Al-Mazar al-kabir (book)
|Author||Muhammad b. Ja'far al-Mashhadi|
|Original title||اَلمَزار الکَبير|
Al-Mazār al-kabīr (Arabic: اَلمَزار الکَبير) is an Arabic book written by Muhammad b. Ja'far al-Mashhadi (d. 610/1213-1214), includes various ziyarah texts that are read in Holy shrine of Imams (a). Al-Mazar is divided into eight sections, and each into chapters. This work is one of the oldest Muslim sources about ziyarah texts, rituals and prayers related to the holy places and some lunar months. Many great Shi'a scholars have relied on this book and have quoted its narrations, ziyara texts, rites and prayers in their books.
Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad b. Ja'far b. 'Ali al-Mashhadi al-Ha'iri, known as Muhammad b. al-Mashhadi is one of the most honorable Shi'a scholar, which Shi'a scholars have relied on his book -al-Mazar al-kabir- and referred to it as a source in their works. In spite of little information available about his characteristics and life, he is counted among the grand Hadith masters whose names are seen in many narration certificates (ijaza). He lived in the 6th/12th century .
Purpose of Writing
In the introduction of the book, author writes: "I have written this book at the request of a person named Abu l-Qasim Hibat Allah b. Salman. Ziyarah texts and rites of Kufa mosque, rites of month of Rajab, Sha'ban and Ramadan, the prayers of these months, specific rites for each day and night, prayers of days of the week, special prayers after the daily prayers and some other prayers are mentioned in the book." In some cases, the author mentions his chain of narrators by which he is narrating a ziyarah texts or a prayer from a Imam (a).
The Structure of the Book
The book consists of eight sections and each section is divided into several chapters:
- Section 1: about the merits of ziyarah of Imams (a) (pilgrimage to their holy shrine).
- Section 2: about the ziyarah of the Prophet (s), Imams (a) who are buried in Baqi' and the lady Fatima al-Zahra (a).
- Section 3: about the merits of Kufa and its mosques and ziyarah of Imam 'Ali (a).
- Section 4: about the merits of ziyarah of Imam al-Husayn (a) and about the merits of months of Sha'ban and Dhu l-Hijja.
- Section 5: about the ziyarah of other holy Imams (a).
- Section 6: about the reward of Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), performing ziyarah on behalf of others and going to cemeteries to remember dead people.
- Section 7: about rites of the month of Ramadan and rites of the day and night of Eid al-Fitr
- Section 8: about the ziyarah of Imams (a).
There is a detailed index at the end of the book.
Al-Mazar is one of the oldest books that great scholars such as Sayyid b. Tawus at Misbah al-za'ir, 'Abd al-Karim b. Tawus at Farhat al-ghara, al-'Allama al-Majlisi at Bihar al-anwar and others have trusted. Al-'Allama al-Majlisi said the book was titled as "al-Mazar al-kabir" and added "from its narrations, I realize that it is a reliable book."
Manuscripts and Printing
- existent manuscript in Al Kashif al-Ghita' library in Najaf.
- existent manuscript in Mirza Muhammad 'Ali Urdubay library in Najaf.
- the only existent manuscript in Iran in Ayatollah Mar'ashi Najafi Library in Qom. This manuscript belongs to the period of Safavids. The current printed edition of book is based on this manuscript.
- The material for this article has been mainly taken from المزار الکبیر (کتاب in Farsi WikiShia.