Table of Contents

68: Venerating The Places Visited By Imam (aaj)

For example the Masjid Sahla, the great Kufa Mosque, the cellar in Samarrah and the Masjid Jamkaran etc, where some pious people had met Imam (as) or the places mentioned in traditions to be places where Imam (as) had stayed for sometime-or like the Masjidul Haraam etc; and all other things associated with Imam az-Zaman (aj). Like the names and titles, the words of his tawqees and books about Imam az-Zaman (aj) etc. Here we should note that firstly it is the mustahab nature of these above acts and secondly it is about the kind of respect accorded to them.

Discussion One: We are the Signs and Companions

1. The proof of their being mustahab (recommended) is based on the Qur’anic verse:

ذَٰلِكَ وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ

And whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts. (Qur’an, Surah Hajj 22:32)

This can be explained from two aspects:

Aspect one

‘Shairullaah’ (signs of Allah) denotes anything that has a special relationship to the Almighty Allah; directly or indirectly; as is evident from the verses of Qur’an and traditional reports. It is also an established matter that honoring the signs of Allah is honoring the Almighty Allah and any disrespect to the signs of Allah is same as disrespect of the Almighty. Signs of Allah can be His names, His Books, prophets, angels, masjids, the believers and occasions whose respect He has made obligatory, houses that He has ordered to be raised high, in whom, His name is exalted, the tombs and graves of holy people, commands of the Almighty Allah, obligatory duties and prohibitions, divine penalties, Hajj and its rituals etc.

Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:

وَالْبُدْنَ جَعَلْنَاهَا لَكُمْ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ َ

And (as for) the camels, We have made them of the signs of the religion of Allah for you. (Qur’an, Surah Hajj 22:36)

This verse proves that sacrifice for Allah is not only the sacrifice of camels as some people think. There are many other implications and it is impossible or difficult to enumerate them all. It is clear that it implies the places, tombs and graves of Imams (as), because they are related to the Almighty Allah by one or some aspects. I don’t see that the Almighty Allah has made sacrificing a fat camel as a sign of Allah even though they be taken to the House of Allah that He has related to Himself. Then what is the difference between this and holy tombs of Imams (as) and all the matters associated with them?

Because Imams (as) are the proofs of Allah, His clear signs and they are better and higher than the Holy house. Rather, it is mentioned in some traditional reports: A believer is more hallowed than the Holy Kaaba. It is because faith in the Almighty Allah is the most preferable and the greatest matter. Therefore the Almighty Allah has said: “And whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts.” As we mentioned in the discussion of the excellence of respecting the signs of Allah, piety of the heart is the most important matter. It is something that is not needy of praise of its excellence and its position with the Almighty Allah.

It can be further explained that the Almighty Allah mentioned some laws in Surah Hajj, commanded monotheism, sincerity and aloofness from polytheism and then He said:

حُنَفَاءَ لِلَّهِ غَيْرَ مُشْرِكِينَ بِهِ

Being upright for Allah, not associating aught with Him. (Qur’an, Surah Hajj 22:31)

Then He informs about the consequences of polytheism saying:

وَمَنْ يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَكَأَنَّمَا خَرَّ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَتَخْطَفُهُ الطَّيْرُ أَوْ تَهْوِي بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي مَكَانٍ سَحِيقٍ

And whoever associates (others) with Allah, it is as though he had fallen from on high, then the birds snatch him away or the wind carries him off to a far-distant place. (Qur’an, Surah Hajj 22:31)

Then He explained the signs of monotheism and faith in the following words:

ومن يعظم شعائر الله فإنها من تقوى القلوب.

And whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts.

So that it may become clear that one who is purified of polytheism and who is decorated with the ornaments of faith and has obtained the light of monotheism, it is respect of the signs of Allah because one who loves someone, he also loves all that is related to his object of love. It is something that is commonly witnessed in the world and it is also supported by reason and religion. Thus a believer is one who respects the signs of Allah because he has faith in Allah. One whose level of faith is higher, the more is his respect to the signs of Allah.

From all which we have mentioned so far it can be concluded that anything and anyone that is having a special relationship to Allah, it is a cause of its honor and it becomes a ‘sign of Allah’. Secondly, according respect to the signs of Allah is according respect to the Almighty, whether the relationship is direct or indirect. For example the tombs of Imams (as).

They are like masjids as they are related to Allah, because they are dedicated to the worship of Allah. However it does not mean that such places share all the rules of masjids, because there are some special laws of Shariah which are applicable to particular places. But as far all actions that are construed as respect and honor in the general sense, all are same for these places and its details will come in Issue Two, Insha Allah.

We should know that all that we have mentioned in the discussion of meaning of ‘signs of Allah’ is not contradictory to the interpretation that it is the whole religion of Allah. Some have explained it as standards of the religion of Allah and yet, some have said that it denotes signs that the Almighty Allah has appointed for His obedience. Others say that it implies the prohibited things and lastly some explain them as rituals of Hajj. Also Amirul Momineen (as) has declared: We are the signs; because the apparent import of the statement is that to which all interpretations lead.

Aspect Two

It is that in Miratul Anwaar it is narrated from Amirul Momineen (as) that he said: We are the signs and companions.1 It is clear the ‘we’ either denotes the Holy Prophet (S) and the Imams or only the Imams (as), because they are the greatest signs of the Almighty Allah and without any doubt according honor to them is same as honoring the Almighty. Thus it can be concluded that anything which is related to our master, Hazrat Hujjat and the other Imams (as) like places, tombs, sarcophagus, writings, books, clothes, sayings and traditions and their descendants and followers etc. all such things deserve attention and there is supplication of month of Rajab, quoted from Hazrat Hujjat (as). And the Almighty Allah says to Prophet Isa (as):

وَإِذْ تُخْرِجُ الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِي

And when you brought forth the dead by My permission. (Qur’an, Surah Maidah 5:110)

Without any doubt, the Imam of the Time (aj) is superior to Prophet Isa (as) and also greater than Israfeel who will blow the bugle and the Imams (as) have revived the dead in this world as proved from widely related traditions. Many other proofs can be given for this but this is not the appropriate occasion. It is possible that it denotes that they would be the gatherers and resurrectors during the period of Rajat. And Allah knows best.

Second: It could also mean that the Holy Imams (as) are the people of secrets. That which supports this point is that which has come in traditional reports that the Almighty Allah informed Ali (as) a secret on the days of the battles of Taif, Khyber, Hunain and Tabuk. These traditional reports are mentioned in Burhan and some other authentic books. Also in support of this point is the saying of the Holy Imams (as) quoted in Basair that: “Our matter is secret, and a secret which is concealed with secrecy.”2

In another tradition it is mentioned: Indeed, our matter (Wilayat) is itself truth, and the truth of truth, and it is the apparent and the hidden of the apparent, and the hidden of the hidden and it is a secret, and secret of secret and the hidden secret and a secret that is concealed with secret and the explanation of this statement is not understood by many.3

It is clear the ‘we’ either denotes the Holy Prophet (S) and the Imams or only the Imams (as), because they are the greatest signs of the Almighty Allah and without any doubt according honor to them is same as honoring the Almighty. Thus it can be concluded that anything which is related to our master, Hazrat Hujjat and the other Imams (as) like places, tombs, sarcophagus, writings, books, clothes, sayings and traditions and their descendants and followers etc. all such things deserve attention and there is no doubt that it is a recommended act.

Justification and analysis regarding the saying of Amirul Momineen (as) that: We are the signs and companions.

It is that this tradition as a few aspects: One: It is an indication to what is mentioned in the supplication of 15th Shaban that the Imams will be the companions of resurrection and Judgment Day. And in a tradition narrated from Amirul Momineen (as) quoted in Basair it is mentioned that: I am the gatherer (Hashir) on behalf of Allah.

In Part Four, under the discussion on intercession of His Eminence (aj) a tradition was mentioned which also supports this point. Thus this implication is not surprising because the Holy Imams (as) are abodes of divine will and the supporters and defenders of the religion of Allah, as mentioned in the supplication of month of Rajab, quoted from Hazrat Hujjat (as). And the Almighty Allah says to Prophet Isa (as):

وَإِذْ تُخْرِجُ الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِي

And when you brought forth the dead by My permission. (Qur’an, Surah Maidah 5:110)

In another tradition it is mentioned in the in many traditional reports narrated from the Holy Imams (as) it is mentioned: Our traditions are difficult, none brings faith on them except the proximate angels, messenger prophets or the man whose heart the Almighty Allah has tested for faith, from this aspect we saw that it would be better to refrain from its explanation. Further, this is supported by a tradition that was mentioned in the chapters of the knowledge of the Imams, which means the kinds of their sciences: The effect lies in their hearing. A large number of authentic traditional reports have come in this regard that are compiled in the books of Kafi and Basair etc.

Without any doubt, the Imam of the Time (aj) is superior to Prophet Isa (as) and also greater than Israfeel who will blow the bugle and the Imams (as) have revived the dead in this world as proved from widely related traditions. Many other proofs can be given for this but this is not the appropriate occasion. It is possible that it denotes that they would be the gatherers and resurrectors during the period of Rajat. And Allah knows best.

Second: It could also mean that the Holy Imams (as) are the people of secrets. That which supports this point is that which has come in traditional reports that the Almighty Allah informed Ali (as) a secret on the days of the battles of Taif, Khyber, Hunain and Tabuk. These traditional reports are mentioned in Burhan and some other authentic books. Also in support of this point is the saying of the Holy Imams (as) quoted in Basair that: “Our matter is secret, and a secret which is concealed with secrecy.”4

For example there is a tradition that is mentioned in Basair in description of the Imam in which Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) says: When the Imam is a fetus he hears the talk (of people) in the womb and when he is born, the following is inscribed on his right arm:

وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلًا ۚ لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly and justly; there is none who can change His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing. (Qur’an, Surah Anam 6:115)

After that a pillar of Noor is raised for him so that he can see the activities of the creatures, then another pillar is made from the Almighty Allah to the ears of the Imam, so that whenever the Imam’s knowledge needs to be increased, it is inspired to him through that.5

Third: It is that the words of Amirul Momineen (as) ‘and the companions’ may be regarding a traditional report that is received from him: “We have conditions with the Almighty Allah: in them He becomes us and we become Him, and [in that condition] He is in the position of divinity and we remain in our position of servitude.”

And in the supplication that is quoted in Iqbaal from His Eminence, the Imam of the Time (aj) through Muhammad bin Uthman (r.a.) for everyday of the month of Rajab, it is mentioned as follows: There is no distance between You and them except that You are God and they are Your servants and creatures; joining and separation of the signs is in You are hands. They have originated from You and to You is their return…6 and this is the greatest position, such that nothing could be higher than it. It is the position of the Holy Prophet (S) and the Holy Imams (as), which is termed as ‘Aalam-e-Haahoot’.

The one above them is only the Almighty Allah. He is the unseen of the unseens and it is the condition of lordship, He is not restricted by space and no place is devoid of Him, time does not pass upon Him and no time is devoid of Him. And if you like to know the explanation of their positions look at melted iron that in the companionship of fire it has become fire but it is not fire, it is that and also it is not, and fire is fire and the melted iron is iron, thus the statement of His Eminence (aj) that: “And we are in Him and we are Him” is from the aspect of all the signs of Wajibul Wujood of the Almighty Allah in their existence and He is Wajibul Wujood, Who is pure of the similarities with His creatures. Thus He is He and we are the created and are in need of Him. Thus we are we.

This helps us to understand the statement of His Eminence (aj) when he said: O Salman, bring us down from the position of divinity and raise us above the position of humans as we are above them, and purify us from that which is applicable to you; then you can say whatever you like about us…and the saying of Imam (as) in the Ziarat of Amirul Momineen (as) that: Peace be on you, O the self of Allah, the Almighty, who is fixed in it by His sunnats. And in another Ziarat regarding His Eminence (aj) it is mentioned: Peace be on the elevated self of Allah. And that which is explained in the verse:

تَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَلَا أَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِكَ

You know what is in my mind (Nafs), and I do not know what is in Your mind. (Qur’an, Surah Maidah 5:116)

It is said that the Nafs of Allah is Amirul Momineen (as).7 And also it becomes clear from this what His Eminence (aj) mentioned in the Shiqshiqya Sermon: “The flood water flows down from me and the bird cannot fly upto me.”8 In the same way is the saying of Imams (as) that no one can describe them.

This shows that we should not be surprised with the statement that Amirul Momineen (as) is the gatherer on Allah’s behalf, on Judgment Day and one who can change the circumstances as mentioned in the Ziarat of His Eminence; it does not contradict the fact that His Eminence is the gatherer and the gathered one also, he is the account taker as well as the account giver as mentioned in the explanation of the verse:

إِنَّ إِلَيْنَا إِيَابَهُمْ.

ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا حِسَابَهُمْ

Surely to Us is their turning back. Then surely upon Us is the taking of their account. (Qur’an, Surah Ghashiyah 88:25-26)

As mentioned in Kafi, Burhan and other books which may be referred.9 Thus are the three aspects of that statement.

Four: A friend of mine who is named after the fifth Imam (as) 10 has mentioned of a possibility that ‘we are the signs and companions’ could imply the Imams (as) themselves and the word of ‘As-haab’ could be reference to the tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) in which he said: The companions are like stars, whichever of them you follow, you will be guided.

That is the Holy Prophet (S) meant to imply these same purified and interceding Imams of Judgment Day, and not anyone who accompanied the Prophet for some days and committed sins in his own life, as some blind- hearted people think. And our friend has mentioned that the tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) must be interpreted in this way only, Allah knows best.

It is the same tradition that is mentioned by Shaykh Sadooq in Maaniul Akhbar through his own chain of narrators from Ishaq bin Ammar from His Eminence, Abu Abdullah Imam Sadiq (as) from his father that: The Messenger of Allah (S) said: It is necessary for you to act on all that you find in the Book of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime and you have no excuse to leave anything; and whatever may not be in the Book of Allah, and regarding which is my Sunnah, in that also you have no excuse to leave any of my Sunnat, and anything that does not reach you from me regarding that Sunnat, act on what my companions have said, as indeed the simile of my companions among you is that of the stars, that if you follow any of them you will be guided and whichever saying of my companions you adopt, you will be guided. Interacting with my companions is mercy for you. It was asked: O Messenger of Allah (S), who are your companions? He replied: My Ahle Bayt.11

Let us now return to our actual discussion:

Sulaiman bin Ja’far said: After some days, His Eminence, Abul Hasan (as) was slightly unwell and people came to visit him. I went to meet Ali bin Ubaidullah and said: The opportunity you wanted has arrived. His Eminence, Abul Hasan (as) is slightly unwell; people come to visit him, so you may also pay him a visit if you like.

The narrator says: He went to visit His Eminence, Abul Hasan (as) and the Imam spoke to him in the best way and Ali bin Ubaidullah was very much pleased. After sometime, Ali bin Ubaidullah fell ill and His Eminence, Abul Hasan Imam Reza (as) paid him a visit, and I also accompanied the Holy Imam (as). The Imam sat near him till the other visitors departed.

After we left his place, a slave girl of mine informed me that Umme Salma, wife of Ali bin Ubaidullah watched the Imam Reza (as) from behind the curtain and when the Imam departed, she came out and threw herself on the spot the Imam had sat, and she kissed it and rubbed her body on that place. Sulaiman bin Ja’far says:

Later I visited Ali bin Ubaidullah and he also told me about the act of Umme Salma and I conveyed the information to Imam Ali Reza (as). The Imam said: O Sulaiman, indeed, Ali bin Ubaidullah, his wife and his children are people of Paradise, O Sulaiman, sons of Ali and Fatima (as) when the Almighty

Allah explains this matter to them; they will not be like other people.12

I say: That which is proved from this traditional report is the silent approval of His Eminence (aj) to the act of wife of Ali bin Ubaidullah and his praise for them that: “they are folks of Paradise” and “sons of Ali and Fatima…” That is: That lady kissed the place where the Imam had sat and sought blessing from it due to her Marifat of truth and the position of Imam (as), as opposed to the thinking of the majority of people.

3. Among the evidences is the saying of the Almighty Allah:

فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ

In houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them. (Qur’an, Surah Noor 24:36)

The interpretation of this verse as mentioned in Ghayatul Maram, Burhan and other books, through Shia as well as Sunni channels is that when the Messenger of Allah (S) recited this verse, a person arose and asked: What houses are these, O Messenger of Allah (S)? His Eminence (aj) replied: Houses of prophets. Abu Bakr asked: O Messenger of Allah (S), is this house from them? And he pointed to the house of Ali and Fatima (as). The Holy Prophet (S) said: Yes, the best of them.13

It is narrated from Isa bin Dawood from, His Eminence, Musa bin Ja’far from his father (as) that he said regarding the verse:

In houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them.

They are the houses of Aale Muhammad, house of Ali, Fatima, Hasan, Husain, Hamza and Ja’far (as)…

There are numerous traditional reports about this but we have refrained from quoting them all for the sake of brevity: The point of evidence is that here the word ‘permitted’ is in the meaning of command like in the verse:

وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ

And as one inviting to Allah by His permission. (Qur’an, Surah Ahzab 33:46)

Or it is in the meaning of intention, like in the verse:

وَإِذْ تُخْرِجُ الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِي

And [O Prophet, remember the time when the Almighty Allah said to Isa (as)] when you brought forth the dead by My permission. (Qur’an, Surah Maidah 5:110)

Both these suppositions lead us to conclude that houses of Aale Muhammad are those which the Almighty Allah likes to be exalted by mention of His name even if we suppose that it is a command, like in the verse:

And that His name may be remembered in them.

Here ‘permitted’ cannot be construed as leave and permission, because without any doubt remembrance of Allah has excellence and is rewarding, and if it is taken to mean ‘permission’ it would be contradictory, therefore, it should, in any case, denote ‘command’.

The conclusion is that: (In houses in which the Almighty Allah has commanded that to be raised and in which His name should be mentioned) Since both raising implies honoring and it is not an exaltation of personal feelings. And in fact it is not different from a house where a person lives for some time or all the time. In both cases it is his house.

Thus whatever applies to them as they are the houses of Aale Muhammad from the aspect of respect and honor the same applies to that also. Although the more is their staying in it for a longer time the more deserving of respect and importance. And we shall mention more points to support this contention in point two, Insha Allah.

An unreasonable person argued with me and said: I don’t accept that the word of ‘house’ can apply to any place that a person stays in for some time. I replied: Firstly: The correctness of what I have said is clear. Secondly: If you don’t accept it, you will be ordered to be like them, with support of proof, because as a result Aale Muhammad having lived in them those houses are related to them, because they have stayed therein and this is present in all places that they have stayed, as is clear.

4. For example the statement of the Almighty Allah:

إِنِّي أَنَا رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ ۖ إِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى

Therefore put off your shoes; surely you are in the sacred valley, Tuwa. (Qur’an, Surah Taha 20:12)

Saying that the valley is sacred, implies that every sacred place is worthy of honor and respect. And it is well known that by restricting a quality you reach to the cause as is very much clear.

5. That which proves the merit of honoring the Imam and to be inclined to that which could be construed as respecting him: Like paying respect to everything that is related to him and this is very much clear and there is no doubt in it. It is so because honoring those places or things is same as paying respect to the Holy Imam (as). But to say that it can be construed as respecting the signs of Allah is something we have already explained and there is no need to repeat it here.

6. For example, in books of visitation of tombs, like Misbahuz Zaer of Sayyid Ibne Tawoos and in Biharul Anwar of Allamah Majlisi, in the etiquette of entering Kufa Masjid it is mentioned: And when you reach the Masjid, you must recite the following at the gate famous as Baab al- Feel: Peace be on our chief, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad bin Abdullah and his purified progeny. Peace be upon Amirul Momineen Ali Ibne Abi Talib, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings, and on his gatherings, his abodes and the position of his wisdom and the heritage of his forefathers, Nuh, Ibrahim and Ismail…14

Point of evidence is that we are told to recite salutations to the places related to Amirul Momineen (as) it implies that such a course of action would also be applicable to places related to the Imam of the Time (aj) and all the other Imams also because all of them have the same position of honor. On the basis of this we can also say that it is recommended to recite salutations to Imams at all places associated with them even though particular instructions may not have come for each.

7. For example: It also proves that it is a meritorious act to express our love to one who is loved by a believer and it also is based on the principle of mutual love between the believers. Since love is an inner condition and its proof lies in expressing it by actions which are fruits of that love. And whatever is done or spoken by way of expressing our love for the Imams (as) or use any organ of the body it would be contused as such. Only the tongue and the hands are mentioned, but it is equally true for other physical organs also. But these two are mentioned as most of such actions are seen to be done through them only. Thus through these we help and support the friends and brothers in faith and remove the harm of the oppressors etc…

Among the types of loves is: According respect to everything they like and everything associated with them, like their gatherings, clothes, writings and all that which is particular to them as seen commonly, and as versified in the following couplets:

I passed over the walls of the house of Laila. Kissing the walls and her houses. Love of the houses does not amuse my heart. But the love for one who resides in these houses has made my heart loving.

8. For example, the statement of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتَ النَّبِيِّ إِلَّا أَنْ يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ

O you who believe! do not enter the houses of the Prophet unless permission is given to you. (Qur’an, Surah Ahzab 33:53)

It is an act of honoring houses associated with the Holy Prophet (S) and places related to the Holy Imams (as) and it is further strengthened by the verse:

In houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them.

9. For example, there is a traditional report mentioned in Mazar Bihar and other books quoting Azadi that he said: In Medina I came out to go to the house of His Eminence, Abu Abdullah Imam Sadiq (as). On the way I met Abu Baseer, who was in a state of ritual impurity (requiring bath), although I didn’t know at that time. Both of us together came to the Imam and saluted him. The Imam raised his head and said to Abu Baseer: O Abu Baseer, do you not know that it is inappropriate to enter the Prophet’s houses in a state of ritual impurity? So Abu Baseer returned and after he had bathed, we came back to the Imam.15

I say: Other traditional reports have also come regarding this and are specialized with prohibition of that which is not appropriate with regard to the presence of Imam (as) because it is not restricted only to the Imam, rather it is general from all the people. In addition to this it is general for all the people and the presence of the Imam is only one of the conditions, so it is not possible to make the general fit that condition and prohibit claims dispensed with general on the condition of the Imam’s presence.16

10. For example, that which proves the excellence of the land in which the Imam is buried, and the majesty of that land, is that without any doubt it has gained excellence because the Holy Imam (as) is buried therein and same is the case of all places that the Imam frequented when he was alive as is clear to all.

11. For example, that which proves the excellence of the eve of the birth of His Eminence (aj) and that which is mentioned as regards paying respect to it is Imam’s statement to that effect since his birth has occurred in it. And this cause – that is relation to His Eminence, - is according to all the testimonies and affairs that are related to him. And in support and emphasis of all the points we have mentioned is that without any doubt all places and lands are equal with regard to their creation and none of them is superior to the other, except for that which has occurred over them and it is that the Imam is either buried there or had stayed over there during his lifetime. Moreover, without any doubt his body transfers some effects to the place that is worthy of them.

Therefore, towels that the Messenger of Allah (S) used to dry his hands had become such that fire had no effect on them due to the honor and respect of His Eminence; and there is also no doubt that one who seeks blessings from them will earn the reward of according respect and honor to the Holy Prophet (S) and if they are placed at the painful spot to seek cure from them, it will indeed be cured. In the same way one who causes them disrespect has in fact disrespected the Messenger of Allah (S) and the same applies to everything that is associated to the Holy Prophet (S) or any of the Holy Imams (as).

Furthermore, among the supporting points is that some of those lands as a result of the effect of their hands turned to gold or silver and some of the water that spurted from them turned to rubies and emeralds and there are many examples of this as mentioned in their miracles and biographies. It is mentioned in traditional reports that the sand on which fell the hooves of the horse of Jibraeel (as) on the day Firon’s forces drowned, was that it moved, therefore Samiri said:

قَالَ بَصُرْتُ بِمَا لَمْ يَبْصُرُوا بِهِ فَقَبَضْتُ قَبْضَةً مِنْ أَثَرِ الرَّسُولِ فَنَبَذْتُهَا

I saw (Jibraeel) what they did not see, so I took a handful (of the dust) from the footsteps of the messenger, then I threw it in the casting. (Qur’an, Surah Taha 20:96)

What we have mentioned is enough for sensible ones, and the Almighty Allah is the one Who gives Taufeeq and guidance.

Discussion Two: Regarding the value of honoring those places and tombs

Here we shall point to that which is obtained through paying respect to them: The principle is that it fits all the circumstances of respect and honor whether it be through Shariah or through common parlance.

Type one: Like the ritual prayer, recitations and supplication, as verses of Qur’an and traditional reports emphasize the Prayer of Tahiyaat and recitations in Masjids and other religious places show that these are ones to be respected. And that which shows the recommended nature of these places is the following verse:

فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ

In houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them. (Qur’an, Surah Nun 24:36)

Type two: Like decorating and kissing and entering them barefooted etc…and from what we have mentioned, it is clear that if one vows to carry out any of these actions, his vow is correct from the aspect of their respect and anything opposed to it is unlawful and if he does anything opposed to his vow, he is liable for penalty, thus there is no occasion to consider whether he had vowed to light a lamp at a place associated with the Imam or at the pulpits from where his excellences are narrated, the vow has been established as opposed to this thinking.

Indeed, the Almighty Allah speaks the truth and He it is Who guides to the right path. Now that you have understood this meaning, let us see what are the different types of actions that can be considered as paying respect, for the sake of ourselves and people of faith.

For example, building, decorating, kissing, spreading carpet, lighting a lamp in these buildings; visiting them on special occasions, bare footed, in a pure state with perfumed clothes, putting forward the right foot at the time of entering in a dignified way, remaining busy in remembrance of the Almighty Allah, reciting Qur’an, Duas, Salawat and salutations on the Imam of the Age (aj) and his respected forefathers and on the places associated with His Eminence; refraining from impure (Najis) things in those places, and their purification in case they have become impure; according respect to them, not entering them in a state of ritual impurity, not to take anything impure therein, not throwing the water of rinsing the mouth and nose therein, not to remain busy with worldly affairs in them, and not even to talk about them; the ladies must not enter in menstruation, Nifas; uncovering the private parts in them, not to enter with a foul smelling mouth, like that of onion etc., not to recite poetry therein, and to refrain from unlawful and despicable acts, not to indulge in jokes, laughing and useless talks, arguments, raising of the voice, in short to do everything that is considered paying respect and to keep away from every act that can be considered as disrespectful.

Here some points must be clarified:

First: In view of the traditional report of Abu Baseer that is mentioned previously, it is despicable to enter the holy places and tombs of Imams (as) in a state of ritual impurity (Janabat) and according to some scholars it is unlawful. I also do not allow that they be considered as Masjids as will be explained later.

Second: To do anything that is in contravention to respect of the holy Imam (as). Like taking Ain-e-Najasaat (impurities) inside these places, which is absolutely haraam if the intention is to cause disrespect.

Third: It is obligatory to restrain one who commits the above two acts of disrespect, otherwise it is recommended to do so.

Fourth: A person who reserves a place in these spots to gain benefits, is more deserving than other people for it. He will have priority on it, the whole day and night, except that he may give it up. Or when he leaves the place whether his need is fulfilled or not, whether he goes away for a long time or not.

That which proves this is a correct narration of Muhammad bin Ismail bin Bazigh from some of his associates that he asked His Eminence, Abu Abdullah Imam Sadiq (as): We are in Mecca, Medina or any other holy place, and a person who was sitting there goes out to renew his Wudhu and someone else comes and occupies his place? The Imam (as) replied: One who has precedence for a place, has so for a night and a day.

I say: Event though this traditional report is without chain of narrators, it can be relied upon as the companions have acted on it. Furthermore it can be supported by two other traditions. Additionally, it is narrated through a remarkable personality who are referred to as ‘associates’ and not as ‘people’.

Note: Some think that the ‘and’ in the above traditional report is in the meaning of ‘or’ from the aspect of the report of Talha bin Zaid from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that he said: Amirul Momineen (as) said: The market of the Muslims is like their Masjid, one who occupies a place, retains his precedence till the evening.

In view of a traditional report that is narrated directly from the Holy Prophet (S) it is mentioned: One of you, who occupies a place in the Masjid for prayer and recitations, has precedence for that place till night.

I say: There is no need to take the ‘and’ to imply ‘or’; rather it is by way of common meaning for conjunction that which is joined in it because its root lies in it. And it is the same root that the scholars of Usool have described as: “Waw” is for absolute plural. And in this tradition if we take the pronoun to mean ‘precede’ the matter will become clear.

That is one who precedes will on the day of preference will be in that position. In the same way, if it is taken to be a person, it would mean as follows: One who wants to take a preferable place should on that day on which precedence is taken, will be an eligible candidate for the same and the same is about that particular night.

Thus think upon this as it clarifies what we have mentioned. On the basis of what we have stated, there is no contradiction between this tradition and two other reports that we mentioned as some people think. And it has become difficult for those wanted to reconcile them. Though there are varying opinions of scholars regarding this and we shall write a separate book about them.

Conclusion

The great traditionist, Allamah Noori (r.a.) in Jannatul Mawa, has narrated from Riyadhul Ulama as follows: I saw in some writings of Shaykh Zainul Abideen Ali bin Hasan bin Muhammad, caretaker of the tomb of Imam Husain (as): Ibne Abi Jawad Nomani was blessed with the audience of Imam Mahdi (aj) and he said to His Eminence: O my master, there is a place associated with you in Nomaniyah and one in Hilla; which of them do you honor by your presence?

His Eminence (aj) said: In Nomaniyah on the eve of Tuesday and Tuesday; and Friday and Friday eve in Hilla, but the people of Hilla do not accord the respect it deserves. One who enters a place associated with me, should recite Salawat twelve times as a mark of respect for me and the Holy Imams (as). Then he should recite two rakats prayer with two Surahs and supplicate the Almighty Allah and He will give what he likes. I said: O my master, teach me that supplication. He said:

O Allah, take my paying respect from me till I stand in pain, and You are the most merciful of the merciful ones. Even though I have committed sins that are many times that I should be punished for them. And You are the forbearing and You ignore most of these sins; till Your forgiveness overpowers Your chastisement.

The narrator says: His Eminence (aj) recited this Dua three times, till I learnt it by heart.17

  • 1. Miraat al-Anwaar, Pg. 198
  • 2. Basairud Darajaat, Pg. 126
  • 3. Basairud Darajaat, Pg. 28, Chapter 12, Part One, Tr. no. 1
  • 4. Basairud Darajaat, Pg. 126
  • 5. Basairud Darajaat, Pg. 29, Chapter 12, Tr. no. 4
  • 6. Basairud Darajaat, Pg. 22, Chapter 12, Part Nine, Tr. no. 6
  • 7. Biharul Anwar, Vol. 100, Pg. 331
  • 8. Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 3
  • 9. Tafseer Al-Burhan, Vol. 4, Pg. 455
  • 10. His name is mentioned in the first volume of this book.
  • 11. Maani al-Akhbaar, Pg. 156
  • 12. Biharul Anwar, Vol. 49, Pg. 222, Tr. no. 15;Rijaal Kishi, Pg. 593, Tr. 1109; Khulasa Allamah,Pg. 48
  • 13. Maani al-Akhbaar, Pg. 156
  • 14. Biharul Anwar, Vol. 100, Pg. 409, Tr. no. 67
  • 15. Biharul Anwar, Vol. 47, Pg. 336, Tr. no. 8 & Vol. 100, Pg. 126, Tr. no. 2
  • 16. Biharul Anwar, Vol. 47, Pg. 7, Tr. no. 22;Usool Kafi, Vol. 3, Pg. 251, Tr. no. 5
  • 17. Jannatul Maawa, Pg. 270, Incident no. 34