Pilgrimage (ziyarah) to the Holy Shrines
11:42:12 2023-05-30 239

Our Belief in Pilgrimage (ziyarah) to the Holy Shrines

One of the practices which distinguish the Shi'a from all other Islamic sects is the attention paid to pilgrimage to the Holy Shrines, such as those of the Prophet (PBUH) and the Imams (A S) and the building of magnificent domes and buildings over their tombs by good will and faith.

All of these things are done through the recommendations of the Imams. for they were continually persuading and encouraging their followers to make pilgrimages so as to derived great reward from Allah. It is one of the best forms of worship after the obligatory ones, and the shrines are the best places for supplicating and approaching Allah. Furthermore, according the sayings of the Imams, this is a form of fidelity to them. Imam Rida (A.S) said:

For every one of the Shi'a and their followers has an understanding with them (the Imams), and pilgrimage is a way of fulfilling and being faithful to that understanding. Whosoever undertakes a pilgrimage of his own free will, believing in it, for him the Imams will intercede with Allah on the Day of Resurrection.

There are social and religious advantages in making ziyarah. Thus our Imams have stressed its performance, for it fortifies the bond between them and their followers and reminds us of their virtues and their struggle for the truth. Moreover, it gathers Muslims together in one place so that they cam get to know and establish friendships with one another, in order that the condition of obedience to Allah and devotion to his commandments becomes firmly imprinted in their hearts. And it confirms in them the true meaning of pilgrimage: the tawhid, the sanctity of Islam, the prophethood of Muhammad, the various Islamic duties such as the striving for an elevated morality, bowing down and prostrating before the Commander of all creatures, and how to thank Allah for His gifts by means of those prayers which are recited during pilgrimage. And these prayers are among those with the most exalted meanings. For example, the du'a'' 'Amin Allah'' composed by Imam Zayn al-'Abidin (A.S) when he made a pilgrimage to the grave of his grandfather' Ali, Amir al-Mu'minin (A.S).

Also the recitations during the pilgrimage point out the magnificent characters of the Imams, their sacrifices in defending the truth and elevating the religion, and their perseverance in obedience to Allah. They are written in the most excellent Arabic, full of great eloquence and easily understandable phrases, and they contain the best exposition of tawhid, and supplication and prayer to Allah. Truly, among them is the greatest religious literature after the Qur'an, Nahj al-Balaghah and the other prayers of the Imams, because they have included in them summaries of their teachings on Islamic matters and morality. There are also teachings and guidance in certain pilgrimage ceremonies mentioned below for the spiritual progress of the Muslim, the cultivation of sympathy for the poor, and encouragement for fostering brotherhood, good behaviour and understanding between people.

 

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