Please refer to page numbers 5 to 14, which are very important except for a few changes for Ziyarat in Syria, which are mentioned below.
They are very strict especially Zuwars holding Tanzanian, Kenyan, Ugandan, Indian, Pakistani and Shri Lankan passports.
You must obtain your Visa from the country of your residence before you proceed to Syria. If you are going to go to Iran then please make sure that you have a multiple visa for Syria otherwise you will have a problem on your return from Iran.
If you have joined a group then your group organizer will be responsible for obtain your visa.
In addition to five star hotels mentioned in this booklet, there are also many 2 and 3 star hotels at the city centre, known as the MERGE which are less expensive and affordable.
There are also many restaurants at the MERGE but we will recommend two, ALI BABA and ABU KAMAL the food is also very reasonable.
Taxis are very cheap in Damascus. From the city centre to Raudhah of Bibi Zainab may cost you about Fifty Syrian Pounds.
It is very difficult to cash your traveler’s cheques and we advise you to carry US Dollars bills in large denomination.
There is an exchange control in Syria and Zuwars are advised not to cash their currency in stores but to go to the banks. It is difficult to cash Traveler’s cheques and we recommend you carry US Dollars bills with you in large denomination for better rate. If you have joined a group then the group leader can assist you in exchanging your currency. Exchange only what you think you will need. You will not be able to reconvert the Syrian Pounds into US Dollars.
The rate of exchange fluctuates against the American Dollar and the rate in December 1997 was about 35/40 Syrian Pounds to one US Dollar.
During the months of December, January and February are very cold and you will require thermal undergarments, winter coat and winter gloves.
March, April, August, September and October and are pleasant months.
June and July are very hot.
You will visit the Raudhah of Bibi Zainab A.S. in the town of As-Sayyida Zainab. Bibi Zainab A.S. was the daughter of our first Imam Hazrat Ali A.S. and Bibi Fatima Zehra A.S.
She was born in Medina on 1st Shabaan in the year 6 A.H. and she died in the year 62 A.H. When she was born, the Holy Prophet (Saw) gave her the name of ‘Zainab’ by the order of the Almighty Allah (SWT). Bibi Zainab A.S. was a very clever, intelligent and pious lady. She devoted her whole life in spreading and saving Islam. She used to teach Quraan with the meanings to the ladies of Kufa. Imam Zainul Abedeen A.S.’s mother died when he was very young and Bibi Zainab A.S. used to take care of him. In the year 60 A.H. she went with Imam Husayn .A.S. to Karbala’. On every occasion in Karbala’, Imam Husayn A.S. used to take the advice of Bibi Zainab A.S. On the day of Ashura, her two sons, Ibrahim and Aun Muhammad sacrificed their lives for the sake of Islam. On the 11th Muharram, 60 A.H. they were taken captives and marched through the towns of Kufa and Shaam.
For one year they stayed captives in Damascus. Bibi Zainab A.S. faced Yazid after the Tragedy of Karbala’ and told him of the wrongs he had done. She also gave very good lectures whenever she got a chance, she therefore enabled the people to know the principles and practices of Islam and the wrong and merciless killings of the followers of Imam Husayn A.S. in Karbala’ by Yazid and his army. Due to her honesty, bravery and truthfulness, Islam spread through Shaam.
When they were released from prison, she, along with the rest of the members of Ahlul Bayt went to Medina. Even in Medina, she continued preaching. Islam spread rapidly. The governor of Medina became very frightened and wrote to Yazid that Bibi Zainab A.S. was in Medina and was spreading Islam quickly and that she would break his empire. Yazid gave orders that Bibi Zainab A.S. should leave Medina and settle in a village outside Medina. Later on from there she was sent to a town called Misar which is in Egypt.
She continued spreading Islam there as well. Yazid became very scared so he once again ordered that she be taken prisoner and brought to Shaam. When she arrived at a small village on the boundary of Shaam, she remembered where Imam Husayn A.S. head had been kept on a farm under a tree. When she found the tree, she started crying.
A man of Shaam, who was a follower and friend of Yazid, saw her and hit her with a spade on her head. She collapsed and died. Imam Zainul Abedeen A.S. buried her there. That is how this small town came to be known as As-Sayyid Zainab. According to historians, Bibi Zainab’s A.S. husband - Abdullah Ibnne Ja’far at-Tayyar was a very rich man. He bought the surrounding land and made the Raudhah especially in the name of Bib Zainab A.S.
In the town of Misar in Egypt, there is another Ziyarat of Bibi Zainab and the place is known as Masjid al-Zainabia. This Bibi Zainab is the daughter of Yahya, Yahya binte Zayed, Zayed Binte Zainul Abedeen. She is the great granddaughter of our 4th Imam Zainul Abedeen A.S. The Bohoras go to Cairo to the Ziyarat of this Bibi Zainab.
He was the companion of our Prophet of Islam (SAW) and Hazrat Imam Ali A.S. He was the Commander-in-Chief of Imam Ali’s army in the battle of Siffeen. He, together with his sons and other people, was sent by Imam Ali A.S. to see Moaviya on a special project. At the border he was recognized and was arrested along with his people including his two sons. Moaviya asked them to renounce their allegiance to Imam Ali A.S., but they refused and stood steadfast in their faith for Imam Ali A.S., They were killed. He witnessed his two sons being killed. They are buried here. This place is known as MAKAME ADRA, which is about 40 km from the city.
It is narrated that Bibi Zainab A.S. has said that ‘anybody who comes for my Ziyarat and does not perform the Ziyarat of Hajar Bin Udai then his/her Ziyarat is incomplete.
She was the young daughter of Imam Husayn A.S. She was also present in Karbala’. (From Karbala’ along with the rest of the family of Imam Husayn A.S.) she was taken prisoner and taken to Shaam. It is here that she passed away.
She was the sister of Imam Husayn A.S. She was born in 7 A.H. and died in 62 A.H. She was the youngest daughter of Bibi Fatima A.S. She was also taken prisoner and brought to Shaam along with the others. When Bibi Zainab A.S. was martyred, Bibi Kulthum A.S. was with her in Shaam. She used to live in Shaam and it is here that she passed away and is buried. Her husband’s name was Mohamed Ibne Ja’far at-Tayyar who was the brother of the husband of Bibi Zainab A.S., but he passed away before the incident of Karbala’.
She was the wife of the Holy Prophet (SAW). She used to love the children of Bibi Fatima A.S. The Holy Prophet (SAW) had already told her about the death of Imam Husayn .A.S and the incident of Karbala’. When Imam Husayn A.S. was killed in Karbala’, Umm al-Salma saw the Holy Prophet in her dream and she told him that his grandson, Imam Husayn A.S. had been martyred. The first majlis of Imam Husayn A.S. (and his sacrifice) was conducted by Umm al-Salma in Medina. She used to cry a lot when recalling the incident of Karbala’ and one year later she passed away. In Makkah, when Bibi Khadija A.S. passed away, the Holy Prophet (SAW) kept her with Bibi Fatima A.S. Umm al- Salma used to say that Bibi Fatima A.S. had a lot of knowledge and did not need to learn anything but instead Umm al-Salma learned a lot from her.
She was the daughter of a king in Ethiopia. She left her father and went to work as a maid of Janab al-Fatima Zehra A.S. She was only 11 years of age when she came to serve Bibi Fatima A.S. It is believed that she knew how to make gold and she also knew the Holy Quran by heart. Once she invited the Ahlul Bayt for dinner and with her dua, the food was sent to her from Heaven by the order of Allah (SWT).
After the death of Bibi Fatima A.S. she continued to stay with the Ahlul Bayt, even though she had sons who were very rich. Imam Husayn A.S. even took her to Karbala’. On every occasion in Karbala’, she was with Bibi Zainab A.S. Imam Husayn A.S. respected her very much. She died in Shaam and is buried there.
It is said that when Yazid was misbehaving in the Darbar of Shaam against the Ahlul Bayt A.S. When she stood in front of Bibi Zainab A.S. Yazid gave ordered that Bibi Fizza should whipped. Bibi Fizza came forward and gave a daring speech addressing the African slaves who were the bodyguards. She told them it was a shame on them that in their presence Yazid was ordering her to be whipped. The slaves were very much affected by her speech and they immediately turned towards Yazid and told him that if Bibi Fizza was whipped they would attack with their swords already drawn. Yazid ordered the slaves to stop.
He was the son of Janabe Ja’far at-Tayyar and the grandson of Janabe Abu Talib and Bibi Fatima Binte Asad. He was the husband of Bibi Zainab A.S. he was a very rich and a successful businessman. He used to help the poor and needy from far and wide. Everyday, he used to have guests at his place. After the death of Bibi Zainab A.S. he continued living in Shaam and it is here that he passed away.
He was the husband of Bibi Halima and was a resident of Makkah. When the Holy Prophet (SAW) was five years old, he stayed in Makkah with Obais. Later he came with the Holy Prophet (SAW) to Medina and embraced Islam. At that time, He used to live in Shaam and passed away here. This Raudhah has since been closed.
He was a resident of Ethiopia. He was a slave when he first came to Makkah. The Holy Prophet (SAW) bought him and then freed him from slavery. The Prophet of Islam used to love him very much and used to treat him like a brother.
In Medina in the year 1 A.H., they built the Masjid and called it Masjid al-Nabawee and Hazrat Bilal used to give Adhaan there. In the year 8 A.H. he was ordered by the Prophet of Islam to climb on the top of Khan al-Ka’aba and give Adhaan. Hazrat Bilal used to love the Prophet (SAW) very much so after the death of the Prophet of Islam he migrated to Shaam. One night Hazrat Bilal saw the Prophet of Allah (SAW) in his dream. The Prophet asked Bilal “why did you leave our home”? So Hazrat Bilal returned to Medina.
He went to pay his respect to Bibi Fatima A.S. who asked him to please recite Adhaan. Bilal agreed at once and as soon as he started the Adhaan, Bibi Fatima A.S. fainted. She remembered her father, the Prophet of Islam. Bibi Fizza went immediately to Hazrat Bilal and asked him to stop the Adhaan because Bibi Fatima A.S. had fainted.
He returned to Shaam because the people of Medina used to bother Hazrat Ali A.S. and Bibi Fatima A.S. and Hazrat Bilal felt very badly. Bilal passed away in Shaam.
He was the son of our 4th Imam. He migrated from Medina and came to live in Shaam. He was the grandson of Imam Hassan A.S., his mother was the daughter of Imam Hassan A.S. He was a very brave, clever and religious man and used to a lot of ‘ibadat’. He was the younger brother of our 5th Imam - Imam Mohamed Baqir A.S. He passed away in Shaam and is buried there.
She was the daughter of Imam Husayn A.S. Due to the fact that she was very ill, she was unable to go to Karbala’ with her father. It was when Bibi Zainab A.S. was taken prisoner the second time and taken to Shaam that Bibi Fatima Sughra went with her, it was here in Shaam that she passed away. This Raudhah has since been closed.
This is situated in the compound of the Ummayad mosque. This is the place where the heads of the Martyrs of Karbala’ were kept. In the year 60 A.H. Yazid released the members of the Ahlul Bait from the prison, according to one historian, Imam Zainul Abedeen A.S. buried all the head of the martyrs of Karbala’ Here. According to another historian it is said that he went to Karbala’ and buried them there. Altogether there are 16 heads here including Hazrat Hur’s.
This is situated just outside Sar al-Shohada and it is narrated that the Imam prayed here before he took the heads to Karbala’.
This place is locked but if you are lucky the guard may open it for you and you can say your two rakaats Salaat.
According to one historian, Imam Zainul Abedeen A.S. was imprisoned separately by Yazid.
She was the daughter of Imam Husayn A.S. and the sister of Ali Asghar A.S. Her mother’s name was Umme Rubab. Bibi Sakina had gone to Karbala’ with Imam Husayn A.S. She faced severe hardship after the tragedy of Karbala’. She was also taken prisoner with the rest of Imam Husayn’s family and taken to Kufa and then to Shaam. Yazid Maloon tied her neck and she was also slapped.
She died when she was sill in prison and was first buried in the prison near Bani Ummayad but after many years, one A’alem, saw Bibi Sakina A.S. in his dream. She asked him to remove her body from the grave and bury her elsewhere because water was seeping in her grave. So, with the advise of other A’alems, the man had the grave opened. They saw that indeed the water was filling the grave. When they brought the body out the grave they found it to be intact. The A’alem held the body in his hands till another grave was dug at another location and buried her there and the Raudhah is now known as Bibi Ruqaya A.S.
This is in the courtyard of the Ummayyad mosque or Jami Amawi where Yazid used to hold his court and give his orders.
Prophet Hood A.S. was the next Prophet after Hazrat Nuh A.S. He was a very handsome man. He was 6 feet tall. He preached for many years but the people of that time were very wild. They refused to listen to him and to believe in Allah. At last Allah (SWT) punished them.
All the mountains turned in sand. The people turned into stones and were buried beneath the sand. After thousands of years by the order of Mansur Dawaniki, during the time of our 7th Imam, a well was dug in this place. But instead of water, they found stones in the shape of human beings. Mansur Dawaniki and the other people were very surprised. They went to our 7th Imam, Imam Musa al-Kadhim A.S. and asked him about this . Our Imam revealed that these are the people of Hood and because they disobeyed Allah (SWT), He punished them by turning them into stones.
This mimber is in the Masjid al-Bani Ummaya where Yazid used to hold his orders. This is what we call DARBAR al-SHAAM. It was here that the members of Ahlul Bayt were held captive and Yazid used to mistreat them and ask them all types of questions.
One day, Imam Zainul Abedeen A.S. got a chance to give a sermon. He climbed on the Mimber and narrated the true story of how Imam Husayn A.S. and his followers were martyred and how Yazid used to mistreat them. Our 4th Imam preached the sermon in such a way that all the people present in Yazid’s court started to cry. When Yazid saw that it was getting out of hand, he gave an order for Adhaan and stopped the Imam from preaching. This is why this Mimber is known as Mimber al-Imam Zainul Abdedeen A.S.
Allah (SWT) has given him a stick with a lot of Barkat (blessings). If he puts the stick in the water, it will become a ship and if he puts it in the earth, it will turn into a fruit-bearing tree. Prophet Khizer A.S. came into the world 300 years before Prophet Issa A.S. and he is still alive today. He has visited al the Imams and greeted them with salaams. He also goes and greets our 12th Imam, Hazrat Mahdi Sahebuz Dhaman A.S. now and then. It is narrated the he will re-appear with our 12th Imam A.S.
Allah (SWT) has given Prophet Khizer a gift he touches a dry stick or plant with his hands, it at once turns green.
This is the place where the head of Imam Husayn A.S. was kept.
Prophet Yahya A.S. was martyred due to the lies of one sinful woman and his head was kept in the same place where the head of Imam Husayn A.S. was kept.
It is from this door that the members of Ahlul Bayt entered when they were taken to Shaam. They had to wait for 36 hours so that the court could be decorated before they entered.