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Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) recounts, ‘O Safwaan! When you are confronted with some adversity, then seek redressal of your grievances from Imam Hussain (a.s.) through the Aamaal of Ashoora. Allah has pledged the fulfillment of demands with this Ziarat and Allah never reneges on His word’.
Hardships and afflictions no matter how severe, can be remedied by reciting Ziarate Ashoora for forty successive days. Records of people’s experiences actually testify to the authenticity of this tradition.
Renowned Shia scholars have recited this Ziarat regularly. They have reaped incalculable benefits through its recitation and have always resorted to it in moments of distress.
Ziyarat e Ashura: Hadith-e-Qudsi
Safwan (r.a) narrates that Hazrat Jibraeel (a.s.) conveyed this Ziyaarat to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on divine command. We will narrate this incident in detail in the end of this article. What is important at this point is to appreciate that this Ziyaarat is Hadithe Qudsi and it has reached Imam Baqir (a.s.) through his noble ancestors who received it from Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a). Imam Baqir (a.s.) made ‘public’ this Ziyaarat for the first time. This is because like all other divine laws that were delayed, the delay in the communication of Ziyaarate Aashoora in the public domain also had a divine rationale.
(Shifa al-Sudoor, p. 51 by Abul Fazl Tehrani)
Shaheed-e-Mehraab, Ayatullah Dastghaib Shirazi (r.a.) narrates an incident from Ayatullah Uzma Shaikh Abdul Kareem Haayeree (r.a.), the founder of the Hauz-e-Ilmiyyah in Qum. Janab Haayeree (r.a.) narrates, ‘I was residing in Samarrah to pursue religious studies. Once, the city was struck by a deadly plague. Scores of people were dying every day. During those days, a group of religious scholars had gathered at the house of our teacher late Syed Mohammed Fesharki (r.a.). At that time, Janab Mirza Mohammed Taqi (r.a.) too came in that meeting. The talk turned towards the topic of plague and the devastation it was causing in terms of loss of lives. Marhoom Mirza Taqi (r.a.) said, “If I command you to perform an action will all of you obey me?” Everyone replied “Yes, of course, we will obey whatever you say.” Marhoom Mirza (r.a.) then ordered “Tell every Shia of Samarrah to recite Ziyaarate Aashoora for the next ten days and to gift the reward of the Ziyaarat to the soul of the mother of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.), Janabe Nargis Khatoon (s.a) so that the people remain safe from this disease.” All those who were present in that gathering passed this information to the Shias of Samarrah, who all began reciting Ziyaarate Aashoora. From the very next day, there was no news of any Shia death. Only the news of the death of the Ahle Sunnat was being reported. Gradually the Sunnis realized this and asked some of their Shia friends as to the reason that why none from the Shias were dying of plague. The Shias said that they were reciting Ziyaarate Aashoora. On hearing this, the Sunnis too began reciting the Ziyaarat. Consequently, they too were secured from the perilous effects of the plague.’
(Ziyaarate Aashoora – Effects & Miracles, p. 24)
1. This incident not only highlights the effects and consequences of reading Ziyaarate Aashoora, but also the importance of the Ziyaarat itself.
2. People usually recite Ziyaarate Aashoora on behalf of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s). This incident further highlights the great position of Imam’s (a.t.f.s.) mother, Janabe Nargis Khatoon (s.a)
The emperor of the era, the friend of Allah, the chief of the universe, Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) has forcefully stressed the importance of reciting Ziyaarate Aashoora in his letters and sayings.
In his masterpiece, Mafaateeh al-Jenan, the pillar of traditionalists, Shaikh Abbas Qummi (r.a) has mentioned an incident from his teacher, Janab Mirza Husain Tabarsi (r.a) – famous as Mohaddis Noori (r.a). We will not narrate the entire incident but mention only that portion where Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) has emphasized the regular recitation of Ziyaarate Aashoora .
This incident pertains to Janab Syed Ahmed bin Syed Hashim bin Syed Hasan Musawi Rashty. He was a trader from the city of Rasht. He says ‘I left the city of Rasht with the intention of going for Haj and came to the house of Haji Safarali Tabrezi. I was a little worried as there was no caravan scheduled for Haj at that time. When I saw that another friend Haji Jehad Jaludar Isfehani has packed his luggage and is all set to leave for Haj, I too decided to leave with him and hired a mount for the journey ……’ (For more details of this incident, the separation of Janab Rashty from his group and being left alone – losing the way in a snowstorm and the darkness of the night – meeting Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) in this state of distress who led him to his destination etc please refer to Mafateeh al-Jenan, Incident of Syed Rashty & Najm al-Thaaqib, chapter 7).
In this incident, Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.), in the beginning mentions, ‘Recite Naafelah Shab’ Then he says ‘Recite Ziyaarat Jaameah’ and then he says ‘Recite Ziyaarate Aashoora ‘. Syed Rashty did not know either Ziyaarat-e-Jaameah or Ziyaarate Aashoora by heart. But the moment Imam (a.s.) asked him to recite them regularly, he knew both these Ziyaarats by heart.
Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) helped Syed Rashty to reach his destination. On the way, Imam (a.s.) once asked him rhetorically, ‘Why don’t you recite the Naafelah prayers?’ Then he (a.s.) repeated thrice ‘Naafelah, Naafelah, Naafelah!’ Again, Imam (a.s.) asked him, ‘Why don’t you recite Ziyaarate Aashoora?’ Then Imam (a.s.) reiterated, ‘Aashoora, Aashoora, Aashoora!’ Once again, Imam (a.s.) asked Janab Rashty, ‘Why don’t you recite Ziyaarat-e-Jaameah?’ And then Imam (a.s.) emphasized thrice, ‘Jaameah, Jaameah, Jaameah!’
This incident underlines the extraordinary importance of Ziyaarate Aashoora. The fact that Janab Syed Rashty, who had lost his way met Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.), shows his distinction. But the emphasis of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) on the regular recitation of Ziyaarate Aashoora and Ziyaarat-e-Jaameah points to the fact that Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) desires that his (a.s.) followers should always remember the tribulations of his grandfather Imam Husain (a.s.) and they should always be aggrieved and anguished by the events of Karbala.
‘How fortunate are those who have the taufeeq of reciting Ziyaarate Aashoora regularly.’