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The High Excellence of Visitation (Ziyara) to Imam al-Ridha’s (a.s.) Holy Shrine

Hamdan b. Ishaq says: “I went to Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) and said, ‘What is the reward of the one who visits your father [’s tomb] in Tus?’ His holiness said, ‘Whoever visits my father in Tus, Allah will forgive his past and future sins’.”

Hamdan said, “After ziyara of his holiness, I went on to Hajj pilgrimage and met Ayyub b. Nuh; he said, Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) told me: Whoever visits my father’s tomb in Tus, Allah will forgive his past sins and the ones that follow and will set up a minbar (pulpit) across from the minbar of Muhammad (S) and ‘Ali (a.s.), until He is finished with His judgments on people.

Imam al-Ridha’s (a.s.) Intercession

Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali (a.s.) said, “A man from among my progeny will be wrongfully murdered in the land of Khurasan; his name is [the same as] my name, his father’s name is [like] the name of Musa b, ‘Imran’s name; let it be known that whoever visits him in his desolation, God will forgive his sins of the past and future, even though they may be as many as the number of the stars, drops of water, and leaves of the trees.”

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “Whoever visits me while knowing the right that the Exalted Allah has made obligatory for obeying me, I and my forefathers will be his intercessors on the Resurrection Day, and whoever we intercede, will be redeemed although the sins of man and jinn are upon him.

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “Soon, I will be wrongfully murdered by poison; whoever visits me with spiritual understanding (ma‘rifa – admitting my Imamate), Allah will forgive his past and future sins.

Aba Salt said, “I was with Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) when a group of people arrived in from Qum. They greeted the Imam and his holiness revered them, and then said, “Welcome! You are our real Shi‘a; there will come a day that you will visit my grave in Tus; whoever visits me while having performed ghusl (major ablution), will be cleansed of sins as if being born again.”

The Pilgrim of Paradise

Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) said, “Whoever visits my father, the Paradise will be his abode.” He also said, “I guarantee the Paradise on behalf of God for the one who visits [the Shrine of] my father in Tus while recognizing his rightfulness.”

‘Ali b. Asbat said, “I asked Imam al-Jawad (a.s.): What is the reward for the one who visits your father in Khurasan? He said, Paradise, I swear by God. Paradise, I swear by God.”

Imam al-Sadiq said, “My grandson will be murdered in the land of Khurasan in a city called Tus; whoever visits him in Tus while recognizing his rightfulness, I will take his hand and let him into Paradise, even though he is a perpetrator of great sins!

It was asked from him: “What is meant by recognizing his rightfulness?” He answered: “To know that he is the Imam whose obedience is obligatory (wajib al-ta‘a), he is estranged (gharib) and a martyr…”

The Apostle of Allah said, “Soon, a part of my body will be buried in Khurasan, and whoever from among the believers goes there on pilgrimage, Allah will surely destine them to Paradise, and their body will be forbidden (haram) to the Hell-fire.

Similarly, Imam al-Kazim (a.s.) said, “Whoever makes a pilgrimage to this son of mine – pointing at Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) – will enter Paradise.

The Pilgrim of the Prophet (S)

Imam al-Sadiq said in a hadith: “Whoever makes a pilgrimage to him (Imam al-Ridha – a.s.) in his desolation and knows that, after his father, he is the Imam whose obedience is obligatory, in the sight of Allah is like the one who has made a pilgrimage to the Apostle of Allah (S).”

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “There is a buq‘a (mausoleum) in Khurasan and there will come a day when it will become the frequenting place of the angels; a group will descend from the heaven and another will ascend to heaven until the Resurrection Day.”

The narrator asked: “What buq‘a?” The Imam answered: “In the land of Tus. By God, it is a garden of the gardens of Paradise; whoever visits me in that buq‘a is like the one who has visited the Apostle of Allah (S) and God will grant them the reward of a thousand proper Hajj pilgrimages and a thousand accepted ‘Umra pilgrimages; and, I and my forefathers will intercede with Allah on their behalf on the Day of Resurrection.

Imam al-Musa b. Ja‘far (a.s.) said, “My son, ‘Ali, will be poisoned to death and buried next to Harun; whoever visits him is like the one who has visited the Prophet (S).

Reward of the Martyrs

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said in a hadith: “Whoever visits him – Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) – while recognizing his rightfulness, the Exalted Allah will grant them the reward of seventy martyrs from among those truly martyred in front of the Apostle of Allah (S).

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “By Allah, there is no one among us who will not be killed or martyred.” Aba Salt asked: “Who will kill you O son of the Apostle of Allah (S)?”

The Imam answered: “The worst of God’s creatures in my time, and will bury me in a dark room and a strange land. Know that whoever visits me in my desolation, the Almighty and Glorious Allah will reward them with the reward of a thousand martyrs, and a thousand truthful ones, a thousand Hajj and ‘Umra pilgrimages, and a thousand combats, and He will raise him with us and he will be with us in the highest positions of Paradise.

The Pilgrims of God

Imam Musa b. Ja‘far said, “Whoever visits the tomb of my son, ‘Ali, in the sight of Allah they are like the ones who have performed seventy proper Hajj pilgrimages.” The narrator asked: “Seventy Hajj pilgrimage?” The Imam said, “Yes, and seven thousand Hajj pilgrimages.” The narrator asked surprisingly: “Seven thousand?” The Imam said, “Many are the Hajj pilgrimages that are not accepted; whoever visits him and stays with him (near his tomb) for one night, is like the one who visits God in the Divine Throne (‘Arsh).

The Fulfiller of Needs and Remover of Sorrows

The Prophet (S) said, “Soon, a part of my body will be buried in Khurasan; no sorrowful one would visit him, except that Allah would remove his sorrow and no sinful person would visit him except that Allah would forgive their sins.”

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) said, “Whoever has a request from God, should perform ghusl and visit the tomb of my ancestor al-Ridha (a.s.) and say two rak‘as of prayer at the upper part of his tomb and ask in the qunut1 what they want from God; if they do so, their prayer will be answered, provided that they do not commit any sins and do not break off the ties of kinship.

Verily his mausoleum is a chamber of the chambers of Paradise. No believer would make a pilgrimage to it except that Allah would release them from the Fire and enters them to a safe place.

Better than Optional Hajj

Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Bazanti said, “I read in a hand-writing by Imam al-Ridha (a.s.): Convey this message to our Shi‘as that visiting me (pilgrimage to my tomb) would equal a thousand Hajj pilgrimages in the sight of Allah.”

Bazanti said, “I said to Imam al-Jawad (a.s.): a thousand Hajj pilgrimages?” His holiness said, “Yes, by God, reward of a thousand (a million) Hajj pilgrimages are for the one who visits him while recognizing his rightfulness.

It is related in another tradition from Imam al-Kazim (a.s.): “Whoever visits my son’s tomb will be rewarded with seven thousand Hajj pilgrimages.”

It is related in a tradition from Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) who said, “Allah would write the reward of a thousand proper Hajj pilgrimages and a thousand accepted ‘Umra pilgrimages (for my pilgrims).” Yet, in another tradition he is quoted as saying: “Whoever visits me in my desolation, Allah will write for him the reward of a thousand Hajj and ‘Umra pilgrimages.”

I (the author) believe that perhaps this difference in reward is due to the difference in the pilgrimages in terms of easiness or difficulty, sincerity and devotion, and the difference in the excellences and attainments of the pilgrims.

Secure from the Fire

Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) said, “Between the two mountains of Tus there lies a piece of land from the lands of Paradise; whoever enters there will be secure from Fire on the Resurrection Day.

In another tradition he said, “Whoever visits my father’s tomb in Tus, Allah will forgive his past and future sins and will set up a minbar (pulpit) across from the minbar of the Apostle of Allah (S), until He is finished with His judgments on people.

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “Whoever visits me while being far away from home, I will come to them on three occasions on the Day of Resurrection to relieve them from the horrors of that Day: when records of deeds are giving to the left and right hands; at the Sirat (the bridge over Hell leading to Paradise) and at the Mizan (Balance).

Best of Allah’s Guests

Imam Musa b. al-Ja‘far (a.s.) is quoted as saying: “When the Day of Resurrection comes, four people from among the earlier ones and four people from among the latter ones will be upon the Throne; the four from the earlier will be: Noah, Ibrahim, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them); and the four from among the latter will be: Muhammad (S), ‘Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn (a.s.).”

Then, he went on to say: “The pilgrims of the tombs of the Imams (a.s.) will be with us. Know that the pilgrims of the tomb of my son, (al-Ridha – a.s.), will enjoy the highest rank.”

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “I will be killed wrongfully with poison and buried next to Harun. God will make my grave the frequenting place of my Shi‘as and visitors; whoever visits me in my desolation, I will pay a visit to them on the Resurrection Day.”

“I swear by the One who honored Muhammad (S) with Prophethood and chose him over all His creatures that no one of you will perform prayers next to my grave except that they will deserve forgiveness when meeting with God.”

“I swear by the One who honored us with Imamate after the Prophet (S) and gave us superiority in succession that the visitors to my grave are indeed the best of the Exalted Allah’s guests on the Resurrection Day.”

In the Same Rank as the Imam (a.s.)

Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) said, “Days and nights will not pass until Tus will become the frequenting place of my Shi‘as and visitors. Let it be known that whoever visits me in my desolation, will be in the same rank as me on the Resurrection Day.”

In another tradition, he stated: “Whoever visits me in my desolation, will be resurrected in our company and will be our companion in higher stations of the Paradise.”

The Pilgrim of Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) and Imam al-Husayn (a.s.)

‘Ali b. Mahziyar said, “I said to Imam al-Jawad (a.s.): May I be your ransom! Is pilgrimage to Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) more preferable or the pilgrimage to Aba ‘Abd Allah al-Husayn (a.s.)?

His holiness answered: Pilgrimage to my father is more preferable, because all (Muslims) make pilgrimage to Aba ‘Abd Allah al-Husayn (a.s.), whereas no one but the elite among the Shi‘as will make pilgrimage to my father.”

‘Abd al-‘Azim al-Hasani – may Allah be pleased with him – said, “I said to Imam al-Jawad (a.s.): I am bewildered between pilgrimage to Aba ‘Abd Allah al-Husayn’s (a.s.) grave and that of your father in Tus, what do you suggest?

His holiness stated: Wait here. Then he went in (a room); when he returned, while tears were rolling down his cheeks, he said, Pilgrims to Aba ‘Abd Allah al-Husayn (a.s.) are many, whereas pilgrims to my father’s grave in Tus are few.”

The author says: “By the grace of Allah and the blessing of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.), today the esteemed nation and the lovers of Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) in Iran turn caringly and enthusiastically around the radiant mausoleum of Imam al-Ridha (a.s.), displaying their zealous interest in the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.), to the extent that there are fewer mausoleums today that are rival in grandeur to the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Ridha (a.s.).

The High Value of Enduring Hardship on the Way to Pilgrimage

His holiness, Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) stated: “No one will visit my father, tolerating hardships such as rain, cold, or heat, except that Allah will make his body forbidden to the Hell-fire.”

His holiness Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) stated: “The people of Qum and the people of Abe2 are forbidden (have found salvation) because they make pilgrimage to my great grandfather’s grave; let it be known that whoever visits him and undergoes suffering as little as a raindrop on his way to that visitation, Allah will make Hell-fire forbidden to their body.”

Similarly, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) stated: “No believer will visit me while a raindrop strikes them, except that Allah will make their body forbidden to the Hell-fire.”3

  • 1. A prayer said after the second rak‘a while both hands are raised.
  • 2. Also known as Aveh, a village near Saveh in central Iran whose people are Shiʿa (See Muʿjam al-Buldan, vol. 1, p. 56).
  • 3. The traditions on Imam al-Ridha’s (a.s.) excellences are all quoted from the noble volume Wasa’il al-Shi‘a, vol. 10, chapter 82 up to chapter 88, Abwab al-Mazar.