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['Aalim Network QR] Ziyaraat (Visitation) and Salaam (Greetings)


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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\
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Salaam Alaikum

The following answer has kindly been provided by Shaykh Rasheed.

wa salaam,

Mustafa F
Acting Moderator, 'Aalim Network
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QUESTION:

My question is with regards to the ziyarat/salaam we recite 
to the Ahlul-bayt A.S. after prayers and majalis. The most 
common format is Ziyarat for Imam Hussein A.S. followed by 
Ziyarat for Imam Ali Ridha A.S. and lastly for our Imam 
Mahdi A.S. (I am talking about the daily ziyarat, not 
Ziyarat-e-Waritha etc).
 
I know of some (very few) persons who mention the names of 
all 14 Ma'sumeen A.S. in the daily ziyarat. 

Thus I am wondering if you have more information about the 
origin and the reason for the current format and which is 
preferred.
------

ANSWER:

Originally, the concept of Ziyaarat is based on the highly recommended
practice of sending Salaam on the Holy Prophet (S) and his family (AS).
After the death of the Holy Prophet (S), people would go to his grave and
convey their Salaam or convey their Salaam from afar. This is the reason it
is called Ziyaarat, which means to visit. When a person recites this Salaam
he is visiting the grave of the Holy Prophet (S) and his family either
physically or spiritually. It has become a practice to do this regularly,
in many communities following prayers, Majaalis and other religious
occassions.

As to why it has become a common practice to focus on Imam Ridhaa (AS),
Imam Husayn (AS) and Imam Mahdi (AS), there could be many reasons. For
example, Imam Husayn (AS) and the tragedy of Karbala plays such an
important role in every Shi'ah community, his Ziyaarah is constantly being
recited and people learn it very easily. In Iran, for example, people
always turn and recite Ziyaarat for Imam Ridhaa (AS) since he is buried in
Iran. Therefore, the current form of Ziyaarah is probably a combination of
many historical and social factors.

The original concept, however, is to send Salaam on the Holy Prophet (S)
and his family (AS) from near or afar. It is not necessary to mention each
of the names of the A`immah (AS) separately, although their are many
Ziyaarah which do exactly that. It is unfortunate, however, that the
Ziyaarat of some makes only a passing reference to the Holy Prophet (S) who
is actually the main object of the Ziyaarat. We should all try to do better
in this regard. 

Was-Salaam.

Ali A. Rasheed


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