon you O’ the one who was killed and whose blood has not yet been avenged – and whose avenging is in the hands of Allah and peace be upon you, the son of one who was killed and whose blood has not yet been avenged (Imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib) and peace be upon you O’ the one who was alone, an individual (killed). Peace be upon you and also upon those souls who accompanied you to your annihilation.
أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا ثَارَ اللّٰهِ وَابْنَ ثَارِهِ وَالْوِتْرَ الْـمَوْتُورَ، أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلىٰ الأَرْوَاحِ الَّتِي حَلَّتْ بِفِنَآئِكَ،
Upon you and upon all of those (who were killed) is the Salam of Allah from me for eternity, as long as the night and the day remain.
عَلَيْكُمْ مِنِّي جَمِيعاً سَلاَمُ اللّٰهِ أَبَداً مَا بَقِيتُ وَبَقِيَ اللَّيْلُ وَالنَّهارُ،
O’ Aba ‘Abdillah! Surely the tribulations are great and unbearable and your tragedy is great for us, and for all the people of Islam and unbearable and great is your tragedy in the heavens and for all of the dwellers of the heavens.
يَا أَبَا عَبْدِ اللّٰهِ، لَقَدْ عَظُمَتِ الرَّزِيَّةُ وَجَلَّتْ وَعَظُمَتِ الْـمُصِيبَةُ بِكَ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلىٰ جَمِيعِ أَهْلِ الإِِسْلاَمِ، وَجَلَّتْ وَعَظُمَتْ مُصِيبَتُكَ فِي السَّمٰوَاتِ عَلىٰ جَمِيعِ أَهْلِ السَّمٰوَاتِ،
May the curse (La’n) be upon those people who laid down the foundations for the oppression and wrongs done upon you, the family of the Prophet [Ahlul Bayt].
فَلَعَنَ اللّٰهُ أُمَّةً أَسَّسَتْ أَسَاسَ الظُّلْمِ وَالْـجَوْرِ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ
May Allah curse those people who denied you your position (O’ Ahlul Bayt) and removed you from your rank which Allah himself had granted you.
وَلَعَنَ اللّٰهُ أُمَّةً دَفَعَتْكُمْ عَنْ مَقَامِكُمْ وَأَزَالَتْكُمْ عَنْ مَرَاتِبِكُمُ الَّتِي رَتَّبَكُمُ اللّٰهُ فِيهَا،
May the curse of Allah be upon those people who killed you and may the curse of Allah be upon those people who made it easy for them by preparing the grounds of your killing.
وَلَعَنَ اللّٰهُ أُمَّةً قَتَلَتْكُمْ، وَلَعَنَ اللّٰهُ الْـمُمَهِّدِينَ لَـهُمْ بِالتَّمْكِينِ مِنْ قِتَالِكُمْ،
I turn to Allah and I turn towards you and turn away from them and their adherents, followers and friends.
بَرِئْتُ إِلىٰ اللّٰهِ وَإِلَيْكُمْ مِنْهُمْ وَأَشْيَاعِهِمْ وَأَتْبَاعِهِمْ وَأَوْلِيَآئِهِمْ˛
O’ Aba ‘Abdillah! I am at peace with those who make peace with you and I am at war with those who make war with you until the Day of Judgment.
يَا أَبَا عَبْدِ اللّٰهِ، إِنِّي سِلْمٌ لـِمَنْ سالَـمَكُمْ، وَحَرْبٌ لـِمَنْ حَارَبَكُمْ إِلىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ،
May the curse of Allah be upon the family of Ziyad and the family of Marwan and may the curse of Allah be upon Bani Umayyah.
وَلَعَنَ اللّٰهُ آلَ زِيَادٍ وَآلَ مَرْوَانَ، وَلَعَنَ اللّٰهُ بَنِي أُمَيَّةَ قَاطِبَةً،
May the curse of Allah be upon Ibn Marjana and may the curse of Allah be upon ‘‘Umar b. Sa’ad and may the curse of Allah be upon Shimr.
وَلَعَنَ اللّٰهُ ابْنَ مَرْجَانَةَ، وَلَعَنَ اللّٰهُ عُمَرَ بْنَ سَعْدٍ، وَلَعَنَ اللّٰهُ شِـمْراً،
And may the curse of Allah be upon the nation that carried out, saw and were silent at your killing.
وَلَعَنَ اللّٰهُ أُمَّةً أَسْرَجَتْ وَأَلْـجَمَتْ وَتَنَقَّبَتْ لِقِتَالِكَ،
May my father and mother be sacrificed for you. Surely my sorrow for you is great and I pray to Allah who has honoured your status and has also honoured me through you that He grant me the opportunity to seek your revenge with the victorious Imam from the family of Muhammad.
بِأَبِي أَنْتَ وَأُمِّي، لَقَدْ عَظُمَ مُصَابِي بِكَ، فَأَسْأَلُ اللّٰهَ الَّذِي أَكْرَمَ مَقَامَكَ، وَأَكْرَمَنِي بِكَ، أَنْ يَرْزُقَنِي طَلَبَ ثَارِكَ مَعَ إِمَامٍ مَنْصُورٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ.
O’ Allah! Make me worthy of respect with You through Husayn, peace be upon him, both in the transient world and also the next life.
أَللّٰهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي عِنْدَكَ وَجِيهاً بِالْـحُسَيْنِ ˛ عَلَيهِ السَّلاَمُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ،
O’ Aba ‘Abdillah! Surely I seek closeness to Allah and to His Messenger and to the Commander of the Faithful and to Fatimah and to Hasan and to you through love of you and through distancing myself from those who laid the foundations and those who built upon and carried out oppression and cruelty upon you all and upon your followers.
يَا أَبَا عَبْدِ اللّٰهِ، إِنِّي أَتَقَرَّبُ إِلىٰ اللّٰهِ، وَإِلىٰ رَسُولِهِ، وَإِلىٰ أَمِيرِ الْـمُؤْمِنِينَ، وَإِلىٰ فَاطِمَةَ، وَإِلىٰ الْـحَسَنِ، وَإِلَيْكَ بِـمُوَالاَتِكَ، وَبِالْبَرَاءَةِ مِـمَّـنْ قَاتَلَكَ، وَالْـجَوْرِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَبْرَأُ إِلىٰ اللّٰهِ وَإِلىٰ رَسُولِهِ مِـمَّنْ أَسَّسَ أَسَاسَ ذٰلِكَ وَ بَنىٰ عَلَيْهِ بُنْيَانَهُ، وَجَرىٰ فِي ظُلْمِهِ وَجَوْرِهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَلىٰ أَشْيَاعِكُمْ،
I disassociate myself from them through Allah and through all of you and I seek nearness to Allah and then to you through love for you and your friends and disassociation with your enemies and from those who want to fight against you and disassociation from their adherents and followers.
بَرِئْتُ إِلىٰ اللّٰهِ وَإِلَيْكُمْ مِنْهُمْ، وَأَتَقَرَّبُ إِلىٰ اللّٰهِ ثُمَّ إِلَيْكُمْ بِـمُوَالاَتِكُمْ وَمُوَالاَةِ وَلِيِّكُمْ، وَبِالْبَرَاءَةِ مِنْ أَعْدَائِكُمْ، وَالنَّاصِبِينَ لَكُمُ الْـحَرْبَ، وَبِالْبَرَاءَةِ مِنْ أَشْيَاعِهِمْ وَأَتْبَاعِهِمْ،
Surely I am at peace with those who are at peace with you and I am at war with those who are at war with you and I am a friends to those who are friends to you and I am an enemy to those who are enemies to you.
إِنِّي سِلْمٌ لـِمَنْ سَالَـمَكُمْ، وَحَرْبٌ لِـمَنْ حَارَبَكُمْ، وَوَلِيٌّ لـِمَنْ وَالاَكُمْ، وَعَدُوٌّ لِـمَنْ عَادَاكُمْ،
So then I ask Allah who has honoured me with a cognizance of all of you and a cognizance of your friends that He also grant me the opportunity to disassociate myself from your enemies and that He place me with you – both in the transient world and also in the next life – and that he make me firm in your presence with a truthful stance both in the transient world and also the next life.
فَأَسْأَلُ اللّٰهَ الَّذِي أَكْرَمَنِي بِـمَعْرِفَتِكُمْ، وَمَعْرِفَةِ أَوْلِيَآئِكُمْ، وَرَزَقَنِي الْبَرَاءَةَ مِنْ أَعْدَائِكُمْ، أَنْ يَـجْعَلَنِي مَعَكُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ، وَأَنْ يُثَبِّتَ لِي عِنْدَكُمْ قَدَمَ صِدْقٍ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ
And I ask Him (Allah) that He enables me to reach to the honoured station with you in the presence of Allah and that He grant me the ability to seek the revenge of you with the rightly guided Imam from you, who shall surely come and speak the truth.
وَأَسْأَلُهُ أَنْ يُبَلِّغَنِي الْـمَقامَ الْـمَحْمُودَ لَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ، وَأَنْ يَرْزُقَنِي طَلَبَ ثَارِي مَعَ إِمَامِ هُدىً ظَاهِرٍ نَاطِقٍ بِالْـحَقِّ مِنْكُمْ،
And I ask Allah for your sake and for the status and rank which you have with Him that He grant me that thing due to me showing grief and sorrow at your sorrows even more than of that which he gives in a person’s own grief and sorrows, and what great sorrow and tragedies you faced! How great was your tragedy for Islam and for all of the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth!
وَأَسْأَلُ اللّٰهَ بِـحَقِّكُمْ وَبِالشَّأْنِ الَّذِي لَكُمْ عِنْدَهُ أَنْ يُعْطِيَنِي بِـمُصَابِي بِكُمْ أَفْضَلَ مَا يُعْطِي مُصَاباً بِـمُصِيبَتِهِ، مُصِيبَةً مَا أَعْظَمَها وَأَعْظَمَ رَزِيَّتَهَا فِي الإِسْلاَمِ وَفِي جَمِيعِ السَّمٰوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ.
O’ Allah! Make me at this moment, one who receives from You prayers, mercy and forgiveness.
أَللّٰهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي فِي مَقَامِي هٰذَا مـِمَّنْ تَنَالُهُ مِنْكَ صَلَواتٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ،
O’ Allah! Make me live the life of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and permit me to die the death of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad.
أَللّٰهُمَّ اجْعَلْ مَـحْيَايَ مَـحْيَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَمَـمَاتِي مَـمَاتَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ.
O’ Allah! This is the day (the Day of ‘Ashura) which the Bani Umayyah rejoiced upon (and is the day when the) son of the liver eater (the son of Hind b. Abu Sufyan – Mu’awiyah and his son Yazid) celebrated, the cursed son(s) (Yazid) of the cursed (Mu’awiyah), as said by You and Your Prophet at every place and occasion.
أَللّٰهُمَّ إِنَّ هٰذَا يَوْمٌ تَبَرَّكَتْ بِهِ بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ وَابْنُ آكِلَةِ الأَكْبَادِ، اللَّعِينُ ابْنُ اللَّعِينِ عَلىٰ لِسَانِكَ وَلِسَانِ نَبِيِّكَ فِي كُلِّ مَوْطِنٍ وَمَوْقِفٍ وَقَفَ فِيهِ نَبِيُّكَ.
O’ Allah! Curse Abu Sufyan and Mu’awiyah and Yazid b. Mu’awiyah – upon them may Your curse be forever and eternity. And this is the day when the family of Ziyad were happy and so were the family of Marwan at their killing of Husayn, may the Prayers of Allah be upon him. O’ Allah! Increase upon them Your curse and (Your) painful punishment.
أَللّٰهُمَّ الْعَنْ أَبَا سُفْيَانَ وَمُعَاوِيَةَ وَيَزِيدَ بْنَ مُعَاوِيَةَ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْكَ اللَّعْنَةُ أَبَدَ الأَبِدِينَ، وَهٰذَا يَوْمٌ فَرِحَتْ بِهِ آلُ زِيَادٍ وَآلُ مَرْوَانَ بِقَتْلِهِمُ الْـحُسَيْنَ صَلَواتُ اللّٰهِ عَلَيْهِ. أَللّٰهُمَّ فَضَاعِفْ عَلَيْهِمُ اللَّعْنَ مِنْكَ وَالْعَذابَ الأَلِيمَ.
O’ Allah! Surely I seek nearness to you on this day (the Day of ‘Ashura) and in this place (which I am in) and in all days of my life by disassociating myself from these people and sending curses upon them and through my love and friendship to Your Prophet and the family of Your Prophet, peace be upon him and upon all of them.
أَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّي أَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَيْكَ فِي هٰذَا الْيَوْمِ، وَفِي مَوْقِفِي هٰذَا، وَأَيَّامِ حَيَاتِي بِالْبَرَاءَةِ مِنْهُمْ، وَاللَّعْنَةِ عَلَيْهِمْ، وَبِالْـمُوَالاَةِ لِنَبِيِّكَ وَآلِ نَبِيِّكَ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَيْهِمُ السَّلاَمُ.
O’ Allah! Curse the first tyrant who oppressed the right of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and the next person who followed him on this path. O’ Allah! Curse the group who fought against Husayn and those who followed them and supported them and assisted them in killing him. O’ Allah, curse all of them!
أَللّٰهُمَّ الْعَنْ أَوَّلَ ظَالِمٍ ظَلَمَ حَقَّ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآخِرَ تَابِعٍ لَهُ عَلىٰ ذٰلِكَ. أَللّٰهُمَّ الْعَنِ الْعِصَابَةَ الَّتِي جَاهَدَتِ الْـحُسَيْنَ وَشَايَعَتْ وَبَايَعَتْ وَتَابَعَتْ عَلىٰ قَتْلِهِ، أَللّٰهُمَّ الْعَنْهُمْ جَمِيعاً.
Peace be upon you O’ Aba ‘Abdillah and upon the souls which were annihilated with you. Upon you, from me, is the peace of Allah for eternity, as long as the night and the day remain and please do not make this (Ziyarat) as my last contact with you. Greetings be upon Husayn, and upon ‘Ali the son of Husayn and upon the children of Husayn and upon the companions of Husayn.
أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا أَبَا عَبْدِ اللّٰهِ وَعَلىٰ الأَرْوَاحِ الَّتِي حَلَّتْ بِفِنَآئِكَ، عَلَيْكَ مِنِّي سَلاَمُ اللّٰهِ أَبَداً مَا بَقِيتُ وَبَقِيَ اللَّيْلُ وَالنَّهَارُ، وَلاَ جَعَلَهُ اللّٰهُ آخِرَ الْعَهْدِ مِنِّي لِزِيَارَتِكُمْ، أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلىٰ الْـحُسَيْنِ، وَعَلىٰ عَلِيِّ بْنِ الْـحُسَيْنِ، وَعَلىٰ أَوْلاَدِ الْـحُسَيْنِ، وَعَلىٰ أَصْحَابِ الْـحُسَيْنِ.
O’ Allah! Particularly curse the first tyrant, a curse from me, and begin the first curse with him and then send the curse on the second and the third and then the forth (tyrant). O’ Allah curse Yazid, the fifth (tyrant) and curse ‘Ubaydullah b. Ziyad and Ibne Marjanah and ‘‘Umar b. Sa’d and Shimr and the family of Sufyan and the family of Ziyad and the family of Marwan until the day of Judgement.
أَللّٰهُمَّ خُصَّ أَنْتَ أَوَّلَ ظالِمٍ بِاللَّعْنِ مِنِّي، وَابْدَأْ بِهِ أَوَّلاً، ثُمَّ الْعَنِ الثَّانِيَ وَالثَّالِثَ وَالرَّابِعَ. أَللّٰهُمَّ الْعَنْ يَزِيدَ خَامِساً، وَالْعَنْ عُبَيْدَ اللّٰه ِبْنَ زِيادٍ وَابْنَ مَرْجَانَةَ وَعُمَرَ بْنَ سَعْدٍ وَشِـمْراً وَآلَ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ وَآلَ زِيَادٍ وَآلَ مَرْوَانَ إِلىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ.
O’ Allah! To you belongs the praise, the praise of those who are thankful to You for their tribulations. All Praise belongs to Allah for my intense grief. O’ Allah, grant me the blessing of intercession of Husayn on the Day of Appearance (before You) and strengthen me with a truthful stand in Your presence along with Husayn and the companions of Husayn – those people who sacrificed everything for Husayn, peace be upon him.
أَللّٰهُمَّ لَكَ الْـحَمْدُ حَمْدَ الشَّاكِرِينَ لَكَ عَلىٰ مُصَابِهِمْ. أَلْـحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ عَلىٰ عَظِيمِ رَزِيَّتِي. أَللّٰهُمَّ ارْزُقْنِي شَفَاعَةَ الْـحُسَيْنِ يَوْمَ الْوُرُودِ، وَ ثَبِّتْ لِي قَدَمَ صِدْقٍ عِنْدَكَ مَعَ الْـحُسَيْنِ وَأَصْحَابِ الْـحُسَيْنِ الَّذِينَ بَذَلُوا مُهَجَهُمْ دُونَ الْحُسَيْنِ˛ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ.
The Du’a (supplication) is the act of speaking to Allah (swt) while the Ziyarat (visitation) is the act of speaking with the role-models and true examples of the faith sent by Allah (swt) .
Nevertheless, Ziyarat itself is also a form of speaking with Allah (swt) since the individuals being addressed are the Prophets (as) and A’immah (as) who are individuals that invite humanity to the worship of the One True God and to struggle against the internal and external enemies. Thus in reality, the Ziyarat is nothing more than speaking to Allah through the intermediaries which He himself has appointed in order for us to reach to perfection.
The Du’a is the act of travelling towards Allah-consciousness and self-knowledge while the aim of the Ziyarat is knowledge of the Imam (as) – and in actuality this is the same as having knowledge of Allah and knowledge of ourselves.
Within the Du’a taught by the Ahlul Bayt (as), there are four main points seen: shedding of tears and showing grief, expressing one’s needs, gaining a better understanding of the faith and beliefs and the invitation to stand up and fight against the enemies - internal and external.
This is the same thing which can be seen in the Ziyarat as well, however at the same time, we are calling upon and remembering those personalities who are the best and most perfect examples of these four characteristics.
By this we mean that the Ahlul Bayt (as) are the ones whose tears which they shed in their prayers are the most sincere drops of grief; they are best able to express their needs to their Creator in the most eloquent of ways; their understanding of the faith was the most complete and perfect, and lastly, they were the ultimate manifestation of those who stood up and fought against both their internal enemies and the external despots – each one in his own way and method.
Of all the Ziyarats we have, the best example in which these four points are manifest is that of Imam Husayn (as) – especially since he was the supreme expression of rising up for Allah (swt) and standing up in the face of oppression and tyranny.
The ahadith which speak about the Ziyarat of Imam Husayn (as) refer to it as being an obligatory (wajib) act which each person who claims to be a Shi’a must perform at least once in his life (this is in reference to the physical visitation of the Imam at his shrine in Karbala’ – since the spiritual meeting of the Imam from wherever one lives through the recitation of the words given to us can be performed at any time and any place).
Is this “wajib” commandment in the narrations the same “wajib” which we understand for acts of worship such as Hajj, Khums, Salat, Sawm, etc? Through this discussion and commentary of this Ziyarat, we hope to clarify this issue, however it suffices to mention here that this is an act which the Prophet of Islam (as) told his daughter, Fatimah Az-Zahra (sa), that a group of her Shi’a (followers) would perform (this was foretold over 50 years before the event occurred) and is something which each Imam has emphasized!
There are numerous benefits which have been promised will be granted to the one who pays his respects to the 3rd Imam and include: one’s sins will be removed, an increase and also Divine blessings in one’s life, removal of difficulties and the acceptance of one’s legitimate desires and appeals. In addition, the Ziyarat of the 3rd Imam is equivalent to the (spiritual) visitation of Allah (swt) and the visitation to His Noble Prophet (S).
It goes without saying that such benefits are not acquired simply by the physical visit to Karbala’ without any positive change in the morals and character of a person. This point shall be elucidated upon in detail in our next discussion, God willing so that we do not think that by a mere journey of a few hours and the recitation of a few words, that we truly become deserving of such bounties!
The benefits of visiting the Leader of the Martyrs (as) can be divided into two categories: the individual benefits and the societal gains. Although each of these categories contain numerous sub-categories, we will only look at one of each in order to keep this discussion brief.
Without doubt, visiting the Imams, especially Sayyid ash-Shuhada (as) has a very great individual benefit to it since the true meaning of Ziyarat is “to meet someone” and “being one and united” with the person whom we are encountering – either through a physical engagement or a spiritual and esoteric meeting. From one point of view, we know that these personalities are infallible and without doubt, when a person meets those whom he likes to be around and are his friends, he takes on their characteristics or tries hard to be like them to “fit in” (positive peer pressure). Thus, when a person goes to meet those who are the closest to Allah (swt) in the spiritual hierarchy and who are the most righteous from the point of view of their actions and demeanour, he would definitely seek to emulate and be like them!
Just as a person who has been invited to meet the political head of a country or another personality would ensure that he looks presentable and would make sure that he has showered, brushed his teeth, combed his hair, worn the best clothing and applied the best perfume, so too when a person goes to meet personalities such as the Prophet of Islam (S) and the A’immah (as), he too must ensure that not only is he presentable from the physical point of view, but more importantly that his inside is purified of all sins. It is for this reason that Tawbah or asking forgiveness is one of the introductory steps before a person even entertains the thought of going for Ziyarat. Therefore, one of the benefits of the Ziyarat is both a physical cleaning of our body and also a spiritual cleansing of our heart!
Is it possible for a person who says ‘As-Salam ‘Alaika O’ Aba ‘Abdillah’ to be negligent of the noble ethical traits which this Imam best exemplified? Is it possible for a person who says ‘As-Salam ‘Alaika O’ Aba ‘Abdillah’ to be one who worships his lower desires, the wealth of the world and who shows veneration to the open enemies of Allah (swt)? If we see that we have gone to visit the Prophet (S) or any of our A’immah (as) while we have these negative traits within us then we should be sure that there is some doubt in regards to our visitation...
The societal benefits of this visitation can be best understood if we analyze the reasons why the enemies of the Ahlul Bayt (as) have prevented the Shi’a from visiting their A’immah (as) – those buried in Medina and Iraq, but more importantly, the one buried in Karbala’.
The enemies of the Ahlul Bayt (as) , especially the Bani Umayyah, Bani Abbas and even today’s enemies knew and know the power of the Ziyarat. They have probably studied the philosophy and true meaning of the Ziyarat better than we have and thus, understand that if it is carried out with a complete awareness of the individual whom we are paying our respects to, his or her own struggles against injustice and their motives in rising up for Allah (swt), and that if all of these were instilled in the hearts of those visiting them, that a great revolution would take place in their lands!
They know that the true meaning of the Ziyarat of Imam Husayn (as) is the rejection and overthrow of ‘their version’ of Islam and an acceptance and implementation of the true visage of Islam which calls for justice, equality and freedom for all.
The societal effects of this Ziyarat are ones which affect all aspects of one’s life – economics, social welfare, arts and humanities, literature, etc. In addition, something as “simple” as the placing of the Turbah during the time of Salat which we prostrate upon reminds us of two things: one is that we are all from Allah and from the ground which He created us and it is back into that Earth that we shall return. However more importantly we are reminded that if we are to go back to Allah, then the best way to return back to Him is through losing our life on the plains of Karbala’ – not necessarily the physical land of Karbala’ in Iraq, rather as the saying goes, ‘Every day is ‘Ashura and every land is Karbala’.’
Of all the rites of visitation which we can read when we want to salute Imam Husayn and his family and companions, the best and most highly recommended one is that of Ziyarat ‘Ashura.
In this comprehensive visitation, we combine the concepts of Tawalla [Love for the sake of Allah (swt)] and Tabarra [Hate for the sake of Allah (swt)], the culture of self-sacrifice for the lofty goals of the society and the fact that we must never succumb to oppression and tyranny.
In addition, through such an encompassing prayer, the issues of Tawhid, Nubuwwat and Ma’ad are explained and we realize that without Imamate, these three principle beliefs have no meaning or power to them!
The truth of this statement is clear since if we look through history, these three beliefs have never brought about any serious change in the Muslim state of affairs [just look at the state of the “Muslims” today throughout the world] nor have these three beliefs been able to conquer foreign occupiers of the Muslim lands nor expel foreign entities who have illegally occupied our sovereign countries!
One Qur’anic proof of this point is the verse of Mubahilah (3:61) in which the Christians, who had come to debate the Prophet about the true character of Jesus the son of Mary, brought forth a very interesting point which all Muslims can learn from.
The delegation told the other Christians that if Muhammad brings his companions to the Mubahilah field then to go ahead and challenge them (as the companions - on their own - have no power or strength). However if Muhammad brings his Ahlul Bayt (‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn) then they must not go against him as they would definitely perish!
Thus, if the Christians of Najran knew the power of the Ahlul Bayt, then this is something which the rest of the Muslim Ummah also needs to realize and accept.
Therefore, by reading the Ziyarat of ‘Ashura, we are actually seeking to keep the Islam of Muhammad, ‘Ali, Hasan and Husayn .... up until Imam al-Hujjah alive and through this visitation, we reject the Islam of the likes of Abu Sufyan, the first, second and third “Caliphs”, Mu’awiyah, Yazid and the entire polluted chain of Bani Umayyah, Bani ‘Abbas and others.
When visiting the shrine of Imam Husayn (as), we must first off realize whom we are going to visit and the etiquette which we must observe. Just as we spend time to look presentable when we have an important business meeting or a luncheon with a client, so to when we go to meet the representative of Allah (swt) on the Earth, we must also observe these and many other norms and etiquette.
In a long hadith narrated by Muhammad b. Muslim, he asked Imam Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Baqir (as) in regards to the etiquette of the Ziyarat of Imam Husayn (as). He specifically asked them Imam, “Is it not the same as visiting the house of Allah and performing the Hajj?” To this question, the Imam replied, “But of course it is.” The companion then asked, “Thus, are all the things which the Hujjaj must observe also necessary for me to perform?” To this, the Imam (as) replied and stated: “It is incumbent upon you to deal with those who travel with you with goodness; you should speak less except for the remembrance of Allah; you must ensure that you are wearing clean clothes...”
The Imam (as) went on to list over 15 conditions for the visitor of Imam Husayn and concluded his statement by telling b. Muslim that, “If you observe all of these conditions, then you shall receive the reward as if you had performed a Hajj and ‘Umrah...”
These are obviously related to that person who is able to physically perform the Ziyarat, however many of them can also be performed by those who are reading this Ziyarat from far away.
In summary, the things which these sorts of ahadith teach us are that we need to mould our lives to conform with the way of life of the person whom we are visiting – spiritually. We need to show humility and humbleness in our day to day life [this can be seen in the fact that when we perform the Ziyarat we are recommended to go barefoot and walk with tranquility], we need to always look presentable when interacting with others [we are recommended to wear clean, white clothes and apply perfume to ourselves], we need to be ready and willing to assist those less fortunate than ourselves [it is recommended to give Sadaqa before the Ziyarat and to offer a gift to others] and we need to show moderation in our lifestyle [we are told that we should not eat heavy and fatty foods before such visits which may only make us feel tired and lazy]...
In addition to the etiquette of Ziyarat related to our physical presence, we must also remember the spiritual etiquette – the most important one being the rejection of all external despots and enemies and that if we need to be killed to keep our honour and dignity (just as Imam Husayn did), then so be it. After all, Sayyid ash-Shuhada (as) has told us that:
مَوْتٌ فِي عِزٍّ خَيرٌ مِنْ حَيَاةٍ فِي ذُلٍّ
“A death in dignity is better than a life in humiliation.”
أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا أَبا عَبْدِ اللّهِ، أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا بْنَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ، أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا بْنَ أَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، وَابْنَ سَيِّدِ الْوَصِيِّينَ، أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا بْنَ فَاطِمَةَ سَيِّدَةِ نِسَاءِ الْعالَمِينَ
“Peace be upon you O’ Aba ‘Abdillah; Peace be upon you O’ son of the Messenger of Allah; Peace be upon you O’ son of the Commander of the Faithful and the son of the leader of the inheritors (of the Prophet); Peace be upon you O’ son of Fatimah, the leader of the women of the entire Universe.”
One of the etiquettes and traditions which is seen in all civilizations is the act of greeting one another at the time of meeting and departing. As we know, each culture greets in their own specific manner. The manner of those in the “West” is that of shaking hands; the far East cultures greet one another by slightly bending at the waist; yet others would remove their hat or at least tip the rim of the hat to greet another person. One of the traditions of the Arabs was to say “May Allah keep you alive”, however with the dawn of Islam, the greeting, as the Qur’an itself mentions is the saying of “As-Salam Alaikum” or “Peace be upon you”.
The true meaning of “As-Salam Alaikum” is not a mere “Hi”, “Hello”, “How are you” as we are accustomed to using today – it has a much deeper meaning than just a standard greeting. In actuality, there are three meanings for this greeting:
1. As-Salam, as we know, is one of the names of Allah. Thus, when we say “As-Salam Alaikum” we are actually saying that may the trait of Allah (as-Salam or peace and tranquility) be upon you and may He protect you;
2. As-Salam is also in the meaning of submission or surrender. Thus, when we say “As-Salam Alaikum” we are actually saying that we submit to what you would like for us to do (obviously within the limits of the Shariah.);
3. As-Salam is also in the meaning of protection or safety. Thus in this meaning, when we greet another believer with “As-Salam Alaikum” we are actually guaranteeing our believing brother or sister protection from any evil from ourselves and that we will not do a single thing to harm them – either physically or even spiritually. Not only would we not harm them with our hands, but we will also not cause them grief with our tongue...
Thus when we address Abi ‘Abdillah and say “As-Salamu Alaika Yaa Aba ‘Abdillah” we are saying that: ‘May the peace and tranquillity which Allah bestows upon His creations also be showered upon you. Truly, we submit to your mission and commandments and whatever you ask us to do. In addition, we shall not do a single thing to hurt you – either your physical presence or more importantly, your feelings.
In actuality, we are promising the Imam that we shall not break the laws of Allah (since our Imam grieves when he sees us doing this) nor will we do anything to trample on the sacred goals and objectives which he laid down his life to protect.
Literally, Abillah means the ‘worshipper of Allah’ and the literal meaning of Aba ‘Abdillah is the ‘father of the worshipper of Allah’.
The custom of the Arabs was that if a person possessed a specific characteristic, they would then refer to him as the ‘father’ of that trait. Thus we see that Abu Jahl was known as such not because his son was Jahl (ignorant) or named Jahl, rather it was due to the fact that he best personified ignorance and it can be said that he was the “father (leader)” of ignorance!
Similarly, one who had a strong love and affection for cats would be referred to as Abu Hurairah – not that he is the father of a cat, rather, since he loved and liked to play with cats he developed this title!
Thus, had Imam Husayn (peace be upon him) not risen and sacrificed his life on the plains of Karbala’, today Allah would not have been worshipped as He should be – the Shariah of Muhammad would have been replaced with the Shariah of Yazid and his likes – thus, none of us would have been worthy of the name ‘Abillah’.
With the murder of Imam Husayn, he gave life to the title ‘Abillah’ and ensured that we could worship Allah as He has required us to.
Thus for this reason too, he is known as the ‘father of the worshipper of Allah’. Therefore, any person who is blessed to be able to worship and submit to Allah has been given this blessing through the blood of the 3rd Imam.
It is for this reason that we are told, “Were it not for him (Imam Husayn) no one would have worshipped Allah, and were it not for him, no one would have gain cognizance of Allah.”
In this first line of the Ziyarat we greet the Imam by recalling one of his greatest titles and also by mentioning his lineage (his father and mother) and his grandfather – thus, we keep alive the mention of these personalities at a time when people want us to forget them and to think of others! We also guarantee these four personalities that we shall not transgress their teachings nor shall we do anything to cause them spiritual harm and grief...
أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا ثارَ اللّهِ وَابْنَ ثارِهِ وَالْوِتْرَ الْمَوْتُورَ
“Peace be upon you O’ the one who was killed and whose blood has not yet been avenged – and whose avenging is in the hands of Allah and peace be upon you, the son of one who was killed and whose blood has not yet been avenged (Imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib) and peace be upon you O’ the one who was alone, an individual (killed).”
In order to better understand this line, it is necessary to offer the following introduction.
The custom of the pre-Islamic Arabs was such that each extended family belonged to a particular clan or tribe. If a person of one tribe, such as Bani Mudhirr was killed by someone from Bani Kinaana, then the entire tribe of Bani Kinaana was held responsible for this crime! A person from Bani Mudhirr was “permitted” to kill anyone from the other tribe as retribution – even if that person was not guilty of the killing! Such a form of ‘collective guilt’ was the way of the backward Arabs and can even be seen today!
Islam came on the scene and said that the one who is guilty of the crime is the one who must do the time and that ‘blind revenge’ is not permissible. It is through this custom that rivalries and wars came to a halt. The only people responsible in ensuring that one who was killed was avenged was his immediate family – mother, father, brother, etc...
With this said, we see in another Ziyarat of Imam Husayn that we pray, “And surely you are the (metaphorical) blood of Allah on the earth and you are the blood which has not be avenged by a single person on the Earth and which can not be avenged except by Allah, the One.”
Therefore, the ‘avenger’ mentioned in this Ziyarat is not the avenger of an act done by one person upon another person since in this case it would have been settled between Imam Zaynul Abideen (peace be upon him) and Shimr, Yazid and the others. This is not a killing which could be avenged in a few hours and with the killing of a few people. Rather, this is a case of avenging the death of a person who was the representative of Allah over all of humanity for all time and is something which can only be carried out by the One who had sent such a representative.
In closing, we recall the words of our 6th Imam in Du’a an-Nudbah where he cries out to the one who shall avenge the blood on behalf of Allah, “Where is the one who shall avenge the blood of the murdered Prophets and the sons of the Prophets who were murdered? Where is he one who shall avenge the blood of those killed in Karbala’?”
أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَى الأَََرْواحِ الَّتِي حَلَّتْ بِفِنائِكَ، عَلَيْكُمْ مِنِّي جَمِيعاً سَلامُ اللّهِ أَبَداً مَا بَقِيتُ وَبَقِيَ اللَّيْلُ وَالنَّهارُ
“Peace be upon you and also upon those souls who accompanied you to your annihilation. Upon you and upon all of those (who were killed) is the Salam of Allah from me for eternity, as long as the night and the day remain.”
This part of the Ziyarat includes salutations upon both the Imam and also the pure companions who sacrificed their souls for the cause of Islam and this instils a greater sense of love and respect for these individuals in our hearts.
Through this greeting (and also keeping in mind the three definitions of ‘Salam’ previously given), we make a pledge that our loyalty is to Imam Husayn and his companions.
Our greetings and pledge to our Imam do not end at the day of ‘‘Ashura – nor even after ‘Arbaeen – rather, our pledge continues “...as long as the night and the day remain.” Thus, for the true Shi’a, we keep our pledge and promise to the Imam until we leave this world – and even beyond!
It is clear why we greet and make this pledge to our Imam, however is it right to make such a pact with the companions of the Imam? Without doubt, if we study the lives of the noble souls who accompanied the Imam to Karbala’, we see that they are truly worthy of submitting and pledging our allegiance to – this is definitely not something we see in the companions of the Prophet – especially those who were in the Battle of Uhud who fled the scene of the battle, looking for the spoils of war!
يَا أَبا عَبْدِ اللّهِ، لَقَدْ عَظُمَتِ الرَّزِيَّةُ وَجَلَّتْ وَعَظُمَتِ الْمُصِيبَةُ بِكَ عَلَيْنا وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أَهْلِ الإِسْلامِ، وَجَلَّتْ وَعَظُمَتْ مُصِيبَتُكَ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ عَلَى جَمِيعِ أَهْلِ السَّمَاوَاتِ
“O’ Aba ‘Abdillah! Surely the tribulations are great and unbearable and your tragedy is great for us, and for all the people of Islam and unbearable and great is your tragedy in the heavens and for all of the dwellers of the heavens.”
In this section of the Ziyarat, we address our Imam directly and recall the tragedies which befell him and our grief and remorse at what occurred on the plains of Karbala’.
The historians have stated that from the first day of creation until the Resurrection comes, the tribulations which Imam Husayn faced are the greatest and most severe – and there is no other historical event which comes close to what he went through. However, why such an emphasis on recalling this tragedy in this particular way and with such words?
The late scholar, Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari has written that, “Once, I sat down and tried to count the number of reasons why this event was so unbearable and I was able to come up with around twenty-one reasons and I do not think that there is any other single event in this world which could compare to this injustice...”
When we study the event of Karbala’ we see that no one was spared – the infant child, the young adults, the grown men, the elderly and even the women of the camp! Not only were they murdered in cold blood, but even after their death, they were not shown respect and this is evident from the trampling of their bodies by the horses and their decapitation and parading through the streets of Kufah and Shaam (Syria)!
In addition, we read in the Ziyarat that this is a tribulation that not only the people of the Earth feel grief and cry about, but even the Angels in the Heavens express remorse about! In this regards, we have numerous hadith, however suffices us to quote the following from the 6th Imam, Ja’far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq where he has said, “What is wrong with you that you do not go (to the Ziyarat of the grave of al-Husayn)? Surely 40,000 Angels are at his grave, crying, until the Day of Resurrection.”
فَلَعَنَ اللّهُ أُمَّةً أَسَّسَتْ أَسَاسَ الظُّلْمِ وَالْجَوْرِ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ
“May the curse (La’n) be upon those people who laid down the foundations for the oppression and wrongs done upon you, the family of the Prophet [Ahlul Bayt].”
The word “La’n” which is usually translated as ‘curse’ is one of those Arabic words with no direct translation in the English language. Its true meaning is to be removed and distanced from the mercy of Allah and does not mean ‘curse’ as in using a curse word (as we use in English). Thus, the ‘La’n’ which we make means that we are asking Allah to remove His mercy in this world from the people who brought the event of Karbala’ into being (and who also perpetuate their claims even today) and also for Him to not show Mercy upon them on the plain of the Resurrection.
In this section, we ask Allah to remove his mercy and blessings from those people – that part of the nation of Islam – who laid down the foundations of tyranny and this is in direct reference to those who took part in Saqifah of Bani Sa’idah – those who stole the Caliphate from its rightful inheritor, Imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib(as).
The ‘La’n’ is not something alien to Islam or limited to the Shi’a since the Qur’an clearly tells us that this is something permissible for all Muslims and is an act which the Angels and Allah Himself also perform upon certain individuals! In Suratul Ahzab (33), verse 57 we read, “Surely those people who hurt Allah and His Prophet (Muhammad), the curse of Allah shall be upon them in this life and in the next...”
Without doubt, we can not “hurt” Allah – however we can do things against His religion and His chosen servants which He does not accept and which “anger” him. Without doubt, the killing of the one whom He had chosen to lead the community is one such reason for His curse to descend. In addition, without doubt, the killing of the son of the Prophet (Imam Husayn) is an act which hurt the Prophet. Thus, he has a right to curse such individuals and us being his followers, acting according to his Sunnah have every right to also curse such people!
As historians assert, had the caliphate not been stolen from the Commander of the Faithful in the event of Saqifah, the foundations for oppression and wrongs done upon all the members of the Ahlul Bayt would never have been laid. Thus, we ask Allah to remove His mercy from those who hatched the plots which led to this great tragedy...
وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ أُمَّةً دَفَعَتْكُمْ عَنْ مَقامِكُمْ وَأَزالَتْكُمْ عَنْ مَراتِبِكُمُ الَّتِي رَتَّبَكُمُ اللّهُ فِيها
“May Allah curse those people who denied you your position (O’ Ahlul Bayt) and removed you from your rank which Allah himself had granted you.”
The Shi’a have a firm belief in the Imamate of the chosen members of the family of the Prophet as they form the completion of the faith of Islam and ‘perfect’ the message of the Prophet by protecting it until the end of time. In the opinion of the Shi’a, the role of the Imam is two:
All Muslims agree that in the 23 year span of the Prophet of Islam, even though the entire Qur’an was revealed, however not all of the Islamic laws were implemented and explained to the community in detail. It is for this reason that some Muslims believe that if there is no ruling in the Qur’an or Sunnah that they can apply Qiyas (analogy) to the laws – in essence, making up their own rulings. However the Shi’a believe that since there are 12 Imams after the Prophet, that they had the responsibility to explain and elucidate upon the rulings of the Prophet and to further develop these – based on their infallibility and Divinely granted knowledge. Thus, there is no room in the Shi’a teachings for making up rulings based on one’s own ‘opinion’.
The majority of Muslims believe that after the Prophet, we are free to choose our own political leadership and even if an unjust and tyrannical ruler is placed as the head by the “majority”, then he must be followed without question! However, the Shi’a believe that Allah would never leave the community without a political leader and thus, the Prophet definitely appointed and made known his successors. In our present day and age, it is interesting that when Yasir Arafat was on his death bed, his followers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were talking about his successor to carry the cause of the Palestinians forward!
Just imagine, these people have the foresight to ensure a successor is groomed and appointed for the role of guiding a few million people from Palestine, however our Prophet would leave this world without doing the same for the entire Muslim nation of close to 2,000,000,000,000 people!
The ‘curse’ in this section of the Ziyarat is directed towards those people who denied a group of people their God given right to rule and lead and who ultimately ended up denying the words of Allah and the Prophet by electing their own leaders! From this line we also understand that Islam is not only “prayers and fasting” – rather, it is a complete system which includes the Religious leadership of the community and all of its aspects: social, political, economic, artistic and all other dimensions.
Thus, we reject any form of “Islam” if it does not conform to the Islam of Rasulullah, ‘Ali, Hasan and Husayn and the rest of the infallibles (peace be upon all of them).
وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ أُمَّةً قَتَلَتْكُمْ، وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ الْمُمَهِّدِينَ لَـهُمْ بِالتـَّمْكِينِ مِنْ قِتالِكُمْ
“May the curse of Allah be upon those people who killed you and may the curse of Allah be upon those people who made it easy for them by preparing the grounds of your killing.”
The meaning of “...those people who killed you...” is a direct reference to Yazid, Shimr and the other criminals who directly carried out the war against the successor of the Prophet and may also be in reference to those people who killed the first 11 Imams.
As for who “...those people who made it easy for them...”, we alluded to this in our previous discussion and once again reiterate that these people are none other than those who laid the foundation of Karbala’ while they battled for power in the Saqifah of Bani Sa’ida.
بَرِئْتُ إِلَى اللّهِ وَإِلَيْكُمْ مِنْهُمْ وَأَشْياعِهِمْ وَأَتْباعِهِمْ وَأَوْلِيائِهِمْ
“I turn to Allah and I turn towards you and turn away from them and their adherents, followers and friends.”
Not only do we curse and ask Allah to remove His mercy from these people, but once we have carried this Islamic injunction out, we then attest that we hold firmly to Allah and the Ahlul Bayt and distance ourselves from not only the killers of the Imam, but also those who adhere to their ideology and accept them as their leaders, those who follow them (both in succession and also in the spiritual essence of the word) and those who are classified as their friends. Is this nothing other than “Tabarrah” which is one of our Furu’ ad-Din?
This belief of Tawallah and Tabarrah can best be summarized in the famous hadith from Imam Muhammad b. ‘Ali Al-Baqir (peace be upon him) in which, when he was asked about the definition of ‘religion’ and he said, “...is religion anything other than love and hate...”
يَا أَبا عَبْدِ اللّهِ، إِنِّي سِلْمٌ لِمَنْ سالَمَكُمْ، وَحَرْبٌ لِمَنْ حارَبَكُمْ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيامَةِ
“O’ Aba ‘Abdillah! I am at peace with those who make peace with you and I am at war with those who make war with you until the Day of Judgment.”
This line of the Ziyarat acts as a continuous and ever lasting pledge that we make to our Imam that no matter what time and day we live in, those who are at peace and submitting to his Wilayat will be considered as our friends. However, if they are against the Imam, then we too will stand against them!
Thus, we are not limiting our enmity and hatred to those who killed the Imam in the year 61 AH – rather, this animosity and distancing from his enemies continues today in the 20th Century!
This line is very close to what we read in Hadith al-Kisa in which the Prophet himself said, “O’ Allah! Surely these (‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn) are my family members and those select individuals and my helpers. Their flesh is as my flesh and their blood is as my blood. That which hurts me also hurts them and that which brings grief to me also brings grief to them. I am at war with those who are at war with them and I am at peace with those who are at peace with them and I am an enemy to their enemies and I am a lover to those who love them. Surely they are from me and I am from them...”
This line in the Ziyarat should also act as a wakeup tool for us that in all times, we need to keep ourselves politically aware of what is going on so that we are sure to always be supporting the oppressed and standing up to the oppressors. If this is not the case, then we have surely made a mockery of this Ziyarat and of the sacrifice of our Imam.
وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ آلَ زِيادٍ وَآلَ مَرْوانَ، وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ بَنِي أُمَيَّةَ قاطِبَةً
“May the curse of Allah be upon the family of Ziyad and the family of Marwan and may the curse of Allah be upon Bani Umayyah.”
At this point in the Ziyarat, we now begin to relate some of the names of the criminals responsible for the massacre in Karbala’ by listing three specific families and tribes: the family of Ziyad, the family of Marwan, and the corrupt tree of Bani Umayyah. The history of these three groups would take us pages to narrate, however we offer a few highlights of their infamous lives so that this Ziyarat is better understood.
1) Who was Ziyad and why curse him and his family? His own lineage is not known since his mother was a known adulteress and has thus been attributed to being the son of no less than seven different men – it is for this reason that he is sometimes referred to as Ziyad the son of his father! In the beginning, Ziyad was a staunch follower of Imam ‘Ali (peace be upon him) and was appointed to the region of Fars (Iran) as a governor. He was also loyal to Imam Husayn during the initial period of his Imamate however very shortly, Mua’wiyah managed to buy him out and use him for his own wicked games. He was appointed by Mua’wiyah as the governor of Kufah at which time he killed numerous Shi’a and caused great problems for the followers of ‘Ali.
2) Marwan was the son of Hakam b. Abil Aas b. Umayyah and was the uncle of Uthman b. Affan (the 3rd Caliph). He and his father were exiled by the Prophet and remained out of Madinah during the reign of the first two caliphs and it was Uthman who permitted them back (thus going against the Prophet) and also granted Marwan huge sums of money from the public treasury (after all, they were related). Mua’wiyah appointed Hakam as the governor of Madina and after his death, many individuals from his family took this position.
To show how despised this family was, it has been narrated that any time a child was born in Madina, the parents would take the child to the Prophet for him to make a Du’a for him. When Marwan was born the Prophet made a Du’a and said, “...he is the cursed son of a cursed father...”
3) The Bani Umayyah need no introduction due to their known acts of tyranny and oppression against the Prophet and the first 6 Imams. Insha-Allah, during this exposition, more light will be shed on the polluted tree of the Bani Umayyah and the evils which they wreaked on the Muslim society.
وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ ابْنَ مَرْجانَةَ، وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ عُمَرَ بْنَ سَعْدٍ، وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ شِمْراً
“May the curse of Allah be upon Ibne Marjana and may the curse of Allah be upon ‘‘Umar b. Sa’ad and may the curse of Allah be upon Shimr.”
Ibne Marjana is one of the people discussed in the previous section as he is from the family of Ziyad. Since his mother was an adulteress named Marjana, if we wish to refer to him by his mother’s side, he would be known as Ibne Marjana, while if we wish to refer to him by his father’s side, who was also an unchaste person, he would be known as b. Ziyad. Thus, (‘Ubaydullah) b. Ziyad is also known as ‘Ubaydullah Ibne Marjana – one with an unclear lineage and family tree.
What was Ibne Marjana’s role in the event of Karbala’? He was the governor of Basrah and then was sent to Kufah. He was directly responsible for the killing of Muslim b. ‘Aqil and also guilty of massing the troops towards Karbala’.
‘‘Umar b. Sa’d b. Abi Waqqas is the second person cursed in this section. Sa’d b. Abi Waqqas was a prominent companion of the Prophet, however like others, he let the material world and Satan get the best of him some time after the death of the Messenger of Allah.
Rising up in opposition to the Imamate of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, he refused to pledge his allegiance to the successor of the Prophet and after a lifetime of submission to Islam, ended up leaving this world in opposition to Allah. However his son, who was cursed by Prophet Muhammad and Imam ‘Ali did not even enjoy a temporary lofty rank and was actually disowned by his father! His role in the event of ‘Ashura was as commander-in-chief of the entire battalion on the plains of Karbala’ as he was given the “honour” of being the governor of Ray (a village on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran – it still exists today as a suburb of South Tehran).
To show his perversity and Satanic ideas at the mere thought of killing the remaining grandson of the Prophet, we quote two lines of poetry he composed:
“Should I give up the government of Ray which is my ultimate goal and desire to attain?
Or should I return to Kufah, guilty and culpable of the killing of al-Husayn?
And in the killing of him (al-Husayn) is the hell fire of which there is nothing to save me,
However the government of Ray is that thing which brings pleasure to my eyes.”
Shimar b. Dhil Jawshan, the third person cursed in this section was once a staunch follower of Imam ‘Ali and even fought against Mu’awiyah in the battle of Siffin, however he too succumbed to Satan and followed his low desires.
His crimes included encouraging Ibne Ziyad not to accept any sort of peace treaty with Imam Husayn and to ensure that he was killed to prevent any more ‘rebellion’ in the nation. His sins are too numerous to recount here, however his greatest crime was severing the head off of the body of Imam Husayn.
وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ أُمَّةً أَسْرَجَتْ وَأَلْجَمَتْ وَتَنَقَّبَتْ لِقِتالِكَ
“And may the curse of Allah be upon the nation that carried out, saw and were silent at your killing.”
How many people make up this ‘nation’ mentioned in this section who saw, carried out and were silent at the massacre of Karbala’? Some historians state that this number exceeded 80,000 people however the most famous account which has come to us directly from the Masumeen is 30,000.
The entire city of Kufah was mobilized for this act of terrorism and ‘‘Ubaydullah b. Ziyad ensured that everything needed to finish this battle was brought to the war front.
Those who participated in this event and even those who did not however remained silent are all cursed – just as those who even today hear of this tragedy and of other acts of oppression throughout the world are cursed even if they are not directly responsible for what happens.
There are three main reasons why the Imam did not receive the support he should have gotten from the Muslims, and upon review we see that they are definitely not ‘valid excuses’:
1. The people’s own personal gain and profit: When Imam Husayn, while in the Hajj asked a person who had just arrived from Kufah about what the people were talking about, this man said, “The hearts of the people are with you, however their swords are with Bani Umayyah...” To this, the Imam replied, “Surely the people are the servants of the transient world and the religion is something which they pay lip service to. They hold on to it when it serves their purpose however when they are plagued with difficulties, then very few hold firm to it.”
2. Fear of the government in power: Mua’wiyah, Yazid and his gang were very effective in striking terror and fear into the hearts of the people. The propaganda of Yazid, b. Ziyad and others infused deep into the psyche of the people such that they shook at the thought of going against their ‘leaders’ let alone even question their actions.
3. Ignorance of the truth: In all times, we see that those who are misled are the people who lack true knowledge and awareness of what is going on in the world, just as Imam ‘Ali has said, “Ignorance is the root of all evil.” Again, the propaganda machine of Yazid was so strong that people thought him and his forefathers to be the true Muslims and leaders, while the Commander of the Faithful and his family were considered to be out of the fold of Islam!
One wonders if these same things can not be seen in all ages where truth is pitted against falsehood...
بِأَبِي أَنْتَ وَأُمِّي، لَقَدْ عَظُمَ مُصابِي بِكَ، فَأَسْأَلُ اللّهَ الَّذِي أَكْرَمَ مَقامَكَ، وَأَكْرَمَنِي بِكَ، أَنْ يَرْزُقَنِي طَلَبَ ثارِكَ مَعَ إِمامٍ مَنْصُورٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ
“May my father and mother be sacrificed for you. Surely my sorrow for you is great and I pray to Allah who has honoured your status and has also honoured me through you that He grant me the opportunity to seek your revenge with the victorious Imam from the family of Muhammad.”
This is perhaps one of the most moving, inspirational, and thought provoking lines of this Ziyarat.
We first make a very honorific promise to the Imam that had he been alive today, that we would be willing to sacrifice ourselves and even our parents in his way. Thus, our lives mean nothing when compared to the Imam. This is not only a plea made to an Imam who is no longer with us, rather, since our 12th Imam is still alive and among us, we are making this pledge to him as well, since he is the inheritor of Imam Husayn – are we truly ready and willing to sacrifice ourselves and our families for the 12th Imam? It is hard enough to sacrifice our money let alone our lives and our parents...
The appeal made in this section of the Ziyarat is to be along side the 12th Imam in his army to take the revenge on all of those who were guilty of this great crime – from the days in Saqifah up until the day of ‘Ashura in 61 AH.
As for the honoured status of the Imam, to recount his lofty rank would take us volumes, however it is enough to mention that he was the son of the Prophet (according to the Qur’an) and that the dirt from around his grave is a means of cure for illness as has been seen and recorded in many books. It is through his noble status that we today, the Shi’a, have any status or honour – as it is through following his mission that true Islam is separated and differentiated from the Islam practiced by the majority of others.
We also make a supplication that we are able to assist the 12th Imam in his mission to avenge the death of the Hujjat of Allah on the Earth. Yes it is true that over 1,350 years have passed since this massacre and that Mukhtar took “revenge” for the killings, however the true revenge which is to be done by the immediate family under the authority of Allah still remains – as we discussed in the beginning of this commentary.
In actuality, this line of the Ziyarat shows us that ‘Ashura is not ‘one day’ and Karbala’ is not ‘one land’ and that as long as oppression and tyranny remain, ‘Ashura and Karbala’ remain and it is only with the advent of the 12th Imam that this state of affairs will perpetuate.
Unfortunately, we only study the event of Karbala’ and ‘Ashura as a historical occurrence with no desire to tie it into current events to see how Karbala’ is alive today and how ‘Ashura is occurring every day and this is what this one line of the Ziyarat is seeking to instil within us...
It also keeps the hope of the advent of the reformer of the world, our 12th Imam, enlivened in our hearts as we seek to be along side him when the Divine retribution takes place.
أَللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي عِنْدَكَ وَجِيهاً بِالْحُسَيْنِ فِي الدُّنْيا وَالآخِرَةِ
“O’ Allah! Make me worthy of respect with You through Husayn, peace be upon him, both in the transient world and also the next life.”
The status which we have – either in this world, or the next, is in accordance to our level of Taqwa which can only be developed through a consciousness and awareness of Allah. The best way to develop this Taqwa is obviously to have perfect role models to follow who can bring us closer to His presence – who better than the Messenger of Islam and his Ahlul Bayt?
In this case, we refer to the character and persona of Imam Husayn and use him as our guide and teacher to Allah. In this part of the Ziyarat we address Allah and say to him that it is through Imam Husayn and our spiritual connection with him that we desire respect and honour in Allah’s presence – both in this world and the next!
Truly if we were not followers of the Prophet of Islam and his Divinely appointed successors, we would not be worthy of having respect shown to us by Allah as these personalities are the ‘rope of Allah’ which He has stretched forth for His servants.
يَا أَبا عَبْدِ اللّهِ، إِنِّي أَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَى اللّهِ، وَإِلى رَسُولِهِ، وَإِلى أَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، وَإِلى فاطِمَةَ، وَإِلَى الْحَسَنِ، وَإِلَيْكَ بِمُوَالاتِكَ، وَبِالْبَراءَةِ مِـمَّـنْ أَسَّسَ أَسَاسَ ذلِكَ وَبَنى عَلَيْهِ بُنْيانَهُ، وَجَرى فِي ظُلْمِهِ وَجَوْرِهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَلَى أَشْياعِكُمْ.
“O’ Aba ‘Abdillah! Surely I seek closeness to Allah and to His Messenger and to the Commander of the Faithful and to Fatimah and to Hasan and to you through love of you and through distancing myself from those who laid the foundations and those who built upon and carried out oppression and cruelty upon you all and upon your followers.”
What does it mean to seek closeness to Allah, His Messenger and the other noble personalities mentioned in this section? Without doubt, ‘closeness’ to these individuals cannot be in the physical sense of the word – rather, it is a spiritual meaning. Therefore, being close to Allah means to be at the highest pinnacles of faith and certainty such that a person has no doubts or misgivings of the path of life, Al-Islam, which he has chosen to follow.
Closeness to the Messenger of Allah, the Commander of the Faithful, Fatimah, Hasan, and Imam Husayn is also achieved through following their mission and way of life and becoming ‘one’ with them on the spiritual realms.
According to this section of the Ziyarat, closeness to Allah can only be achieved through “TawAllah” and “Tabarrah” – love and hate for those whom Allah has commanded us to show these two opposing states towards. This is not only a concept seen in this Ziyarat, rather, in many of the verses of the Qur’an, we are also told to have love and companionship for the believers and to be harsh and firm against the disbelievers.
Thus in summary, we see that the only way to be close to Allah and His Messenger and those whom we are ordered to follow and obey is through love for them – and true love entails a complete obedience to the one whom we love (as the Qur’an also attests to). At the same time, love is not enough as ‘love cannot conquer evil’ – thus, we also need to distance ourselves and make known our aversion to those people who oppressed and mercilessly killed the family of the Prophet – we have mentioned who these people are in our previous discussions and more shall be mentioned in this Ziyarat, Insha-Allah.
بَرِئْتُ إِلَى اللّهِ وَإِلَيْكُمْ مِنْهُمْ، وَأَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَى اللّهِ ثُمَّ إِلَيْكُمْ بِمُوالاتِكُمْ وَمُوالاةِ وَلِيِّكُمْ، وَبِالْبَراءَةِ مِنْ أَعْدائِكُمْ، وَالنَّاصِبِينَ لَكُمُ الْحَرْبَ، وَبِالْبَراءَةِ مِنْ أَشْيَاعِهِمْ وَأَتْبَاعِهِمْ
“I disassociate myself from them through Allah and through all of you and I seek nearness to Allah and then to you through love for you and your friends and disassociation with your enemies and from those who want to fight against you and disassociation from their adherents and followers.”
The importance of disassociation from the enemies of Allah is so great that we repeat our thoughts in this section. Just as in the last section we sought closeness to Allah and those select personalities and distanced ourselves from His enemies, once again we repeat the same words since if there is even an atom’s weight of love in our hearts for the enemies of Allah, it is impossible to love Allah, His Messenger and the Ahlul Bayt.
إِنِّي سِلْمٌ لِمَنْ سالَمَكُمْ، وَحَرْبٌ لِمَنْ حارَبَكُمْ، وَوَلِيٌّ لِمَنْ والاكُمْ، وَعَدُوٌّ لِمَنْ عاداكُمْ
“Surely I am at peace with those who are at peace with you and I am at war with those who are at war with you and I am a friends to those who are friends to you and I am an enemy to those who are enemies to you.”
In actuality, this line of the Ziyarat is the natural outcome from the previous two sections – meaning that once we realize who we love and hate, we then realize whom we are at war with and whom we are at peace with. Is it possible for us to love the enemy of Allah, the Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt while showing hatred for their sincere followers?
Obviously, once we realize who our true loves and guides are we would necessarily be loyal to them and also those who love and follow them. When we realize who the enemies of Allah, the Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt are we would necessarily also have an aversion to them and would be in a state of perpetual war with them...
فَأَسْأَلُ اللّهَ الَّذِي أَكْرَمَنِي بِمَعْرِفَتِكُمْ، وَمَعْرِفَةِ أَوْلِيَائِكُمْ، وَرَزَقَنِي الْبَراءَةَ مِنْ أَعْدائِكُمْ، أَنْ يَجْعَلَنِي مَعَكُمْ فِي الدُّنْيا وَلأَخِرَةِ، وَأَنْ يُثَبِّتَ لِي عِنْدَكُمْ قَدَمَ صِدْقٍ فِي الدُّنْيا وَالأَخِرَةِ
“So then I ask Allah who has honoured me with a cognizance of all of you and a cognizance of your friends that He also grant me the opportunity to disassociate myself from your enemies and that He place me with you – both in the transient world and also in the next life – and that he make me firm in your presence with a truthful stance both in the transient world and also the next life.”
When a person wants to follow another person or ideology, it is necessary for him to know that person or ideology from all of its various dimensions. Can a supporter of democracy for example, say with 100% certainty that he accepts this form of government if he has not studied it?
Thus, the friends of the Ahlul Bayt would necessarily become closer to these individuals through a deeper knowledge of these noble personalities and all aspects of their lives.
As we know, this deep knowledge of the Ahlul Bayt which we request can only be granted to us by Allah and it is for this reason that we always turn back to Him as our source of guidance. This is one of the key ingredients in the Du’a and Ziyaaraat which the Prophet and A’immah have taught us that every issue goes back to Allah, thus, placing Tawhid at the fore-front of all of our discussions.
In this Ziyarat, what does it mean when we say, “...that He place me with you both in the transient world and also in the next life...”? This ‘oneness’ has very many levels and degrees to it, however in this section it refers to a “spiritual oneness” which is accomplished through following the morals and etiquette of the Ahlul Bayt such that ‘being like them’ is then equated with ‘being with them’ – this is in regards to the life of this world.
As for the next world, the Qur’an itself tells us that, “On that Day shall we call every people with their Imam...” Thus, we pray that on the Day of Judgment, we are raised up in the company of our Imam however the only way this can be accomplished is to be with them in this world.
The last line of this Ziyarat which reads, “...and that he make me firm in your presence with a truthful stance...” carries a very important meaning with it. In this line, we are being taught that it is not of any worth to be a “Husayni” for the moment – meaning that to profess love at this moment of our lives is not some great honour. Rather, what is important is to die as a “Husayni” and to be brought up on the Day of Resurrection as a “Husayni”.
How many people lived around the Prophet and were his “companions” in this world – will they be his companions in the next life? How many people pledged allegiance to ‘Ali on the day of Ghadeer and even after the death of the first three Caliphs however where were they when he was fighting the battles of Jamal, Siffin, Nahrwan and other wars?
Thus, in this section we make a prayer to Allah that we are able to remain as a “Husayni” throughout our entire life and even at Resurrection and that we never switch sides and become a “Yazidi”.
وَأَسْأَلُهُ أَنْ يُبَلِّغَنِي الْمَقامَ الْـمَحْمُودَ لَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللّهِ، وَأَنْ يَرْزُقَنِي طَلَبَ ثارِي مَعَ إِمامِ هُدىً ظَاهِرٍ نَاطِقٍ بِالْحَقِّ مِنْكُمْ
“And I ask Him (Allah) that He enables me to reach to the honoured station with you in the presence of Allah and that He grant me the ability to seek the revenge of you with the rightly guided Imam from you, who shall surely come and speak the truth.”
The honoured station (Maqaam al-Mahmood) is not one which everybody can reach to and it is for this reason that in Suratul Isra (17), we read, “...and in the night perform the recommended prayers (Salatul Lail). Perhaps is through this act that Your Lord may grant you an honoured station (Maqaam al-Mahmood).” Thus, the only way to soar to the peaks of closeness with Allah is through the spiritual travels – one of them being closeness to the Ahlul Bayt in the true sense of the word.
Although the tafseer of this verse has limited the true Maqaam al-Mahmood as belonging to the Prophet Muhammad and his power of Intercession for all who Allah permits him to intercede for, however there are others who, according to numerous ahadith, will have the permission to intercede for others – the teacher will be able to intercede for his students; the Shaheed will be able to intercede for family members and other categories which the hadith speak about.
However, the term Maqaam al-Mahmood used in this section is of a ‘general’ nature of a lofty status and not that rank of the Prophet of Islam.
The mention of the 12th Imam is once again seen in this Ziyarat and we once again ask Allah that we are given the opportunity to be with our Imam in seeking revenge for this great act of murder on the plains of Karbala’. This Imam will come and will take the revenge for his family who were wronged and one of the Du’as of each true believer should be that he is present and fighting with the Imam rather than against the Imam.
وَأَسْأَلُ اللّهَ بِحَقِّكُمْ وَبِالشَّأْنِ الَّذِي لَكُمْ عِنْدَهُ أَنْ يُعْطِيَنِي بِمُصابِي بِكُمْ أَفْضَلَ مَا يُعْطِي مُصاباً بِمُصِيبَتِهِ، مُصِيبَةً مَا أَعْظَمَها وَأَعْظَمَ رَزِيَّتَها فِي الإِسْلامِ وَفِي جَمِيعِ السَّموَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ.
“And I ask Allah for your sake and for the status and rank which you have with Him that He grant me that thing due to me showing grief and sorrow at your sorrows even more than of that which he gives in a person’s own grief and sorrows, and what great sorrow and tragedies you faced! How great was your tragedy for Islam and for all of the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth!”
What is being asked for in this section of the Ziyarat? The Qur’an clearly tells us that when an affliction befalls a person there are certain things which Allah grants him: “And surely We will test you with something from fear and hunger and a loss in your wealth, lives and your children – then give good tidings to those who show patience that when a tribulation befalls them they say,
‘Surely we are all from Allah and back to Him is our return.’ Surely it is upon these people that the prayers of their Lord are showered and His Mercy and surely it is these people who are on the right path.” (2:155-157)
Thus, in this section of the Ziyarat we are asking Allah to grant us patience and to shower us with His Prayers and Mercy for us bearing the tribulations which befell Abi ‘Abdillah and his family and friends.
We also attest to the fact that whatever comes upon us in the form of tribulations and tests is nothing compared to what happened to the grandson of the Prophet and that his tribulations were something which all of the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth had a hard time in bearing!
According to one hadith from the 5th Imam, everything in creation – the Jinn, wild animals, trees, even the sky cried at the murder of Imam Husayn! This should come as no surprise to us as in one verse of the Qur’an, Allah tells us that at the death of a particular person, the sky and the Earth did not cry (since this person was not worthy of this) – thus, this means that at the death of others, it is possible for the Earth and Sky to show ‘emotions’ and she tears.
Even today, scientists have shown how animals can develop a close bond to their owner and if the owner dies, that animal is able to sense this and also feels grief and their entire pattern of life changes...
Without doubt, the Hujjat of Allah leaving his Earth in the fashion in which he did is something which would even make a hard rock split and have water gush out from it, however how tragic it is that the heart who hears of his tragedy does not break down in tears...
أَللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي فِي مَقَامِي هذَا مِمَّنْ تَنالُهُ مِنْكَ صَلَواتٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ
“O’ Allah! Make me at this moment, one who receives from You prayers, mercy and forgiveness.”
The meaning of “...make me at this moment...” is that point in time when a person is reciting this Ziyarat since, as mentioned before, one is able to attain closeness to Allah and His chosen personalities through love and affinity for the Prophet Muhammad and his chosen family members.
Thus, as we seek nearness to Allah through the Ahlul Bayt, we ask Allah for His prayers, mercy and His forgiveness from our sins and transgressions.
أَللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ مَحْيايَ مَحْيا مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَمَماتِي مَماتَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ.
“O’ Allah! Make me live the life of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and permit me to die the death of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad.”
We know the way of life of Muhammad and his family – they led a life of piety, humility and humbleness. They did not indulge in extravagance, nor were they miserly in their spending. Whatever they did was for Allah and to seek nearness to Allah. This is what we ask for in the first part of this section. We also know that they stood up for truth and justice and when the time came to give their life for the protection of the faith of Islam, they did as they needed.
The positive traits and noble ethical qualities which the Prophet and his family possess are too numerous to mention here, however we ask Allah to bless our life and permit us to live the same sort of life that they had.
As for the second portion in which we ask that we ‘...die the death of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad...’ this is a far more important aspect. In essence, we are asking Allah for a noble and glorious death – a death that the family of the Prophet welcomed in which they were killed defending the cause of Allah and His faith since generally speaking, the way we live is the way we die.
It is not possible for a person to live his life as a ‘Husayni’ but die as a ‘Yazidi’ – as long as the ‘Husayni’ traits are deeply engrained in his psyche and essence, he will never leave this path. Similarly, it is not possible for a person to live his entire life as a ‘Yazidi’ but die as a ‘Husayni’ as his heart would be so polluted with sins and evil, that it would be very hard, if not impossible to return back to the straight path. Granted there are those who have led less than pious lives and have died on the path of Islam however for them we can state that they had not arrived to a state in which their entire presence had been covered over with sins – people such as Hurr b. Yazid al-Riyaahi.
Thus, in this life of the Ziyarat we are asking for the death of a Shaheed – Martyr – as this is the noblest way of leaving the world especially keeping in mind that we could die in many ways such as crossing the street, riding a bike or something of this nature...
أَللَّهُمَّ إِنَّ هذَا يَوْمٌ تَبَرَّكَتْ بِهِ بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ وَابْنُ آكِلَةِ الأَََكْبادِ، اللَّعِينُ ابْنُ اللَّعِينِ عَلَى لِسانِكَ وَلِسانِ نَبِيِّكَ فِي كُلِّ مَوْطِنٍ وَ مَوْقِفٍ وَقَفَ فِيهِ نَبِيُّكَ
“O’ Allah! This is the day (the Day of ‘Ashura) which the Bani Umayyah rejoiced upon (and is the day when the) son of the liver eater (the son of Hind b. Abu Sufyan – Mu’awiyah and his son Yazid) celebrated, the cursed son(s) (Yazid) of the cursed (Mu’awiyah), as said by You and Your Prophet at every place and occasion.”
In this section of the Ziyarat, we once again turn our attention to those specific people who are cursed by Allah, His Prophet and all who are given the permission to curse by Allah.
We are told that the Bani Umayah rejoiced on this day – the Day of ‘Ashura – however what exactly did they commemorate on this day? The books of history tell us that the following things were innovated into the faith during the time of Yazid and the rest of the corrupt leaders:
1. They considered this day as the one on which the sustenance is determined by Allah and the day when Allah would divide his blessings on His servants for the next year. It is for this reason that the Ahlul Bayt have advised their followers to refrain from work, school, etc... on this day.
2. They considered this day as a day of Eid and thus, encouraged their followers to clean their house, apply perfume, wear clean, new clothing and all of the other acts related to Eid. Again, the Ahlul Bayt have told us to mark this day in a solemn manner and with grief and sorrow with ‘modest’ and ‘simple’ dress.
3. The Bani Umayyah used to fast on this day and even still, many followers of the Bani Umayyah (those who make up a majority of the Muslims of the world) fast on the day of ‘Ashura claiming that the Prophet did so in respect of Prophet Musa! Again, the Shi’a are told that to fast on this day is highly discouraged, however we are recommended to keep a half-day fast (Faqqah) as a sign of grief and remembrance of the hunger and thirst felt on the day of ‘Ashura.
4. The fourth thing innovated in the faith was to make special Du’a for the greatness of the day and to ask for Barakat from Allah. Again, the followers of the Ahlul Bayt have been taught to make Du’a and the Ziyarat in which we recall the grief of the family and to ask Allah for benefits – but not of the material, worldly type.
In a long tradition from Imam al-Ridha he has cleared this lie (that the day of ‘Ashura is a day of celebration) and has said (at the end of the hadith), “...the person who takes the day of ‘Ashura as a happy one will be raised up on the Day of Judgement with Yazid and ‘Ubaydullah b. Ziyad and ‘Umar b. Sa’d in the lowest regions of the Hell Fire.”
أَللَّهُمَّ الْعَنْ أَبا سُفْيانَ وَمُعَاوِيَةَ وَيَزِيدَ بْنَ مُعَاوِيَةَ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْكَ اللَّعْنَةُ أَبَدَ الأََبِدِينَ، وَهذَا يَوْمٌ فَرِحَتْ بِهِ آلُ زِيادٍ وَآلُ مَرْوانَ بِقَتْلِهِمُ الْحُسَيْنَ صَلَواتُ اللّهِ عَلَيْهِ، أَللَّهُمَّ فَضاعِفْ عَلَيْهِمُ اللَّعْنَ مِنْكَ وَالْعَذابَ الأَلِيمَ.
“O’ Allah! Curse Abu Sufan and Mu’awiyah and Yazid b. Mu’awiyah – upon them may Your curse be forever and eternity. And this is the day when the family of Ziyad were happy and so were the family of Marwan at their killing of Husayn, may the Prayers of Allah be upon him. O’ Allah! Increase upon them Your curse and (Your) painful punishment.”
Once again we see the curse being sent upon specific individuals and once again, we ask Allah to remove His mercy from these individuals due to their wicked acts.
Abu Sufyan remained a polytheist until his death and thus, died in opposition to Allah and His Messenger. The same can be seen for his off-spring – his son and grandson, Mu’awiyah and Yazid - who although ‘openly’ accepted Islam, were the greatest opponents to Allah and His Messenger! It was not until the reign of the 3rd Caliph that Mu’awiyah finally began to take a prominent role in the government – after all, he was from the same family as Uthman. However, this did not stop him from having Uthman killed and then pinning the blame on the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali so that the people would rise up against him!
Mu’awiyah continued his evil plots during the caliphate of Imam ‘Ali and his son, Hasan al-Mujtaba. Alhamdulillah, after he was sent to the hell fire, his son Yazid was appointed as the Caliph of the Muslim nation! Thus, they were the ones to bring the monarchy to Islam – something seen in many Muslim countries even today!
Where as it would take books to describe Mu’awiyah’s deviations, we mention just a few so we can better under why we curse him: he was the first to perform Jumuah Salat on Wednesday; he permitted a person to marry to sisters at one time (which is forbidden in Islam); he introduced the Adhan on the day of ‘Eid al-Adhha and ‘Eid al-Fitr; he recited his Salat in full while on a journey; he made use of pure silk and gold which is forbidden for men; he did not implement the Islamic penal code; he drank alcohol in the open; he established the monarchy in Islam; he cursed the family of the Prophet – especially Imam ‘Ali in the open and made it a part of the Jumuah Khutbah without which the Jumuah Khutbah was invalid; he prohibited people from narrating ahadith of the Prophet, and hundreds of other things...
The actions of Yazid were no less – including the act of killing the grandson of the Prophet, attacking the Holy Ka’bah and destroying it and hundreds of other acts during his three years and six months of “leadership” of the Muslim nation...
أَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَيْكَ فِي هذَا الْيَوْمِ، وَفِي مَوْقِفِي هذَا، وَأَيَّامِ حَيَاتِي بِالْبَرَاءَةِ مِنْهُمْ، وَاللَّعْنَةِ عَلَيْهِمْ، وَبِالْمُوَالاةِ لِنَبِيِّكَ وَآلِ نَبِيِّكَ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَيْهِمُ أَلسَّلاَمُ.
“O’ Allah! Surely I seek nearness to you on this day (the Day of ‘Ashura) and in this place (which I am in) and in all days of my life by disassociating myself from these people and sending curses upon them and through my love and friendship to Your Prophet and the family of Your Prophet, peace be upon him and upon all of them.”
Once again, we return to the over-riding theme in all of our supplications and Ziyarat which is the Monotheism of Allah and seeking nearness to Him through individuals whom He has appointed as our guides.
This line of the Ziyarat shows that the closeness which we ask Allah for is not limited to a particular day or place we are in – rather, it is for all time and for anywhere in which we remember the Imam and his sacrifice.
In actuality, this line of the Ziyarat is a summary of the entire visitation – love and hate – which we have covered in previous sections of this exposition.
أَللَّهُمَّ الْعَنْ أَوَّلَ ظَالِمٍ ظَلَمَ حَقَّ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآخِرَ تَابِعٍ لَهُ عَلَى ذلِكَ. أَللَّهُمَّ الْعَنِ الْعِصَابَةَ الَّتِي جاهَدَتِ الْحُسَيْنَ وَشايَعَتْ وَبايَعَتْ وَتابَعَتْ عَلَى قَتْلِهِ، أَللَّهُمَّ الْعَنْهُمْ جَمِيعاً.
“O’ Allah! Curse the first tyrant who oppressed the right of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and the next person who followed him on this path. O’ Allah! Curse the group who fought against Husayn and those who followed them and supported them and assisted them in killing him. O’ Allah, curse all of them!”
The meaning of “...the first oppressor...” is not necessarily the first person who oppressed the family, just as the meaning of “...the next person...” does not necessarily mean the second one who followed. Rather, it means those individuals who initiated the oppression against the Prophet and his family and those who continued and perpetuated this act – even up until today (those who are happy and content and supportive of what was carried out).
Can someone actually “...oppress the rights of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad?” Without doubt, this does not refer to the status of Prophethood and Imamate as these are Allah Given and no one can take them away. Thus, what this means is that we are sending curses upon those who prevented the Prophet and his family from enacting the status which they were given and from leading the community based on their Imamate. Thus, ‘oppressing the rights...’ means preventing the Imam from fulfilling his Imamate over the nation and ensuring that all of the Islamic commandments are put into practice which was obviously not done during the ruling ‘Caliphs’.
We have been recommended to recite this section 100 times in order for our Ziyarat to be ‘complete’, however, what is the reason for this? One possible reason for the recitation is to instil a sense of hatred and enmity for the killers of the grandson of the Prophet. It is possible that out of these 100 times, our attention may slip away a few times, thus rendering these curses as not coming from the bottom of our heart, however without doubt, if we repeat it 100 times, we are guarantee that atleast one of these 100 would be done sincerely and with true faith in what we are saying.
أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ يَا أَبا عَبْد ِاللّهِ وَعَلَى الأَرْواحِ الَّتِي حَلَّتْ بِفِنائِكَ، عَلَيْكَ مِنِّي سَلامُ اللّهِ أَبَداً مَا بَقِيتُ وَبَقِيَ اللَّيْلُ وَالنَّهارُ، وَلاَ جَعَلَهُ اللّهُ آخِرَ الْعَهْدِ مِنِّي لِزِيارَتِكُمْ، أَلسَّلاَمُ عَلَى الْحُسَيْنِ، وَعَلَى عَلِيِّ بْنِ الْحُسَيْنِ، وَعَلَى أَوْلادِ الْحُسَيْنِ، وَعَلَى أَصْحابِ الْحُسَيْنِ.
“Peace be upon you O’ Aba ‘Abdillah and upon the souls which were annihilated with you. Upon you, from me, is the peace of Allah for eternity, as long as the night and the day remain and please do not make this (Ziyarat) as my last contact with you. Greetings be upon Husayn, and upon ‘Ali the son of Husayn and upon the children of Husayn and upon the companions of Husayn.”
This section which is also recited 100 times is one in which we express our love and greetings to the Imam, his family and the companions killed with him.
The first point of importance in this section is that these greetings which we convey to our Imam are perpetual and do not end with the day of ‘Ashura – rather, they continue on until the end of this world. From this, we can understand that even if we are physically dead in our graves, we, the true Shi’a would continue to send our greetings to the Imam even from our station in Barzakh.
Who is ‘Ali b. Husayn whom we send our greetings to? Is this the 4th Imam, As-Sajjad, or someone else? Seeing as how this Ziyarat is in regards to those murdered with the 3rd Imam, we can state that this is none other than ‘Ali b. Husayn whom we refer to as ‘Ali Akbar. As we know, the fourth Imam was protected and saved on the day of ‘Ashura as through him, the remaining eight Imams came forth.
Who are the children of Husayn whom we send our greetings upon? Historians have mentioned that the Imam had four sons:
1. ‘Ali al-Akbar whose mother was Laila;
2. ‘Ali al-Awsat (Imam Zainul Abideen) whose mother was the daughter of Yazdjard the Emperor of Iran;
3. Abillah (‘Ali al-Asghar) whose mother was Rabab;
4. Ja’far b. Husayn who died before the event of Karbala’.
As for his daughters, they include:
1. Ruqayyah whose mother was Rabab (also known as Sakinah);
2. Fatimah whose mother was Ummul Ishaq, the daughter of Talhah.
The companions who were killed in Karbala’ are numerous and although the historians differ on the exact number, those from the Bani Hashim numbered 17 who include:
1. ‘Ali Akbar (‘Ali b. Husayn);
2. ‘Abillah b. ‘Ali the son of Ummul Banin;
3. ‘Abbas b. ‘Ali the son of Ummul Banin;
4. Ja’far b. ‘Ali the son of Ummul Banin;
5. ‘Uthman b. ‘Ali the son of Ummul Banin;
6. Muhammad (Asghar) b. ‘Ali;
7. ‘Abillah b. Husayn (‘Ali Asghar the baby);
8. Abu Bakr b. Hasan b. ‘Ali, the son of Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba;
9. Qasim b. Hasan b. ‘Ali, the son of Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba;
10. ‘Abillah b. Hasan the son of Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba;
11. ‘Awn b. ‘Abillah b. Ja’far b. Abi Talib;
12. Muhammad b. ‘Abillah b. Ja’far b. Abi Talib;
13. Ja’far b. ‘Aqil b. Abi Talib;
14. ‘Abdul Rahman b. ‘Aqil b. Abi Talib;
15. ‘Abillah b. Muslim b. ‘Aqil b. Abi Talib;
16. ‘Abillah b. ‘Aqil b. Abi Talib;
17. Muhammad b. Sa’id b. ‘Aqil b. Abi Talib
The resting place of all of the martyrs of the Bani Hashim is at the feet of the body of Imam Husayn (peace be upon him). A separate grave was dug for them and they were buried at this spot – with the exception of al-’Abbas b. ‘Ali (peace be upon him) whose burial place is the same location as where he was martyred.
The total number of the rest of the martyrs is also a point of difference of the scholars. The maximum number given is 112 however the number of 72 is one of the most accepted numbers as this is the minimum number of followers killed.
The burial spots of the rest of the martyrs are also different and they are all buried around the grave of Imam Husayn (peace be upon him) in various locations however the spots of most of their graves is not precisely known even today. Of all of these graves, only two are exactly known and these are the graves of Habib b. Mazahir Asadi which is located inside the Hair (the area where Imam Husayn (peace be upon him) is buried) to the right of the body while the other is that of Hurr b. Yazid al-Riyahi who is buried a few kilometres from the grave of Imam Husayn (peace be upon him).
أَللَّهُمَّ خُصَّ أَنْتَ أَوَّلَ ظالِمٍ بِاللَّعْنِ مِنِّي، وَابْدَأْ بِهِ أَوَّلاً، ثُمَّ الْعَن الثَّانِيَ وَالثَّالِثَ وَالرَّابِعَ. أَللَّهُمَّ الْعَنْ يَزِيدَ خامِساً، وَالْعَنْ عُبَيْدَ اللّهِ بْنَ زِيادٍ وَابْنَ مَرْجانَةَ وَعُمَرَ بْنَ سَعْدٍ وَشِمْراً وَآلَ أَبِي سُفْيانَ وَآلَ زِيادٍ وَآلَ مَرْوَانَ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ.
“O’ Allah! Particularly curse the first tyrant, a curse from me, and begin the first curse with him and then send the curse on the second and the third and then the forth (tyrant). O’ Allah curse Yazid, the fifth (tyrant) and curse ‘Ubaydullah b. Ziyad and Ibne Marjanah and ‘‘Umar b. Sa’d and Shimr and the Family of Sufyan and the family of Ziyad and the family of Marwan until the day of Judgement.”
As we draw a close to this Ziyarat, we once again bring to memory those specific tyrants who began the movement against the family of the Prophet and ask Allah to remove His mercy from them. The individuals mentioned here number 11 - who are these people and what did they do – we explain this in detail so as to better understand why we curse all of them. One point should be mentioned that although some people were not present in the event of Karbala’ however if they are ‘gathered’ in this group, then this is due to the fact that they were pleased with what occurred – even though they may not have had a direct hand in the killing.
Also, it should be noted that ‘Ubaydullah b. Ziyad and Ibne Marjanah are one person however he has been mentioned twice since his mother and father were both adulterers and thus, there is no clear record of whose child he was. This shows the despicability of the act of adultery that a child is sometimes left with no lineage and mentioning him twice would also remove the doubt from the people’s minds that ‘Ubaydullah b. Ziyad as being another person who was not guilty of the crimes in Karbala’.
1. The first tyrant – The First Caliph who ruled for 2 years and 3 months:
a. Stealing the Caliphate from the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali b. Abi Talib (peace be upon him).
b. Ordering the Imam (peace be upon him) to be tied and bound and dragged through the streets of Madina to give the Bay’at.
c. Ordering the daughter of the Prophet, Fatimah az-Zahra (peace be upon her) to be attacked and beat up – thus, causing her to have a miscarriage, losing her son Mohsin and which lead to her death.
d. Designating the second Caliph through his will.
2. The second tyrant – The Second Caliph who ruled for 10 years and 6 months:
a. Stealing the Caliphate from the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali b. Abi Talib (peace be upon him).
b. Planning the event of attack against Imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib (peace be upon him) and Fatimah Az-Zahra (peace be upon her) after the death of the Prophet.
c. Organizing the stealing of the Caliphate and placing the first Caliph in his seat at the Saqifah.
d. Many innovations in the faith of Islam such as:
• Prohibiting Mut’ah of the woman and Mut’ah of the Hajj;
• Adding the line, ‘As-Salat is better than sleep’ [الصلاة خير من النوم] to the Adhan of Fajr;
• Bringing upon new rulings in regards to the divorce, and many other acts.
e. Inappropriate distribution of the public treasury.
f. Racial discrimination between Muslims.
g. Making Mua’wiyah the governor of present day Syria.
h. Selectively implementing the Islamic penal code by turning a blind eye to his friends and family members who committed acts contrary to Islamic legislation.
i. Designating the third Caliph through his twisted and perverted “Council” to assign who would succeed him.
3. The third tyrant – The Third Caliph who ruled for approximately 12 years:
a. Stealing the Caliphate from the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali b. Abi Talib (peace be upon him).
b. Many innovations in the faith of Islam.
c. Putting forth his government without keeping the common people in mind for positions and relating positions to family and friends.
d. Appointing people to government positions who were not worthy of such positions.
e. Limiting the Public Treasury to the Bani Umayyah.
f. Racial discrimination amongst the Muslims.
g. Physically attacking and assaulting people who were not happy with the situation of the government and their policies.
h. Showing respect to the prime enemies of Islam and the teachings of the Prophet (blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) such as Marwan b. Hakam.
The acts of aggression of the rest of those cursed in this section are too numerous to mention and thus, we leave this for the readers to investigate and research.
أَللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ حَمْدَ الشَّاكِرِينَ لَكَ عَلَى مُصَابِهِمْ، الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلَى عَظِيمِ رَزِيَّتِي، أَللَّهُمَّ ارْزُقْنِي شَفاعَةَ الْحُسَيْنِ يَوْمَ الْوُرُودِ، وَثَبِّتْ لِي قَدَمَ صِدْقٍ عِنْدَكَ مَعَ الْحُسَيْنِ وَأَصْحابِ الْحُسَيْنِ الَّذِينَ بَذَلُوا مُهَجَهُمْ دُونَ الْحُسَيْنِ.
“O’ Allah! To you belongs the praise, the praise of those who are thankful to You for their tribulations. All Praise belongs to Allah for my intense grief. O’ Allah, grant me the blessing of intercession of Husayn on the Day of Appearance (before You) and strengthen me with a truthful stand in Your presence along with Husayn and the companions of Husayn – those people who sacrificed everything for Husayn.”
The final section of this Ziyarat which is recited in Sajdah – again, showing that this visitation is directed towards Allah and that He is always in our sight is one of thanks. We confirm that we praise Him just as those who have been plagued with tribulations glorify and sing his praise.
We also conclude our visitation with asking Allah for the permission of Husayn to intercede for us on the Day when we shall all be gathered in His presence to be accountable for our sins and that we are able to stand alongside Husayn and his companions – those who sacrificed whatever they had for his cause.
With this, we bring our visitation to the grandson of the Prophet to a close and ask Allah to accept our actions and to grant us the ability to be able to manifest all which we have said in this supplication. We also ask Allah to give us the strength to be able to love those whom He has commanded us to love and to hate those whom He has commanded us to hate. We also ask for the Tawfeeq to be able to follow the footsteps of Husayn and that we are able to reject the “Islam” of Yazid and the likes of him...
In some books of supplication, this supplication is referred to as Du’a Alqamah named after the companion of Imam as-Sadiq, peace be upon him, Alqamah. However, Shaykh ‘Abbas al-Qummi quotes very clear traditions in Mafatih al-Jinan that Imam as-Sadiq, peace be upon him, recited this du’a in the presence of the companion Safwan, not Alqamah. Therefore, the correct name of this supplication is Du’a to be recited after Ziyarat ‘Ashura or Du’a Safwan.
يَا اللّٰهُ يَا اللّٰهُ يَا اللّٰهُ، يَا مُجِيبَ دَعْوَةِ الْـمُضْطَرِّينَ، يَا كَاشِفَ كُرَبِ الْـمَكْرُوبِينَ، يَا غِيَاثَ الْـمُسْتَغِيثِينَ، يَا صَرِيخَ الْـمُسْتَصْرِخِينَ، وَيَا مَنْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيَّ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ، وَيَا مَنْ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْـمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ، وَيَا مَنْ هُوَ بِالْـمَنْظَرِ الأَعْلىٰ، وَبِالأُفُقِ الْـمُبِينِ، وَيَا مَنْ هُوَ الرَّحْمٰنُ الرَّحِيمُ عَلىٰ الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوىٰ، وَيَا مَنْ يَعْلَمُ خَائِنَةَ الأَعْيُنِ وَمَا تُخْفِي الصُّدُورُ.
O Allah! O Allah! O Allah! O He who gives answer to the cries of the persecuted! O He who pulls out the grief-stricken from agony and anguish! O He who comes to help those who shed tears in helplessness! O he who brings relief to those who cry for help! O He who is close by, nearer than my jugular vein! O He who makes peace between heart and mind; O He whom people search in the highest and noblest perspectives; in true and evident distinctions! O He who is Beneficent and Merciful in His authority! O He who knows what the furtive eyes betrays and what the secretive hearts conceal!
وَيَا مَنْ لاَ يَخْفىٰ عَلَيْهِ خَافِيَةٌ، يَا مَنْ لاَ تَشْتَبِهُ عَلَيْهِ الأَصْوَاتُ، وَيَا مَنْ لاَ تُغَلِّطُهُ الْـحَاجَاتُ، وَيَا مَنْ لاَ يُبْرِمُهُ إِلْـحَاحُ الْـمُلِحِّينَ، يَا مُدْرِكَ كُلِّ فَوْتٍ، وَيَا جامِعَ كُلِّ شَمْلٍ، وَيَا بارِىَ النُّفُوسِ بَعْدَ الْـمَوْتِ، يَا مَنْ هُوَ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ فِي شَأْنٍ، يَا قاضِيَ الْـحَاجَاتِ، يَا مُنَفِّسَ الْكُرُبَاتِ، يَا مُعْطِيَ السُّؤُلاَتِ، يَا وَلِيَّ الرَّغَبَاتِ، يَا كافِيَ الْـمُهِمَّاتِ، يَا مَنْ يَكْفِي مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَلاَ يَكْفِي مِنْهُ شَيْءٌ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ.
O He whom do not deceive those who do everything in secret! O He whom intermingled voices of the countless callers (supplicants) do not stop from giving answer to each and every one! O He whom wants and needs of the infinite needy do not put in confusion for attending to one and all separately! O he whom clamorous determined pleading of petitioners do not upset! O He who reaches and takes hold of everything that tries to escape! O He who keeps together and brings into harmony people who know and understand! O He who examines the souls when they present themselves before Him after death! O he who, each day, has (new) distinct glory! O Fulfiller of wants and needs! O He who gives confront and respite in distress! O He who liberally satisfies those who solicit His favours! O He who stands by and follow close upon those who humble and fervently call on Him! O He who effectively support those who make sincere efforts! O He who is equal to and can do anything instead of another in the matters concerning all things; and nothing, in the heavens and the earth, can be out of the reach of or is free from His hold.
أَسْأَلُكَ بِحَقِّ مُحَمَّدٍ خَاتَمِ النَّبِيِّينَ، وَعَلِىٍّ أَمِيرِ الْـمُؤْمِنِينَ، وَبِحَقِّ فَاطِمَةَ بِنْتِ نَبِيِّكَ، وَبِحَقِّ الْـحَسَنِ وَالْـحُسَيْنِ، فَإِنِّي بِهِمْ أَتَوَجَّهُ إِلَيْكَ فِي مَقامِيِ هٰذَا، وَبِهِمْ أَتَوَسَّلُ، وَبِهِمْ أَتَشَفَّعُ إِلَيْكَ، وَبِحَقِّهِمْ أَسْأَلُكَ وَأُقْسِمُ وَأَعْزِمُ عَلَيْكَ، وَبِالشَّأْنِ الَّذِي لَـهُمْ عِنْدَكَ وَبِالْقَدْرِ الَّذِي لَـهُمْ عِنْدَكَ، وَبِالَّذِي فَضَّلْتَهُمْ عَلىٰ الْعَالَـمِينَ، وَبِاسْمِكَ الَّذِي جَعَلْتَهُ عِنْدَهُمْ، وَبِهِ خَصَصْتَهُمْ دُونَ الْعَالَـمِينَ، وَبِهِ أَبَنْتَهُمْ وَأَبَنْتَ فَضْلَهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِ الْعَالَـمِينَ حَتَّى فَاقَ فَضْلُهُمْ فَضْلَ الْعَالَـمِينَ جَمِيعاً.
I beseech Thee in the name of Muhammad, the last Prophet, and Ali, the commander of the faithfuls, in the name of Fatimah, the daughter of Thy Prophet, and in the name of Hasan and Husayn. I direct myself towards Thee, through them, in my address, through them I try to get a hearing, through them I put forward my case to get Thy favours, in their names I make a request to Thee.
Bound to Thee by oath, living a life according to Thy commands, I carry out my pledge by every means, in the name of the love and devotion Thou has for them, and the influence and status they enjoy in every dimension of Thy will, the superior most pre-eminence in wisdom and character Thou bestowed upon them to transcend above everything in the whole universe, in the name of Thy name Thou revealed to them in trust, on account of which Thou chose them in preference over everything found in the heavens and the earths, through which Thou built their syndrome, developed to perfection their surpassing excellence in knowledge, learning and deeds, out of all the rest of the people, till their completeness surpassed the total achievement of all the people put together;
أَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تُصَلِّيَ عَلىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَأَنْ تَكْشِفَ عَنِّي غَمِّي وَهَمِّي وَكَرْبِي، وَتَكْفِيَنِي الْـمُهِمَّ مِنْ أُمُورِي، وَتَقْضِيَ عَنِّي دَيْنِي، وَتُجِيرَنِي مِنَ الْفَقْرِ، وَتُجِيرَنِي مِنَ الْفَاقَةِ، وَتُغْنِيَنِي عَنِ الْـمَسْأَلَةِ إِلىٰ الْـمَخْلُوقِينَ، وَتَكْفِيَنِي هَمَّ مَنْ أَخَافُ هَمَّهُ، وَعُسْرَ مَنْ أَخافُ عُسْرَهُ، وَحُزُونَةَ مَنْ أَخافُ حُزُونَتَهُ، وَشَرَّ مَنْ أَخافُ شَرَّهُ، وَمَكْرَ مَنْ أَخافُ مَكْرَهُ، وَبَغْيَ مَنْ أَخَافُ بَغْيَهُ، وَجَوْرَ مَنْ أَخَافُ جَوْرَهُ، وَسُلْطَانَ مَنْ أَخافُ سُلْطَانَهُ، وَكَيْدَ مَنْ أَخَافُ كَيْدَهُ، وَمَقْدُرَةَ مَنْ أَخَافُ مَقْدُرَتَهُ عَلَيَّ، وَتَرُدَّ عَنِّي كَيْدَ الْكَيَدَةِ، وَمَكْرَ الْـمَكَرَةِ.
I request Thee to send blessings on Muhammad and on the children of Muhammad; (and) look into the causes of my sorrows, anxieties, burdens, and do away with them, let me be equal to, sufficiently instructed, while dealing with my important enterprises and efforts, (and) carry out and fulfil my obligations, set me free from the clutches of poverty and from the pangs of hunger, let me have enough to live upon, free from the need to turn to others.
Let me be an adequate match for him who, I am afraid, shall create trouble, thwart the schemes of the one who, I am afraid, shall treat me harshly, let him, who, I am afraid, shall vex me, come to grief, expose and rebuke him, who, I am afraid, shall slander me, layout a plan to defeat him, who, I and afraid, shall try to deceive me by stratagem, take notice and act swiftly against him, who, I am afraid, shall treat me unjustly, take me into Thy custody to keep safe from the one who, I am afraid, shall tyrannize me, exercise Thy supreme authority to keep him in check, who, I am afraid, shall rule over me, outwit him, who, I am afraid, shall lay traps to deceive me cunningly, make ready a fitting reply to him who, I am afraid, shall oppress me; keep off from me the obstinate deceit of the vindictive malicious, and the crafty artifice of the cunning imposter.
أَللّٰهُمَّ مَنْ أَرَادَنِي فَأَرِدْهُ، وَمَنْ كادَنِي فَكِدْهُ، وَاصْرِفْ عَنِّي كَيْدَهُ وَمَكْرَهُ وَبَأْسَهُ وَأَمَانِيَّهُ وَامْنَعْهُ عَنِّي كَيْفَ شِئْتَ وَأَنَّى شِئْتَ.
O my Allah put an end to the intentions of him who desires to destroy me, outwit him who makes plans, keep off from me his deceit and intrigue, his hostility and fancy, keep me aloof, refusing to have anything to do with him, in whatever manner, on any occasion, as Thou wills.
أَللّٰهُمَّ اشْغَلْهُ عَنِّي بِفَقْرٍ لاَ تَجْبُرُهُ، وَبِبَلاَءٍ لاَ تَسْتُرُهُ، وَبِفَاقَةٍ لاَ تَسُدُّهَا، وَبِسُقْمٍ لاَ تُعَافِيهِ، وَذُلٍّ لاَ تُعِزُّهُ، وَبِـمَسْكَنَةٍ لاَ تَجْبُرُهَا.
O my Allah divert his attention from me and involve him in his own over bearing anxieties which Thou will not cut down, in misfortune which Thou will not make easy to deal with, in waywardness from which Thou will not lead him back on the right path, in spiritless laziness which Thou will never change into fruitful activity, infamy and disgrace from which Thou will not allow him to rise to the surface, in broken fortune which Thou will not let get set.
أَللّٰهُمَّ اضْرِبْ بِالذُّلِّ نَصْبَ عَيْنَيْهِ، وَأَدْخِلْ عَلَيْهِ الْفَقْرَ فِي مَنْزِلِهِ، وَالْعِلَّةَ وَالسُّقْمَ فِي بَدَنِهِ حَتَّى تَشْغَلَهُ عَنِّي بِشُغْلٍ شاغِلٍ لاَ فَراغَ لَهُ، وَأَنْسِهِ ذِكْرِي كَما أَنْسَيْتَهُ ذِكْرَكَ، وَخُذْ عَنِّي بِسَمْعِهِ وَبَصَرِهِ وَلِسانِهِ وَيَدِهِ وَرِجْلِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَمِيعِ جَوارِحِهِ، وَأَدْخِلْ عَلَيْهِ فِي جَمِيعِ ذٰلِكَ السُّقْمَ وَلاَ تَشْفِهِ حَتَّى تَجْعَلَ ذلِكَ لَهُ شُغْلاً شاغِلاً بِهِ عَنِّي وَعَنْ ذِكْرِي، وَاكْفِنِي يَا كافِيَ مَا لاَ يَكْفِي سِواكَ فَإِنَّكَ الْكافِي لاَ كافِيَ سِواكَ، وَمُفَرِّجٌ لاَ مُفَرِّجَ سِواكَ، وَمُغِيثٌ لاَ مُغِيثَ سِواكَ، وَجارٌ لاَ جارَ سِواكَ.
O my Allah let contemptible disgrace stick like a leech on the forehead between his two eyes, expose him to emptiness in every effort he makes, let wicked inclination, distraction and inactivity cut deep into his body and soul, in order that Thou diverts his attention from, me, absorbed in his own pursuits that do not free him to employ himself at another, make him think no more of me as he has willfully neglected and forgotten Thee, take away from me and throw overboard his attention, interest, communication, influence, support, and perverted thinking every evil he commits or draws it on himself, let everything he does go waste, defective and incomplete, and do not give any letup so that he is kept fully preoccupied and gets no time to pay attention to me or think of me.
Give enough to me, O He who effectively and completely gives satisfaction. There is no one other than Thee who gives sufficiently, because Thou alone gives enough, no one else gives to the seeker’s satisfaction except Thee. Thou dispels the clouds of sorrows, no one else, save Thee can free the grief-stricken from cares. Thou comes to help, no one else, except Thee, can do a favour when called for help. Thou art near, ready to avert the danger, no one else, save Thee, is close enough to stand by in the hour of trouble.
خَابَ مَنْ كَانَ جَارُهُ سِوَاكَ، وَمُغِيثُهُ سِوَاكَ، وَمَفْزَعُهُ إِلىٰ سِوَاكَ، وَمَهْرَبُهُ إِلىٰ سِوَاكَ، وَمَلْجَؤُهُ إِلىٰ غَيْرِكَ، وَمَنْجَاهُ مِنْ مَخْلُوقٍ غَيْرِكَ، فَأَنْتَ ثِقَتِي وَرَجَائِي وَمَفْزَعِي وَمَهْرَبِي وَمَلْجَئِي وَمَنْجَايَ، فَبِكَ أَسْتَفْتِحُ، وَبِكَ أَسْتَنْجِحُ، وَبِـمُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ أَتَوَجَّهُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَتَوَسَّلُ وَأَتَشَفَّعُ.
Comes to grief he who relies upon his own friends instead of Thee; or looks for his own supporters in place of Thee; frightened, cries for help having some one else other than Thee in mind; terrorized, runs away from the danger to a place of escape outside of Thy guaranty, and takes refuge in an asylum not watched over by Thee; and tries to bring himself to a place of safety through the help of created beings, excluding Thee, the Creator.
Therefore, Thou art my trust, my hope, my retreat, my refuge, my security, unto which one can run for safety, for this reason I call for thy help, and seek Thy support to carry out my affairs easily and successfully, through Muhammad and the children of Muhammad I present myself before Thee, try to draw Thy attention and ask for salvation.
فَأَسْأَلُكَ يَا اللّٰهُ يَا اللّٰهُ يَا اللّٰهُ،فَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ وَلَكَ الشُّكْرُ وَإِلَيْكَ الْـمُشْتَكىٰ وَأَنْتَ الْـمُسْتَعانُ.
So I beseech Thee, O Allah! O Allah! O Allah! Because (all) praise is for Thee (alone), and also prostration in thankfulness, thou alone listens to complaints, Thou alone is called upon for help.
فَأَسْأَلُكَ يَا اللّٰهُ يَا اللّٰهُ يَا اللّٰهُ بِحَقِّ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ أَنْ تُصَلِّيَ عَلىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَأَنْ تَكْشِفَ عَنِّي غَمِّي وَهَمِّي وَكَرْبِي فِي مَقَامِي هٰذَا كَمَا كَشَفْتَ عَنْ نَبِيِّكَ هَمَّهُ وَغَمَّهُ وَكَرْبَهُ، وَكَفَيْتَهُ هَوْلَ عَدُوِّهِ، فَاكْشِفْ عَنِّي كَمَا كَشَفْتَ عَنْهُ، وَفَرِّجْ عَنِّي كَمَا فَرَّجْتَ عَنْهُ، وَاكْفِنِي كَمَا كَفَيْتَهُ،
So I beseech Thee, O Allah! O Allah! O Allah! In the name of Muhammad and the children of Muhammad to send blessings on Muhammad and on the children of Muhammad, to put to flight the sorrows, the anxieties, the burdens, now surrounding me from all sides, just as Thou made Thy Prophet free of his sorrows, anxieties and burden, and saved him from the terror of his enemies, in such manner as Thou made him to do so, let me also do the same, let me be free of care as Thou gave him joy, heart and confidence, let me have enough and be contended as Thou gave him sufficiently.
وَاصْرِفْ عَنِّي هَوْلَ مَا أَخَافُ هَوْلَهُ، وَمَؤُونَةَ مَا أَخَافُ مَؤُونَتَهُ، وَهَمَّ مَا أَخَافُ هَمَّهُ، بِلاَ مَؤُونَةٍ عَلىٰ نَفْسِي مِنْ ذٰلِكَ، وَاصْرِفْنِي بِقَضَاءِ حَوَائِجِي، وَكِفَايَةِ مَا أَهَمَّنِي هَمُّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ آخِرَتِي وَدُنْيَايَ.
Send away from me the terror that frightens me, the encumbrance that I find burdensome, the anxieties that wear me down, freeing me from their impact. Make me use my means freely to carry out and complete my business or employment, and do anything requisite instead of another, which may make me anxious about my affairs in this world or the hereafter.
يَا أَمِيرَ الْ،مُؤْمِنِينَ وَيَا أَبَا عَبْدِاللّٰهِ، عَلَيْكُمَا مِنِّي سَلاَمُ اللّٰهِ أَبَداً مَا بَقِيتُ وَبَقِيَ اللَّيْلُ والنَّهارُ، وَلاَ جَعَلَهُ اللّٰهُ آخِرَ الْعَهْدِ مِنْ زِيَارَتِكُمَا وَلاَ فَرَّقَ اللّٰهُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمَا.
O Ameerul-Mu’mineen! O Abaa Abillah! As long as I am alive and the days and nights follow each other I invoke Allah to send blessings on you forever and ever. May Allah not make this pledge of physical and spiritual close association with you (both) the last fulfilment, and may Allah not separate me and you (both) from one another.
أَللّٰهُمَّ أَحْيِنِي حَيَاةَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَذُرِّيَّتِهِ، وَأَمِتْنِي مَـمَاتَـهُمْ، وَتَوَفَّنِي عَلىٰ مِلَّتِهِمْ، وَاحْشُرْنِي فِي زُمْرَتِـهِمْ، وَلاَ تُفَرِّقْ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُمْ طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ أَبَداً فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ.
O my Allah let me have a meaningful existence as Muhammad his descendants had lived, and die as they departed from this world, take to and carry out completely their creed; and raise me for the last judgement along with the people dedicated to them, and do not cut (us) in two (groups), even for the flash of an eyelid, ever, either in this world or in the life of the hereafter.
يَا أَمِيرَ الْـمُؤْمِنِينَ وَيَا أَبَا عَبْدِاللّٰهِ، أَتَيْتُكُمَا زَائِراً وَمُتَوَسِّلاً إِلىٰ اللّٰهِ رَبِّي وَرَبِّكُمَا، وَمُتَوَجِّهاً إِلَيْهِ بِكُمَا، وَمُسْتَشْفِعاً بِكُمَا إِلىٰ اللّٰهِ تَعَالىٰ فِي حَاجَتِي هٰذِهِ فَاشْفَعَا لِي فَإِنَّ لَكُمَا عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ الْـمَقَامَ الْـمَحْمُودَ، وَالْـجَاهَ الْوَجِيهَ، وَالْـمَنْزِلَ الرَّفِيعَ وَالْوَسِيلَةَ,
O Ameerul Moomineen! O Abaa Abillah! I come nearer to (you both) to establish close physical and spiritual relationship, and thereby seek nearness to Allah, my lord Nourishes and your lord Nourisher, through you I direct myself towards Him, and request you to speak in favour of my immediate at hand needs and wants I have put before Allah. So please speak well of me because, of course, with Allah your thoughtful judgement is highly credible, your disposition enjoys conclusive preference, your action keeps step with precise acumen, and a sure means of approach to gain His favour.
إِنِّي أَنْقَلِبُ عَنْكُمَا مُنْتَظِراً لِتَنَجُّزِ الْـحَاجَةِ وَقَضَائِهَا وَنَـجَاحِهَا مِنَ اللّٰهِ بِشَفَاعَتِكُمَا لِي إِلَى اللّٰهِ فِي ذٰلِكَ فَلا أَخِيبُ، وَلاَ يَكونُ مُنْقَلَبِي مُنْقَلَباً خَائِباً خَاسِراً، بَلْ يَكُونُ مُنْقَلَبِي مُنْقَلَباً رَاجِحاً مُفْلِحاًمُنْجِحاً مُسْتَجاباً بِقَضَاءِ جَمِيعِ حَوائِجِي وَتَشَفَّعا لِي إِلَى اللّٰهِ.
I looked for and went through all possibilities and finally brought myself over to you in the hope of obtaining, speedily and successfully, fulfilment of my demands, their final settlement and favourable execution by Allah on account of your recommendations on my behalf to get Allah’s approval. So, let not my “seeing the light” be a bitter and “fallen short” change of heart, but make my “accepting the true faith” resolution a turning point leading to preference and full satisfaction in the matter of the disposal of my wants and needs;
إِنْقَلَبْتُ عَلَى مَا شَاءَ اللّٰهُ وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللّٰهِ، مُفَوِّضاً أَمْرِي إِلَى اللّٰهِ، مُلْجِئاً ظَهْرِي إِلَى اللّٰهِ، مُتَوَكِّلاً عَلَى اللّٰهِ، وَأَقُولُ حَسْبِيَ اللّٰهُ وَكَفىٰ، سَمِعَ اللّٰهُ لِـمَنْ دَعَا، لَيْسَ لِي وَرَاءَ اللّٰهِ وَوَرَاءَكُمْ يَا سَادَتِي مُنْتَهىٰ، مَا شَاءَ رَبِّي كَانَ وَمَا لَمْ يَشَأْ لَمْ يَكُنْ.
I direct myself to bring myself over to that which Allah wills and commands. (because) there is no power and no might save Allah. I commit my case to Allah, anything neglected or taking place behind my back shall be taken care of Allah, I entrust Allah with the management of my affairs, and say: Allah is sufficient and enough, Allah pays attention to whoso makes a request to Him, there is nothing for me in that which is on the other side (in opposition) of Allah, and you, O my leaders, ultimately that which my lord Nourisher wills takes place, and happens not that which He wills not.
وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللّٰهِ أَسْتَوْدِعُكُمَا اللّٰهَ، وَلاَ جَعَلَهُ اللّٰهُ آخِرَ الْعَهْدِ مِنِّي إِلَيْكُمَا.
There is no power and no might save in Allah. Unto you (both) I have come with love and affection, motivated under Divine incentive. May Allah not make my this pledge of physical and spiritual close association with you (both) the last fulfilment.
إِنْصَرَفْتُ يَا سَيِّدِي يَا أَمِيرَ الْـمُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَوْلايَ وَأَنْتَ يَاأَبَا عَبْدِاللّٰهِ يَا سَيِّدِي وَسَلاَمِي عَلَيْكُمَا مُتَّصِلٌ مَا اتَّصَلَ اللَّيْلُ وَالنَّهارُ، وَاصِلٌ ذٰلِكَ إِلَيْكُمَا غَيْرُ مَحْجُوبٍ عَنْكُمَا سَلاَمِي إِنْ شَاءَ اللّٰهُ. وَأَسْأَلُهُ بِحَقِّكُما أَنْ يَشَاءَ ذٰلِكَ وَيَفْعَلَ فَإِنَّهُ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ.
I take advantage O my leader, O Ameerul Moomineen, O my friend to whom I have surrendered, body and soul, and you O Abaa Abillah, O my leader, and pay respects with love and affection, nonstop, (till) do not carry embracing days and nights, closely embracing it, to you, if Allah so wills, without ever being separated, in your names I beseech Him, that He wills it and does it because verily it is He who alone is praised, and he brings about beautiful things.
إِنْقَلَبْتُ يَا سَيِّدَيَّ عَنْكُمَا تَائِباً حَامِداً لِلّٰهِ شَاكِراً رَاجِياً لِلاِِْجابَةِ، غَيْرَ آيِسٍ وَلاَ قَانِطٍ، آئِباً عَائِداً رَاجِعاً إِلىٰ زِيَارَتِكُمَا، غَيْرَ رَاغِبٍ عَنْكُمَا وَلاَ عَنْ زِيَارَتِكُمَا بَلْ رَاجِعٌ عَائِدٌ إِنْ شَاءَ اللّٰهُ.
see the light and bring myself over to you, accepting the true faith, sorry for my earlier ignorance, thankful to Allah, always hopeful of getting His favour, never giving into despair, nor losing heart, ever ready to be near you, coming back again and again to see you, never “not longing” for your nearness, but, if Allah so wills, shall be always in your neighbourhood as an everyday habit.
وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللّهِ، يَا سَادَتِي رَغِبْتُ إِلَيْكُمَا وَإِلىٰ زِيَارَتِكُمَا بَعْدَ أَنْ زَهِدَ فِيكُمَا وَفِي زِيَارَتِكُمَا أَهْلُ الدُّنْيَا، فَلا خَيَّبَنِيَ اللّٰهُ مِـمَّا رَجَوْتُ وَمَا أَمَّلْتُ فِي زِيارَتِكُمَا إِنَّهُ قَرِيبٌ مُجِيبٌ.
There is no power and no might save in Allah. O my leaders I long for you and love to be in your company though the worldly people looked at it with indifference and kept aloof from your friendly intercourse. May not Allah let me fall short of in that which I hope for and in that which I look long and attentively to establish everlasting reunion with you. Verily He is near and gives positive answer to prayers.