Al-Ziyarah al-Jami'a al-Kabira
Ziyarah 'Ashura • al-Warith • Amin Allah • al-Jami'a al-Kabira • Al Yasin
Takbir • Tahmid • Tahlil • Tasbih • Tasbih of Lady Fatima (a) • Salawat • al-Yunusiyya • Istighfar
Mafatih al-jinan • al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya • Misbah al-mutihajjid • Iqbal al-a'mal • Miftah al-falah
|Days and Months|
Laylat al-Qadr • 15th Sha'ban • 'Arafa • Ramadan • Rajab • Dhu l-Hijja
Al-Zīyārah al-Jāmi'a al-Kabīra (Arabic: الزیارة الجامعة الکبیرة) is among the most important and most perfect ziyarah texts [message recited upon the visit] for the Infallible Imams (a). This ziyarah message was given by Imam al-Hadi (a) to a Shi'a upon his request. The content of this ziyarah message includes Shi'a beliefs on imamate, Imams' (a) positions and Shi'a's duties about them. Al-Ziyarah al-Jami'a al-Kabira can be regarded as a course on knowing Imams (a) composed in the form of eloquent and beautiful phrases.
Cause of Naming
A ziyarah text which does not belongs specifically to one of the Imams (a) is called "al-Ziyarah al-Jami'a"; and since this ziyarah text is lengthier than other ziyarah texts, it have been given the attribute of "al-Kabira" [meaning "large"]. The text of this ziyarah is so that it can be recited for any of Imams (a) whether from distance [e.g. another city] or upon visiting their shrines.
The text of this ziyarah is quoted from Imam al-Hadi (a). Ibn Babawayh narrated it from Muhammad b. Isma'il al-Barmaki through Musa b. 'Abd Allah al-Nakha'i from Imam al-Hadi (a). In Fara'id al-simtayn, al-Juwayni al-Khurasani narrated this ziyarah from al-Hakim al-Nishaburi through Ibn Babawayh.
However according to categorization of hadiths based on the source, this ziyarah is not considered sahih due to the presence of Musa b. 'Abd Allah al-Nakha'i among narrators of this ziyarah, who has been an unknown person; while, according to hadith scholars of early centuries AH who used to categorize hadiths only to sahih and non-sahih, this ziyarah has been considered as sahih.
Ibn Babawayh's trust on this ziyarah is itself among evidences justifying its source. Moreover, Twelver Shi'a have accepted it in such a way that an insightful person can prove by claiming the consensus suggesting the opinion of Imams (a).
Shubbar regarded this ziyarah camparable in rank with Nahj al-balagha and Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, the eloquence of which is at such a high level that it cannot be originated from anyone other than the Infallible (a). After analyzing the source of this ziyarah, al-Ahsa'i says that regarding the level of lexicon and meaning, this ziyarah is at such a high level that anyone finds it a saying of the Infallible (a) and needless of source analysis.
About this ziyarah, al-'Allama al-Majlisi said, "This ziyarah is the most complete ziyarah from distance or near [while visiting the shrine]". Also in his commentary on Man la yahduruh al-faqih, al-Majlisi al-Awwal says, "This ziyarah is the best and most complete ziyarah and I have always visited Imams (a) in their holy shrines." Muhaddith Nuri believes that Ibn Babawayh has summarized the text of this ziyarah in his narration and has omitted some parts which have not matched his beliefs.
Al-Ziyarah al-Jami'a al-Kabira is in fact a long and eloquent description of different perspectives of the concept of imamate which Shi'a believes that survival of religion depends on believing and adhering to this principle. Due to its content referring to Imams' (a) positions, Imam al-Hadi (a) said that the pilgrim should say "Allah Akbar" 100 times before reciting this ziyarah so that he does not fall into exaggeration about Imams (a).
In this ziyarah, Ahl al-Bayt (a) have been described as the rightful successors of the prophet (s) and all Shi'a teachings are explained in a clear language, including the connection between Imams (a) and the Holy Prophet (s), mentioning scholarly, moral, and political merits of Imams (a), their example, the relation between imamate and Oneness of God, the relation between knowing Imams (a) and knowing God, infallibility of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), oneness of their creation, tawalli [friendship], tabarri [rejection], raj'a [second coming] and taslim [surrender]. In this ziyarah, merits of Imams (a) are mentioned in connection with the Qur'an and the conduct of the Prophet (s) in the best way possible.
In the first phrases of this ziyarah, which begin with "السَّلامُ عَلَیکُمْ یا أَهْلَ بَیتِ النُّبُوَّةِ وَ مَوْضِعَ الرِّسَالَةِ" [Peace be upon you, O the Household of Prophethood, location of the Divine mission] and Imam al-Hadi (a) suggests that:
- God, the Almighty has granted the Ahl al-Bayt (a) with His special dignity and has made them the station of mission where frequently visited by the angels and the reception of revelation.
- This originates from Perfect attributes of God, which Ahl al-Bayt (a) also have and by which reached the peak upon which collected knowledge, forbearance, dignity, and mercy.
- Ahl al-Bayt (a) are the "location of the Divine mission" since God has chosen them for more than leadership of Muslims, for leadership of humanity.
In the following part beginning with "السلام علی ائمة الهدی و مصابیح الدجی" [Peace be upon the leaders of the right guidance, the lanterns in the darkness], Imam al-Hadi (a) suggests that:
- Ahl al-Bayt (a) are "the leaders of the right guidance" and anyone else who claims the position of imamate, are opposite to the right guidance and thus are leaders towards ignorance. Therefore, teachings of religion must be learned only from the Ahl al-Bayt (a) and the right path must only be followed after them.
- Imams (a) are those who possess the perfect intellect. They are refuge for the people of the world and inheritors of prophets (s). They are the best examples of humanity to be followed by anyone and they invite to best of perfection.
- Ahl al-Bayt (a) are the location of knowing God and residence of His mercy. They are mines of God's wisdom, keepers of His Secret, bearing His Knowledge of the Book and vicegerents of His prophet (s).
- These inviters towards the truth have some attributes which manifest their genuineness in their godly path:
- They are inviters towards God and guides of people towards God's satisfaction.
- Imams (a) are steadfast in obeying God's orders.
- They totally love God.
- They are sincere in their belief of God's Oneness.
- Godly duties such as His orders are introduced by them.
- They never exceed God's orders either in speech or in action.
- Having the belief that there is no god but Allah and He has no partner.
- Having the belief that Muhammad (s) is the special and chosen servant of God.
- Having the belief that Imams of Shi'a possess the position of infallibility and dignity.
In some phrases of this Ziyara, some practical aspects of Imams' conduct are mentioned as:
- Guarding divine covenant and strengthening their promise to worship God.
- Inviting people towards the truth by means of argument, wisdom and good advice
- Continuous sacrifice on the way of God by sacrificing their life and being patient upon hardships.
- Establishing prayer and paying Zakat and constantly observing other acts of worship and limits in Islam.
- Guarding Islamic law against deviation
- Surrendering to divine will
- Emphasizing on the unity of prophets' (s) paths and approving of them
Another phrase of the ziyarah reads "فالراغب عنکم مارق واللازم لکم لاحق والمقصر فی حقکم زاهق" [Therefore, whoever forsakes you to apostate, whoever adheres to you will attain the destination, and whoever fails to carry out the duties towards you will perish.] which refers to lovers and enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) and says that their lovers will achieve happiness and their enemies will achieve misery.
In the phrase "فبلغ اللّه بکم أشرف محل المکرمین وأعلی منازل المقربین وأرفع درجات المرسلین" [Thus, Allah has raised you to the most principled place of the honored ones, the highest station of those drawn near to Him, and the loftiest ranks of the Messengers]; it suggests the following points:
- The necessity of believing in raj'a [the second coming] of Imams (a) and establishment of their governments
- The importance of visiting the graves of Imams (a)
- The importance of believing in raj'a [the second coming]
- The necessity of constant readiness for assisting their governments until they rule the earth
- The necessity of rejecting their enemies.
- Happiness of believers in what God has given them through the Ahl al-Bayt (a)
- Believing in the Ahl al-Bayt (a) is not an emotional issue but though awareness, understanding and studying.
There are several commentaries written on al-Ziyarah al-Jami'a al-Kabira. Muhammad Taqi al-Majlisi (d. 1070 AH/1659) wrote two commentaries on al-Ziyarah al-Jami'a al-Kabira:
- Once in Arabic in Rawdat al-muttaqin which is the commentary on Man la yahduruh al-faqih
- The other time in Persian in Lawami' sahibqarani which is the commentary on the same book of Ibn Babawayh. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi wrote short commentaries on some of the ziyara's phrases in Bihar al-anwar.
The most important commentary of al-Ziyarah al-Jami'a al-Kabira is Ahmad b. Zayn al-Din b. Ibrahim al-Ahsa'i (d. 1241/1825 or 1243/1827) with the title of Sharh al-Ziyara al-Jami'at al-Kabira in 4 volumes. This commentary is the most comprehensive and most scholarly commentary on al-Ziyarah al-Jami'a al-Kabira. It is written based on Shaykhiyya ideas and is full of theological, literary, hadith, and philosophical discussions. Al-Anwar al-lami'a is among the recent commentaries of al-Ziyarah al-Jami'a al-Kabira written by al-Sayyid 'Abd Allah Shubbar which is short and useful.
Other commentaries are:
- Al-Anwar al-sa'ti'a fi sharh Ziyarat al-jami'a written by Jawad Karbala'i
- Al-Anwar al-lami'a fi sharh al-Ziyarat al-jami'a written by Sayyid 'Abd Allah b. Muhammad Rida Shubbar Kazimi (1188/1774 – 1242 AH/1826) researched by Fadil Furati and 'Ala' Kazimi.
- Haqa'iq al-asrar written in 1296 AH by Muhammad Taqi Aqa Najafi Isfahani (d. 1332 AH/1914)
- Sanad al-Ziyarat al-jami'a written by Sayyid Yasin Musawi
- Sharh al-Ziyarat al-jami'a al-kabira written by Shaykh Ahmad Ahsa'i (1166/1753 – 1243 AH/1827). This book includes special ideas and opinions of the author who belongs to Shaykhiyya sect and was not accepted by Shi'a.
- Ahadith Sharh al-Ziyarat al-jami'a al-kabira written by Husayn al-Mutawwa'
- Sharh al-Ziyarat al-jami'a al-kabira (Talwih al-ishara fi talkhis sharh al-ziyara) written by Ahmad Ahsa'i summarized by Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Mar'ashi Shahristani (1255/1839 – 1315 AH/1897). In this book, the author has mentioned the gist of discussions by omitting repetitions. He also corrected the book and mentioned his penname as 'Abd al-Samad Ha'iri Mazandarani.
- Al-Shumus al-tali'a fi sharh al-ziyarat al-jami'a written by Aqa Rayhan Allah b. Sayyid Ja'far Kashfi Burujirdi (1267/1851 – 1328 AH/1910)
- Al-Shumus al-tali'a fi sharh al-ziyarat al-jami'a written by Sayyid husayn Durud Abadi Hamadani (d. 1344 AH/1925)
- Al-Sawarim al-qati'a wa l-hujaj al-lami'a fi Ithbat sihhat al-ziyarat al-jami'a written by 'Abd al-Karim 'Aqili
- Fi rihab al-ziyarat al-jami'at al-kabira written by Sayyid Ali Husayni Sadr
There are some commentaries which are written in Persian, some of them are:
- Adab-i fanay-i muqarraban written by Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli
- Asrar al-ziyarah wa burhan al-inaba fi sharh ziyarat al-jami'a written by Muhammad Taqi Aqa Najafi Isfahani
- Sharh-i ziyarat-i jami'i kabiri written by Sayyid Diya' al-Din Astarabadi
|For the full text, see text:al-Ziyarah al-Jami'a al-Kabira.|
- Al-Tusi, Tahdhib, vol.6 p.96-102
- Al-Saduq, Man la yahduruh al-faqih, vol.2 p.610
- Al-Saduq, Man la yahduruh al-faqih, vol.2 p.610
- Al-Juwayni, Fara'id, vol.2 p.179-186
- Al-Ahsa'i, Sharh al-ziyara, vol.1 p.30
- Mudir Shanachi, 'Ilm al-hadith, p.146
- Al-Ahsa'i, Sharh al-ziyara, vol.1 p.31
- Shubbar, al-Anwar al-lami'a, p.33
- Al-Ahsa'i, Sharh al-ziyara, vol.1 p.31
- Al-Majlisi, Zad al-ma'ad, p.301
- Nuri, Mustadrak al-wasa'il, vol.11 p.170-171
- Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.8 p.666
- Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol.99 p.134-144
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- Published: Beirut: Mu'assia al-Balagh, 1424
- Published: Tehran: 1354
- Published: Tehran: Markaz-i Nashr-i Kitab, 1378
- Published: Qom: Mu'assisa Bid'a al-Mustafa, 1421
- Published: Qom: Dar al-Ghadir, 1382
- Published: Qom: Isra'
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- Published: Tehran: Maktab-i Qur'an, 1372/1413
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