Please refer to page numbers 05 to 14, which are very important except for a few changes to Ziyarat in Iran which, are mentioned below.
You must obtain your Visa from the country of your residence before you proceed to Iran. If you are going to go to Iraq from Iran then please make sure that you have a multiple visa for Iran otherwise you will have problem on your return from Iraq. If you have joined a group then your group organizer will be responsible for obtaining your Visa.
In addition to five stars hotels mentioned in this booklet, there are also many 2 and 3 star hotels at the city centre, and they are affordable. There is also a Pilgrims House managed by the Kanji family.
Taxis are very cheap in Iran.
It is very difficult to cash your traveler’s cheques we advise you to carry US Dollars bills in large denomination.
There is exchange control in Iran 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 organizer can assist you in exchanging your currency.
Exchange only what you think you will need. You will not be able to reconvert the Iranian Riyals or Tumans into US Dollars.
The rate of exchange fluctuates against the American Dollar and the rate in December 1997 was about 350/400 Iranian to one US Dollar.
Temperatures vary considerably from season to season and from one place to another. During the months of December, January, February and March 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.
Every Monday and Thursday there is a flight by AIR IRAN to Teheran Mehrabad International Airport, which is about 7 km away from the city.
The flight departs Damascus late in the evening and arrives in Teheran at about 11:00 PM. Make sure before you depart Damascus that you have a confirmed ticket Teheran/Mashad/Teheran otherwise you will have a lot of problem.
If you have joined a group then the organizer of your group will take care of everything.
After clearing Immigration and customs you will proceed to your hotel and rest for the night.
You are required to declare the following, and if you do not then at the time of your arrival (you may get into trouble when leaving Iran).
1. There is no restriction of the Foreign Currency but the amount must be declared upon arrival at the airport.
2. All Video and camera equipment must be declared.
1. Every passenger may take one hand-woven carpet or two rugs (a maximum size of 12 sq. m) provided that they are not antiques.
2. Every passenger may, when departing the country, carry 150 grams of wrought gold without gems and upto 3 kgs of wrought silverware without gems.
Our experience tells us that you should include the following items in your list of souvenirs. Saffron, pistachio, different kinds of pastries, nuts, dates, gems like aqeeq, feeroza, dur al-najaf and other. Also all kinds of Tasbih and small decorative placements where you would keep your sajdagha when saying your Salaat.
The next day early in the morning you should proceed to Qum to visit the Raudhah of Janabe Masuma Fatima Binte Imam Musa al-Kadhim A.S. and the sister of Imam Ridha’ A.S. On your way back to Teheran you should visit Masjid al-Jumkaran, Mazaar of Imam Khomeini and Bashete Zahra.
She was the daughter of our 7th Imam, Imam Musa al-Kadhim A.S. and the sister of Imam Ali Ridha’ A.S. Her mother’s name was Ummul Banin Najma. The meaning of Qum is to “stand” as the ship of Nabi Nooh A.S. had stopped here. It is said that our 12th Imam A.S. will start Jehad from here.
The Holy Prophet (SAW) said 150 years before the death of Masuma al-Qum one of his daughter would be buried in Qum, where many Mujtahids and A’alems will be ready to preach.
After the departure of Imam Ridha’ A.S. from Medina, she missed his brother so much that she decided to go to Mashad also known as Khorasan to meet him. When she arrived Qum, which is on the way to Mashad, she got the news that the Imam had been poisoned and had died.
She was very upset and became ill. Within 40 days of the death of the Imam, she passed away in Qum. When she was buried, they found her grave had already been dug. Two men came with Nikab (covered faces) and led Namaaz al-Janaaza and buried her. Our 7th Imam A.S. is recorded to have said that before visiting him in Mashad you should first visit his sister in Qum, and that who ever visits her shall enter Jannat.
Hassan Bin Maslah by the order of our 12th IMAM HAZRAT MAHDI A.S built this Masjid. The Imam has said that to pray four rakaat Salaat in this Masjid is equal to the thawab of praying inside Khan al-Ka’aba.
It is narrated that Imam Mahdi A.S. visits this Masjid every Tuesday night. There is a well behind this Masjid and Zuwar write AREEZA asking the Imam to take their Haajat to Allah (SWT) and they put it in this well.
Sheikh Saleh (Hassan Maslah Jamkarany) narrates in his book that one Thursday night eve 17th of Ramadhan, and he was sleeping in Jamkaran site (small village) when suddenly he heard someone knocking at the door. He opened it and saw a couple of Sheikhs (clergymen) who after saluting him asked him to follow them, telling him that his master wanted to see you. He went with them to a place, where Masjid al-Jumkaran (now stands). He saw a throne and a very nice carpet on the floor and a young man of about 30 years of age sitting on it and he was informed that he (the person sitting on the throne) was our 12th Imam A.S. An old man was sitting beside him and was reading a book and more than 60 people in green and white robe were praying around the throne. Later on, he was made to understand that the old man was Nabi Khizr A.S.
Our Imam called Sheikh Saleh by his name and told him to tell the people that they were planting on land, which was not just for planting. They had to pay back all the profit they made from the crops and that with the proceeds they were to build a Masjid on this land. This is a very sacred land and Allah (SWT) picked it from all others.
Sheikh Saleh told the Imam that the people would not believe him and the Imam should give him some sign or a letter. The Imam replied that some kind of a sign at the site would be put till the people would accept his message.
So, go and deliver my message to them to build the Masjid from “ardeha” funds from our private property. Tell the people that this is a very sacred place of they should recite four rakaats Salaat. Two rakaats with the Niyyat of "Tahiyat al-Masjid” and the other two rakaats are for “Imam al-Dhamana A.S.” The Imam further said that each person that recite these four rakaats will get the thawab of reciting inside the Khan al-Ka'aba.
The Imam further said that among the sheep of “Jaafar Kashany”, a shepherd, there is a black and white sheep, which Sheikh Saleh must buy and sacrifice on this land and then distribute the meat among the sick and the poor Allah (SWT) will then heal. He further writes in his book that he returned to his house but could not get any sleep and was thinking until morning. After Salaat al-Fajr he immediately went to the place the Imam had mentioned and found that a boundary of chains had already been put around the land and that was the sign of the area.
Sheikh Saleh further writes that he then went to Qum and when reaching the house that he was asked to visit, he met a man waiting for him at the door and said to him that his master had been waiting to see him since Fajr. He was escorted inside the house and after exchanging salaams the Sayyid then asked Sheikh Saleh whether his name was Hassan Maslah, to which he replied yes. He told me that he dreamed last night that he will be coming to see him and whatever he was asked in his dream he should act accordingly. Sheikh Hassan Maslah, repeated his whole dream and after we went towards the land designated for the Masjid, we saw Jaafar Kashany the shepherd and among his flock of sheep we saw the white and black sheep who was at the end of the flock. The shepherd swore that he had never seen that sheep before in his flock and how hard he tried to catch he was not able.
Sheikh Hassan Maslah Jamkarany said the sheep came to him as if it knows him for years. He caught it and sacrificed it on the land and distributed the meat as per instructions in his dream.
The Masjid was then erected and the chains that were around the plot was removed and taken to Qum. The sick used to visit him and rub their bodies against the chains and they would be healed.
After the death of Sheikh Hassan Maslah Jamkarany all the chains disappeared.
He was the great grandson of Imam Hassan A.S.
He was the brother of Imam Ridha’ A.S.
He was the grand son of Imam Musa al-Kadhim A.S.
It is said that he was one of the sons of Imam Zainul Abedeen A.S.
He was a great A’alem and was born by the dua of our 12th Imam A.S.
She was the wife of Imam Husayn A.S. and the mother of Ali Asghar. It is narrated that Imam Husayn A.S. instructed Bibi Shahrbanoo that after he is martyred in Karbala’ she should mount the white horse “Zuljana” who will take her back to Iran.
She followed the instructions and truly “Zuljana” took her took her to Iran but her brothers in Iran did not accept her since she married an Arab so she was very sad. She went to live on the mountains of Shimran and it is believed that she entered one of the caves and never returned.
People come here with their Haajat and are fulfilled.
Formerly this was the palace of Shah Reza and if you get a chance and time you should visit it.
You must make sure that you have a confirmed ticket Teheran/Mashad/Teheran otherwise it will be difficult to get a seat on the flight.
He was born in Medina on Thursday 11th Zilkaad in the year 148 A.H. He was the son of our 7th Imam – Imam
Musa al-Kadhim A.S. and his mother’s name was Ummul Banin Najma. Upon the death of his father, he became Imam, at the age of 35 years. Imam Ridha’ A.S. lived in Medina, but Mamoon invited him to Mashad also known as Khorasan. Mamoon’s main aim was to subdue the troubled Persian Province and he realized that Imam Ridha’ A.S. was the only person who can achieve peace in Iran formerly known as Persia.
The Imam was reluctant to leave Medina, where he was leading a quite life, but under the circumstances, he had no choice, so he came to Khorasan. On arrival, Mamoon
gave the Imam a royal reception and treated him with honour and declared his intention of making the Imam his successor.
Imam Ridha’ A.S. told Mamoon openly “I know why you are doing this but there is no point in refusing because my death will come before yours.” Mamoon forced the Imam and thus on 27th Ramadhan in the year 201 A.H., Imam Ridha’ A.S. was officially designated as Mammon’s heir. A gold coin was minted in the name of the Imam A.S. Distribution of this coin amongst the people subdued the enemies of the emporia and Mamoon’s purpose was accomplished. Within 18 months, Persia was under control. Later Mamoon poisoned the Imam by feeding him with poisoned grapes, and made a great show of his sorrow. Thus our 8th Imam – Imam Ali Ridha’ A.S. died on 17th Safar 203 A.H. at the age of 55 years and is buried here.
Our Imam is also well known as “Imam Dhamin” and this is due to a famous story narrated by historian that one day was travelling he saw a hunter capture a deer and wanted to slay it but he saw that the dear was crying and had tears in her eyes. The deer addressed our Imam in her language, and told him that she had babies who needed to be fed by her and that he should request the hunter to let her go and feed her babies first. The Imam fully understood the language of the dear and told the hunter to let the deer go and that after she fed her babies she would return to the hunter. The hunter was not prepared to listen to this and told the Imam if he will guaranty the return of the mother deer then, he will let her go. The Imam guaranteed and that is why he is known as Imam Dhamin.
If you visit the huge lecture room which was been built after the birth of the Islamic Republic of Iran you will see the artist has beautiful drawn the story of the deer on one of the walls.
It is said that Goharshad Khatoon, wife of an Indian King whose name was Shah Rukh Mirza, built this Masjid.
One should not miss the opportunity to visit this museum. It has pages of the Quraan written by hand by Imam Ali A.S., Imam Zainul Abedeen A.S. and other Imams.
You may not get this opportunity again. You should take your passport and go to the office of Pilgrims which is situated in the Haram of Imam Ridha’’s A.S. They will mark your passport and give you a ticket for the meal. At this restaurant they feed 4000 Zuwar each day. Thousands of Iranians have to wait for years before they get a chance to have a meal at this restaurant.
They serve you a good portion of rice and chicken and one cannot finish it, besides at the entrance you will find thousands of Iranian begging you to bring them some food (Niaz) from the Restaurant. We suggested you take with you a few zip lock bags and put the food in it and when you come out you can distribute them to the people waiting for this once in a lifetime “Tabaruk” but you must be very careful because they will jump on you like bees jump on the beehive.
There are many Ziyarat around Mashad and you should try and visit them all.
He was a good friend of Imam Ridha’ A.S. When the Imam was poisoned by Mamoon and lay on his dying bed, Imam said his last Vasiyat (Will) to Abu Salt.
He too was the friend of Imam Ridha’ A.S. He narrated many incidences on the life of the Imam and has also written many books.
He was a great poet.
It is believed that Imam Ridha’ A.S., while on his way to Tous in the 9th century made a stop here and delivered his speech to the audience who had gathered to welcome him to Neishapur. It is narrated that he said his Salaat on a slab of stone and left his footprints on the slab, which is now mounted on the wall.
There is also a spring water coming out from the rocks and is said to be a Miracle of our Imam where people drink the water in a special bowl for Shafa.
He was a poet.
He was also a great artist.
He was an astronomical mathematician and a famous poet. His work is well known in the Muslim world.
He was the brother of Imam Ridha’ A.S. and was also executed by the Bani Abbsi representative
The Raudhah of Shah Shiragh A.S. the brother of Imam Ridha’ A.S. is in Shiraz. If you plan to visit then you have to add 2 to 3 extra days in your itinerary.
Your Ziyarat of iran is now almost complete and you have two choices either return to Damascus or proceed to Iraq. We recommend you go to Iraq from Amman, Jordan
Your flight by Air Iran is late in the evening and you will arrive Damascus sometime 8:00 PM. Usually all Raudhah in Damascus are closed after Isha Salaat. If you arrive on a Thursday night you may be lucky if your flight is not delayed then you proceed to Raudhah of Bibi Zainab A.S. direct from the airport before you go to your hotel.
Our experience tells us that it is better to go to Iraq from Amman, Jordan, because there is a good traffic on this road. You can also go from Iran but there you have change the buses at the border and you may have to walk about a half km to the Iraqi border and get your Immigration and customs cleared there.
They are talking of opening the road from Damascus but up to now it has not materialised. Of course the traveling time may be reduced by about 3 to 4 hours on this route.
Another reason to go from Amman is that you can visit Baitul-Muqaddas and other Ziyarat both in and around Amman and in and around Baitul-Muqaddas.