The word "زيارات" is an Arabic term derived from the root "زوَرَ" which means ‘to visit’. In religious terminology, it implies our conversation with Allah’s sincere creatures and His infallible proofs (a.s.), who are without parallel. They are those whom Allah, the High, has purified from all uncleanness and has created them pure, purified.
Thus, whosoever desires to approach Allah, he should do so through the gates determined by Him. Yes, the infallible Imams (a.s.) from the immaculate Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) are the gates through whom Allah is approached. They are the medium towards Him and hence, their recognition, their love and treading on their path is obligatory. All these are summarized in one thing i.e. ziyaarat.
It is our creed that the souls of the holy Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) ascend towards the highest heavens and are alive, receiving their sustenance (from their Lord). They look at us, hear our speech and reply to our salutations. As Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) narrates from the Holy Prophet (S),
The belief of us Shias is contrary to that of the Wahhaabis who think that the Holy Prophet (S) is dead and gone and is no longer effective in our lives. We are also against the (غلات) who attribute divinity to Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)! Allah is Higher than what the unjust believe!
We subscribe to the belief that Holy Prophet but the most superior of them all. He is followed by his successors, the Holy Imams (a.s.). In our time today, Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.), the Promised One, is his successor.
So from among the etiquette of ziyaarat is that the one whose ziyaarat we are about to read, his recognition is a must. It is not possible for us to acquire the recognition of the Holy Prophet (S) or the infallible Imams (a.s.) through the faulty or inadequate faculties available to us humans. Just as an ant, in front of a huge mountain or a drop of water when compared to an ocean, are not worth a mention, we too when compared to these great personalities, are even more insignificant and miniscule than the ant or the drop of water. Then how is it possible that we describe or recognize them? Since only Allah the Almighty possesses their all-encompassing recognition, the only method to recognize them is through revelation. If we acquire any other mode of recognition, then indeed we will be among the seventy-two doomed sects.
Then what is the solution? Now, the only way is to describe the sun from the characteristics of its tongue, the ocean from its reflection in the mirror and the height of a mountain from the bird that flies over its top. Therefore, we should acquire the beliefs from these infallible and holy Imams (a.s.) so that we neither become like the Wahhabis nor become like the exaggerators (غلات).
We also believe that,
We being among his flock and his guests must necessarily greet him every morning with our salutations. We must offer our greetings as taught unto us by the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and renew our allegiance with him (a.t.f.s.). We should seek from Allah the Almighty with a blazing heart that He hastens his noble reappearance. This is what he (a.t.f.s.) has ordered us to do when he says,
Since last many years, Association of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) has had the practice of introducing one supplication or ziyaarat of the infallible Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) in the special issues of Al-Qaem al- Muntazar (a.s.). Approximately three years ago, we undertook the task of a brief explanation of the Ziyaarat al-Aale Yaasin, the profound and meaningful salutation from Imam al-Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). Due to constraints of space, the explanation could not be published in one issue and as a result, had to be spread over three special issues of Shabaan al-Muazzam over a span of three years.
Therefore, we decided to publish the entire explanation in a booklet for the benefit of our readers, of course, with minor changes and variations.
We request our respected readers to provide us with their valuable and constructive suggestions to improve upon our efforts in the future. We hope the Almighty Allah, for the sake of His Hujjat (a.t.f.s.), accepts this humble offering.
Finally, before starting to recite the Ziyaarat and its explanation, we go to our master, Imam al-Zamaana (a.t.f.s.) and plead with him,
Master! The tears of the oppressed are waiting for someone to wipe their tears and console them.
Master! The wounded, the amputated and the injured, victims of the atrocities of the modern superpowers, have lost all faith except in the miraculous touch of Yusuf al-Zahra!
Master! The stifled cries of the orphans, the dry eyes of the widows and the bleeding hearts of the scholars, have only one hope. You.
Master! The poor and the destitute lie hungry, sick and diseased. They don’t expect any solace, comfort and relief from anybody except the son of Fatemah (s.a.).
Master! Now even the sacred shrines of Karbala and Najaf, the shrines of your noble ancestors, are unsafe from the filthy designs of the present day Pharaohs!
O Allah! Hasten the reappearance of our master, Imam Mahdi
(a.t.f.s.) and enlist us amongst his companions and helpers!
Aameen! Lord of the Worlds!
Association of Imam Mahdi (a.s.)
Shabaan al-Muazzam, 1425 A.H. (2004 A.D.)