Importance of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) Ziyarat and Levels of the Hereafter – Part II
Negotiating the Bridge of Seraat is facilitated
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) narrates, ‘Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) shall dispatch an angel towards the visitor. The angel shall command the Bridge, “Be facile for the Visitor.” It shall likewise command the Fire (of Hell), “None of your flames should touch him.” The visitor shall negotiate the Bridge most comfortably. The angel shall accompany the visitor throughout his journey over the Bridge.’
(Kaamil al-Ziaaraat, pg. 123, Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 101 pg. 78)
Security from the Difficulties of the Day of Resurrection
The Holy Quran has described the difficulties of the Day of Resurrection most eloquently in Surah Hajj: Verses 1 & 2 “O people! Guard against (the punishment from) your Lord; surely the violence of the hour is a grievous thing. On the day when you shall see it, every woman giving suck shall quit in confusion what she suckled, and every pregnant woman shall lay down her burden, and you shall see men intoxicated, and they shall not be intoxicated but the chastisement of Allah will be severe.’
This offers us a very brief glimpse into the difficulties of the Day of Resurrection. It will not be easy for anyone to gain respite from these unspeakable difficulties. At the same time, it is imperative for us to secure deliverance from these devastating calamities. While it is true that Allah has apportioned these difficulties for His servants, it is equally true that He has signaled the way to them for securing respite from its hazards. Then it is the duty of the servants to seek the path of deliverance indicated by Allah. The visitation of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine is one such path that guarantees liberation to the servants from the torments of the Hour.
Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) narrates, ‘One day the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) visited our house. We offered him some food…then he (s.a.w.a.) went to the mosque adjacent to the house. He prayed namaz and got engrossed in a lengthy prostration. Then he wept intensely and remained in that condition for some time. When he (s.a.w.a.) rose from his prostration, none of us dared to ask him (s.a.w.a.) the reason for his intense weeping. Husain (a.s.) walked up to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), seated himself on his (s.a.w.a.) lap and asked, ‘O grandfather, why are you weeping?’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‘When I came here I was very pleased. I was never so happy before this. Then Jibraeel (a.s.) informed me that you all would be martyred in different places. I praised Allah and sought goodness from Him.’
Imam Husain (a.s.) queried,
‘If our graves are across different places, who will visit us?’
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) informed,
‘A group from my nation shall visit you out of love and affection for me and to maintain relations with me. On the Day of Resurrection I shall meet them, take them by their arms and rescue them from the difficulties and afflictions of that day.’
(Kaamil al-Ziaaraat, pg. 59)
In another tradition the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declares,
‘I will meet them on the Day of Resurrection and shall free them from the burden of their sins.’
(Al-Kaafi vol. 2, pg. 548; Wasaael¦lt;br /> al-Shiah, vol. 10, pg. 256)
Yet another version of this tradition states that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said,
‘The visitors have a right upon me and it is that I visit them on the Day of Resurrection. I will liberate them from their sins and lead them to Paradise (Sawaab al-A’maal by Shaikh Saduq (a.r.), pg. 108)
Some facts that are evident from this tradition is that visitors of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine:
- Will have the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) visit them on the Day of Resurrection
- He (s.a.w.a.) will liberate them from the burden of their sins
- He (s.a.w.a.) will rescue them from the terrifying tribulations and afflictions of the hereafter. He (s.a.w.a.) will lead them to .
On slight reflection, we will find on the one hand, sinners like ourselves, steeped in transgressions and disobedience, afflicted with spiritual sicknesses, low and despicable in status, lacking any trace of goodness, devoid of faith and virtuous actions. While on the other hand we find the greatest of creatures, the chief of Apostles and divine emissaries and the reason behind the creation of the world and everything in it. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) shall enjoy the highest and most exalted status on the Day of Resurrection. He shall greet the visitors of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine,
escort them by their arms, rescue them from the petrifying calamities of the hereafter and ultimately guide them to Paradise.
Is it possible to imagine a greater status and distinction than this?
Till our last breaths, we must beseech Allah the Almighty to grant us the grace to Imam’s (a.s.) grave. If we have already visited Imam’s (a.s.) shrine, we must plead with Allah to give us this grace repeatedly. If we are not in a position to visit Imam’s (a.s.) shrine in karbala , we must remember him and send salutations upon him daily from the confines of our home.
Unique distinction on the Day of Judgment
On the Day of Judgment, when anxiety and apprehension shall grip all, the visitors of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine shall savour a unique and enviable distinction.
Zareeh Mahaarabi was with Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) when he asked the latter, ‘O my Master, when I inform my tribesmen and relatives about the innumerable and amazing merits of visiting Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine, they distrust me and accuse me of misquoting you and fabricating lies.’
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) consoled him,
‘O Zareeh, don’t be concerned about what they say. Leave them to their affairs and let them go wherever they want. Allah prides Himself on the visitors of Imam Husain (a.s.). The proximate angels and the carriers of the Throne (Arsh) respect and honor him. Allah asks the angels, ‘Didn’t you see the visitors of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine, the fervor and enthusiasm with which they visited the shrine? They visited the shrine out of love and attachment for Imam Husain (a.s.) and Fatema Zahra (s.a.). I swear by My Honor, Might and Greatness, I have made My Honor and Respect mandatory upon them. I will most certainly grant them access to the Paradise that I have created for My Friends, My Prophets (a.s.) and My Apostles.’
(Kaamil al-Ziaaraat, pg. 143, Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 101, pg. 75)
Heavenly Fairies (Hoor) Await his Arrival
Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.) or Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) informed Zoraarah,
‘O Zoraarah! It is necessary for every Shia on this earth to seek the pleasure and good wishes of Janabe Zahra (s.a.) through the Ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.).’
Imam (a.s.) continues,
‘O Zoraarah, on the Day of Judgment, Imam Husain (a.s.) shall be standing under the shadow of the Arsh. Allah shall gather Imam’s (a.s.) visitors and his Shias, so that they may witness with their eyes honor, prestige, freshness, happiness, gladness and all those things the attributes and traits of which only Allah knows.’ ‘Then in some time, the representatives of the fairies will descend and will inform the Shias, ‘We have been sent by the Hoors who have conveyed that they are anxious for your meeting and have urged you not to delay.’
With this, their honor and happiness will multiply manifold. They will tell the representatives, ‘We will soon join the Hoors.’
(Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 101 pg. 75)
Foremost to Enter Paradise
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) revealed,
‘On the Day of Judgement, Imam Husain’s (a.s.) visitors shall excel and surpass all others in merit.’
Zoraarah inquired, ‘In what shall they surpass everyone?’
‘They shall gain access to Paradise 40 years before others, while the latter shall still be gripped in the accounting of their deeds.’
(Kaamil al-Ziaaraat, pg. 137)
The Table-Cloth of Paradise
Abu Basir (r.a.) relates, “I heard from Imam Mohammad Baqer (a.s.) or Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.), ‘One who wishes to reside in Paradise, must never forsake the Ziarat of the oppressed one.’
I enquired, ‘Who is the oppressed one?’
Imam (a.s.):’Imam Husain b. Ali (a.s.), the oppressed and martyr of Karbala. One who visits his shrine with eagerness and out of affection for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Janabe Zahra (s.a.) and Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.), will be seated by Allah on the tablecloth of Paradise style=’font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial’>. He will dine with these holy personalities (Ahle Bait (a.s.)), while the others will be absorbed in the accounting of deeds.’
(Kaamil al-Ziaaraat, pg. 137)
Shall Intercede for a Hundred Others
There will be few people, if at all, who will gain entry in Paradise on the strength of their faith (imaan) and actions (a’maal). Everyone will enter ParadiseArial”> only after intercession. Some will crave for intercession just to enter Paradise . There will be some others who will long for intercession to scale the higher stages of Paradise . The primary right of intercession is vested in Allah. He has delegated this authority to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his immaculate progeny (a.s.) and thereby exalted their position. On the Day of Resurrection, everyone shall crave for the intercession of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and will be unable to proceed without it. The Ahle Bait (a.s.) will intercede for some individuals. Some of these interceded ones will be so fortunate that they will then be able to intercede for others like them.
The visitors of Imam Husain’s shrine (a.s.) will be among these fortunate ones who will be showered with so much power that they will in turn be able to intercede for others.
A resident of Toos (in Iran) asked Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.), “O son of Allah’s Apostle! What is the station of the person who visits the shrine of Imam Husain (a.s.)?
Imam (a.s.) informed, ‘O resident of Toos! If someone visits the shrine of my grandfather, Imam Husain b. Ali (a.s.) with prior recognition that he is Allah’s representative and his obedience is mandatory on all, Allah will forgive all his past and future sins. Moreover, He will accept his intercession for other sinners on the Day of Judgement. Supplications made at his grave will be responded to.
(Amaali-e-Sadooq (r.a.), pg. 526)
In one tradition it is reported that he will intercede for 70 people. According to another report, the number of sinners who will receive intercession at his hands number 100. These are sinners and transgressors who were certain to be consigned to Hell. In other words, in the absence of
intercession, Hell was fated to be their final abode.’
Sheef Tammar heard from Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.), ‘On the Day of Judgment, the visitors of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine shall intercede for 100 such sinners for whom Hell was a certainty. This is because they were extravagant on the earth.
(Kaamil al-Ziaaraat, pg. 165)
In another tradition, it is mentioned that the visitors will intercede for their family members apart from one thousand brothers-in-faith. Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) relates, ‘If one goes for the visitation of Imam Husain (a.s.) and gets killed there i.e. the ruler oppresses him and finally kills him, then as soon as the first drop of his blood falls on the earth, his sins will be forgiven. is intercession for his family members and one thousand brothers-in-faith ill be accepted.
(Kaamil al-Ziaaraat, pg. 124)
The difference in the number of people receiving intercession is due to the difference in the level of the visitor’s recognition (marefat) and the difficulties he had to undergo in his journey of Ziyarat. Ironically, visitors of this age are averse to undergoing any kind of inconvenience on their Ziyarat tours and their first query to the tour operator is vis-à-vis the benefits and conveniences offered. Such visitors take the Ziyarat as an excursion or a holiday trip. They overlook the fact that the reward is in proportion to the difficulties and inconveniences suffered on the Ziyarat tour. It is regretful that these people pursue comforts and conveniences on the Ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.). They forget that Imam Husain (a.s.) abandoned all comforts and luxuries and embraced incomparable difficulties and exertions in his pursuit of Allah’s Pleasure.
Enveloped by Divine Mercy
Abdullah b. Mekaan relates from Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.):
‘One who performs the visitation of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine for seeking divine pleasure, Allah shall cleanse him of his sins and he is like a new-born. Divine mercy shall envelop him from all corners of the sky. The angels shall welcome him thus, ‘Greetings to you! You have become purified and cleansed by performing the Ziyarat.’ He shall then be safeguarded amongst his family members.’
(Kaamil al-Ziaaraat, pg 145)
Serenity of the Heart
We are unable to bear the heat in this world. A slight increase in temperature makes us sweat hard and we feel very miserable. Then how can we face the heat of the hereafter? On the Day of Judgement, the scenario will be even more horrifying. There will be the burden of accounting of deeds, the scorching heat of the Fire and the terrifying wrath of Allah. If under these brutal conditions, he desires some coolness from the intolerable heat, he must visit the shrine of Imam Husain (a.s.) on the Day of Arafah.
There is a tradition from Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) and Imam Raza(a.s.), ‘One who performs the Ziaarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) on 9th Zilhajj (Day of Arafah), Allah shall keep his heart composed and serene.’
(Kaamil al-Ziaaraat, pg 170)
Leader of the angels
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) informs, ‘One who visits the Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine on the Day of Arafah, Allah shall reward him as if he has performed a thousand Hajj in the company of Hazrat Hujjat b. Hasan (a.t.f.s.). Allah shall call him ‘My true worshipper’. Allah will declare, ‘He is my servant who has testified to My Promise and is certain about it.’ The angels shall proclaim, ‘So and so is the testifying servant. Allah has purified and cleansed him over His Arsh.’ On the earth, he shall be called as Karubi.
(Kaamil al-Ziaaraat, pg 172)
In Arabic literature, Karubi implies the leader of the angels. An association with someone or something important can make even an insignificant entity very significant and exalted. The Holy Quran, the Sacred Kaaba, Masjidul Haraam have acquired the highest status amongst the Muslims as they are associated with Allah, the Almighty. In the above tradition, Allah addresses the visitor of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine as ‘My testifying servant’. He has associated the visitor towards Himself and proclaims him as ‘My servant’. Servitude (or slavery) of Allah is an exalted status. We can gauge the significance of this status from the Tashahud of Namaz, when we testify to the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) servitude before we testify to his Prophethood:
Imam Husain’s (a.s.) martyrdom is so closely associated with divinity that Allah declares it as ‘Saarallah’. It is maybe due to this that He also proclaims Imam’s (a.s.) visitor as ‘My servant’.
Inclusion among the Highest Creation
Paradise is every Muslim’s most ardent desire. However,Paradise is a difficult and elusive station.Security from the torment of hell fire and access to the coolness of is a formidable achievement and it is not something that anyone can attain. Within Paradise itself, scaling the highest peak is a daunting prospect. However, the love and affection of Ahle Bait (a.s.) make the most formidable of tasks easy and the highest of stations attainable.
In this regard Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) relates, ‘One who visits Imam Husain’s (a.s.) shrine with recognition (of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) rights on the people), Allah will include him among the highest and loftiest station.’
(Kaamil al-Ziaaraat, pg 147)
We know that ‘Aa’la Illeyeen’ is the most exalted station in Paradise . May Allah grant us the grace to visit Imam Husain’s (a.s.) sacred shrine several times in the company of our Master, Imam-e-Asr, Hazrat Baqiyatullah al-A’zam (a.t.f.s.). Ameen.