|Subject||A famous ziyara-text of Imam al-Mahdi (a)|
|Narrator||Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah al-Himyari al-Qummi|
|Shi'a sources||Al-Ihtijaj • Bihar al-anwar|
Zīyāra Āl Yāsīn (Arabic: زيارة آل ياسين) is a famous text for pilgrimage (ziyara-text) of Imam al-Mahdi (a), which begins with the phrase: "Greetings be to the progeny of Yasin." The narrator of this ziyara is Ibn Abd Allah al-Himyari who lived in the final period of the minor occultation and several of his letters to Imam al-Mahdi (a) have been narrated; among these letters, one letter (Tawqi') contains the ziyara Al Yasin.
According to the standards of documentation, the chains of transmission of this ziyara are trustworthy and authentic, and it has been reported in important sources of Hadith and supplication. According to some scholars, this ziyara is one of the most complete and comprehensive salutation texts (ziyara-text) for Imam al-Mahdi (a) and it can be recited anytime.
Chain of the Transmitters
Ziyarah Al Yasin is transmitted to us via two sources with remarkable differences in their texts:
Muhammad b. 'Uthman al-'Amari's Account
The oldest account of the ziyarah is the one transmitted by Muhammad b. 'Uthman al-'Amri, the second deputy of Imam al-Mahdi (a). It is cited by Ibn al-Mashhadi in his al-Mazar al-kabir after al-Nudba Supplication. It is also cited by al-Sayyid b. Tawus in his Misbah al-za'ir referring to it as al-Nudba Supplication.
Ibn al-Mashhadi cited a number of transmission-chains for the ziyarah in most of which there is at least one unreliable or unknown transmitter, but he himself characterizes all the transmitters as reliable. Abu l-Mufaddil al-Shaybani is a transmitter in one of these chains, who is reliable according some views, and thus this chain will be hasan.
Abu Ja'far al-Himyari's Account
The reporter of well-known account of the Ziyarah Al Yasin is Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah b. Ja'far al-Himyari. The scholars of Rijal and Hadith have presented him as a trustworthy and respectful figure. He is the author of some books that apparently have not survived. Since he lived during last years of Minor Occultation, he had correspondence with Imam al-Mahdi (a).
This Ziyarah is quoted in al-Ihtijaj by Ahmad b. Ali b. Abi Talib al-Tabrisi in a mursal way. Al-Majlisi has reported this Ziyarah in three positions of Bihar al-anwar. In Mafatih al-jinan, Shaykh 'Abbas al-Qummi narrates Ziyarah Al Yasin as the first Ziyarah for Imam al-Mahdi (a).
This Ziyarah begins with twenty three salutations: the first salutation is directed toward the progeny of Yasin (Prophet Muhammad (s)) and the rest are salutations to Imam al-Mahdi (a) with special titles. In this Ziyarah, some of the most important Islamic and Shi'a beliefs have been mentioned and regarded as the necessary constituents of a correct faith; beliefs like: Tawhid (unity of God) Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (s), Imamate (leadership) for all of the twelve Imams, death, Munkar and Nakir (two angels who question the souls of the dead), Day of Judgment, Sirat (a bridge crossing hellfire and leading to paradise), paradise and hell and ...
After this, there are some supplications within the Ziyarah that are as follows: "O Allah I request you send salutations to Muhammad, the Prophet of your mercy and the beam of your light, and fill my heart with the light of certainty and my chest with the light of faith and my mind with the light of good intentions, and my provision with the light of knowledge and my power with the light of (proper) labor, and my tongue with the light of honesty." Then the Ziyarah finishes with expressing greetings to Imam al-Mahdi (a) and making supplications for his triumph and health and the closeness of his reappearance and uprising, and spread of real justice on earth and the destruction of infidels and hypocrites and the enemies of the divine religion.
In this Ziyarah, each of the words Haqq (truth) and Hujja (proof) has been repeated. According to the explicit statement of some scholars, this Ziyarah is the most complete and comprehensive Ziyarah of Imam al-Mahdi (a) and it can be recited anytime.
Meaning of Al Yasin
Ibn 'Amir, al-Nafi' and Ya'qub, from among the seven reciters, have recited the word "Al Yasin" in the Qur'an 37:130: "peace be upon Al Yasin" as: Al Yasin; and the rest of reciters have pronounced it as: Ilyasin.
Those who recited it as "Al Yasin" have interpreted it as: "peace be upon the progeny of Muhammad" since Yasin is one of the names of Prophet Muhammad (s) and "Al" means the progeny. And those who have recited it as Ilyasin, believe it is another form of the name Ilyas (a) who was a Prophet, like the way Isma'il and Isma'in or Mika'il and Mika'in and Mikal are different forms of the same names. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi in al-Tibyan fi tafsir al-Qur'an and al-Tabrisi in Majma' al-Bayan have provided similar explanations.
In the Hadith discussion about the interpretation of this verse, 'Allama Tabataba'i narrates from the book Ma'ani l-akhbar through its chain of transmission from Imam al-Sadiq (a) and also from 'Uyun akhbar al-Rida, this Hadith: "Yasin is Muhammad (s) and we are Al Yasin (the progeny of Yasin)." Needless to say, this is based on its recitation as Al Yasin.
In Tafsir-i Nimuna, after discussing different recitations of Al Yasin and different meanings based on each recitation, the Al Yasin is taken to mean either the progeny of the Prophet of Islam (s) or the progeny of Yasin, the father of Prophet Ilyas (a).
The use of a singular pronoun in the following verse: "he was one of our faithful servants" makes the Ilyasin recitation –meaning Prophet Ilyas- more likely. However, it is possible and acceptable that a single word be recited with two pronunciations to denote two meanings that are both correct; Ahl al-Bayt (a), who know the hidden and apparent meanings of the Qur'an, have interpreted some of Qur'an's verses in this way.
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