- This article is about the famous version of ziyara Ashura'. For the non-famous version, see Ziyara Ashura' (the non-famous version).
Zīyāra ʿĀshūrāʾ (Arabic: زيارة عاشوراء) is a ziyara-text (a written text for pilgrimage) recited by Shi'a to salute Imam al-Husayn (a) and to commemorate the epic-tragic Battle of Ashura' and the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions. This ziyara is deemed very important by Shi'a and has been narrated from Imam al-Baqir (a).
Reward of Recitation
'Alqama b. Muhammad al-Hadrami says: I requested Imam al-Baqir (a) to "teach me something so that I can recite it when I visit him (Imam al-Husayn (a)) from nearby on this day (day of Ashura): and teach me something so that I can recite it when I want to direct my salutation toward him from regions far from Karbala and my home. The Imam said: O 'Alqama, after you direct salutation toward him, perform a two-rak'a prayer, and after that, recite this ziyara-text, by reciting this ziyara you have truly called him in the way that angels call him when they want to address him, and Allah gives you thousand thousand (one million) rewards and forgives thousand thousand sins of yours and elevates your status thousand thousand levels, and you will be considered as one of those who were martyred along him and you even share their status; and the rewards of the Prophets, Apostles and all those who have visited al-Husayn b. Ali (a) since he has been martyred, would as well be written for you." 'Alqama continues: "When the Imam finished reciting the ziyara, he said me 'O 'Alqama, if you can recite this ziyara every day during your lifetime, do it and all its reward will be yours."
Ziyarah from Distance
'Alqama, a narrator of the ziyara Ashura', asked Imam al-Baqir (a): "What is the reward for one who lives in a city far from Karbala and cannot go there on such a day [the day of Ashura], but visits the shrine from a distance?" The Imam (a) replied: I guarantee that if one visits Imam al-Husayn (a) from a distance on this day [that is, by reciting ziyara Ashura'], then they will be rewarded like someone who visited the shrine directly.
Ziyara Ashura starts with expressing salutation to Imam al-Husayn (a) and continues to express salutation to those who sacrificed themselves for him. The start and end, greeting, and farewell of this Ziyara express salutation to Imam al-Husayn (s) and the souls resting near him. This is both vocal and practical respect toward those who followed the Imam and sacrificed their souls for the sake of Imama.
Remembrance of the history of Shi'a
In the Ziyara Ashura, the long-standing injustice done toward Shi'a has been counted with two forms of second-person singular and plural pronouns. The addressee of second-person plural pronouns is the Ahl al-Bayt (a) and the addressee of second-person singular pronoun is Imam al-Husayn (a). These phrases: "may Allah curse people who established the foundations of injustice and oppression against you Ahl al-Bayt" and "may Allah curse people who denied you from your position and removed you from the levels on which Allah had assigned you" and "may Allah curse those who prepared the ground for killing you" and "those who launched wars against you" these phrases are reminders of the inhumane and violent behavior of those who were against the Ahl al-Bayt (a) after the demise of the Prophet (s). With the phrase "may Allah curse people who made horses ready and covered their faces to battle you" the Battle of Ashura is reminded. Two other phrases introduce the day of Ashura as the day which has been regarded as a blessed day by Banu Umayya and the sons of al-Hind, the liver-eater (i.e. Yazid); and the day on which the progeny of Ziyad and the progeny of Marwan are happy because of their killing Imam al-Husayn (s).
In the Ziyara Ashura, the political movement against the Ahl al-Bayt (a) by launching wars and showing hostility to Shi'a Imams and their authority, has been cursed. The symbols of such movement are counted as Banu Umayya, the progeny of Ziyad, the progeny of Marwan, and 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad, 'Umar b. Sa'd and Shimr have been mentioned by name. The main objective of this political movement was to gain power in whatever way possible. In all parts of the Ziyara Ashura, this movement has been cursed and complete disassociation from them has been affirmed; moreover, in the two ending phrases, this curse has been generalized so that it includes all oppressors who denied Prophet Muhammad (s) and the Ahl al-Bayt (a) from their rights. The objective of such curse is that Muslims should follow the command of God to disassociate themselves from the movement that oppressed the progeny of Prophet Muhammad (s) and those who were against the establishment of an Islamic government based on Imama and Wilaya, and to coordinate their direction with that of Prophet Muhammad (s) and his progeny (a).
In two phrases from the Ziyara Ashura, it has been requested from God to grant the chance to take the revenge for Imam al-Husayn (s) martyrdom, under the leadership of the triumphant leader from the Ahl al-Bayt (a) or the leader who speaks the truth. These phrases hint at the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (a) and his mission to take the revenge of the Battle of Karbala. The principle of Mahdawiyya is the theoretical and practical foundation of the Shi'a movement during the time of occultation.
There's another significant supplication within this Ziyara. It states: "O God, make my life like the lives of Muhammad and his progeny and make my death like the death of Muhammad and his progeny." This implies a comprehensive perfection both in this life and in the hereafter. Also, the final phrase of the Ziyara emphasizes the aforementioned supplication, as it states: "strengthen my sincere position before you with al-Husayn and the companions of al-Husayn who sacrificed their souls in the way of al-Husayn, peace be upon him."
The main and oldest source that has narrated ziyara Ashura, is Kamil al-ziyarat by Ibn Qulawayh al-Qummi (d 368/978-9). The Author has narrated the text of ziyara from Imam al-Baqir (a). Also, al-Shaykh al-Tusi has narrated this ziyara in his book, Misbah al-mutahajjid through this chain of transmission: Muhammad b. Isma'il b. Buzay' from Salih b. 'Aqaba from his father from Abu Ja'far (Imam al-Baqir (a)).
There are differences in the narrated texts in these two sources. There is a supplication after ziyara Ashura', known as supplication of 'Alqama, that has been narrated by 'Alqama from Safwan from Imam al-Sadiq (a).
About the Curse Phrase at the End of Ziyara Ashura
Some researchers have expressed their doubts about the attribution of some phrases of Ziyara Ashura to the Infallible Ones (a). Sayyid Murtada 'Askari and Muhammad Hadi Yusufi Gharawi did not consider the following part transmitted from the Infallible Ones (a): "Allahumm khuss ant awwal zalim bi-l-la'n minni wa bda' bihi awwal thumm l'an al-thaniy wa l-thalith wa l-rabi', Allahumm la'n Yazid khamis wa l'an 'Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad wa bn Marjana wa 'Umar bn Sa'd wa Shimr wa Al Abi Sufyan wa Al Ziyad wa Al Marwan ila Yawm al-Qiyama" ["O Allah, assign on the foremost persecutor special curses from me, and begin with him first, and then on the second, the third, and the fourth. O Allah, curse Yazid fifthly, and curse 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad, the son of Marjana, 'Umar b. Sa'd, Shimr, the family of Abi Sufyan, the family of Ziyad, and the family of Marwan up to the Day of Resurrection."] They believe it did not exist in Ibn Quluwayh's Kamil al-ziyarat, where Ziyara Ashura was first mentioned.
However, according to Sayyid Musa Shubayri Zanjani, Twelver Shi'a scholars have a consensus about the reliability of the chain of transmission of Ziyara Ashura and all of them consider Ziyara Ashura in general definitely true. Shubayri also believes that in addition to unseen supports Ziyara 'Ashira has, the chain of transmission mentioned in Misbah al-mutahajjid is authentic. He explains the authenticity of this chain of transmission in two different ways.
|For the full text, see text:Ziyara Ashura'.|
- Ibn Qūlawayh, Kāmil al-zīyārāt, p. 175.
- Ṭūsī, Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid, vol. 2, p. 776-777.
- Ibn Qūlawayh, Kāmil al-zīyārāt, 175-179.
- Ibn Qūlawayh, Kāmil al-zīyārāt, p. 175.
- Ṭūsī, Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid, vol. 2, p. 772.
- Ṭūsī, Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid, vol. 2, p. 781.
- Allama Askari and Ziyarat Ashura. The website of Markaz-i Muṭāliʿāt-i Islāmī-yi ʿAllāma ʿAskarī (Persian)
- Lectures and interviews-The website of Muḥammad Hādī Yusufī Gharawī (Persian)
- Shubayrī Zanjānī, Istiftā' number 433.
- Istiftāʾāt-i ʿazādārī, suʾāl 67. Website of Āyatullāh Shubayrī Zanjānī (Persian)
- Shubayrī Zanjānī, Jurʿaʾī az daryā, vol. 1, p. 251-252.
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- Istiftāʾāt-i ʿazādārī, suʾāl 67. Pāygāh-i Iṭṭilāʿrasānī-yi daftar-i marjaʿ-i Ālīqadr Āyatullāh al-ʿuzmā Shubayrī Zanjānī. (Questions about mourning of Imam al-Husayn pbuh, The official website of Āyatullāh Shubayrī Zanjānī). Accessed: 2021/7/4.
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