Some Muslims accuse the Shias of fabricating traditions regarding the visitation (ziyarat) of Imam Husain (a.s.), the Chief of Martyrs. They claim traditions that consider visiting Imam Husain (a.s.) equal to visiting Allah on His Throne (Arsh) and equal to hundreds of Hajj and Umrah are an exaggeration and are not supported by the Holy Quran or the intellect.
Such objections only show the dissenting party’s poor knowledge of Allah’s Book and the correct Sunnah. It is a clear case of seeking to dilute the stature of Aal Muhammad (a.s.) and lowering them to the level of commoners. As we will prove, leave alone of ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) many basic acts of courtesy and generosity equal visiting Allah on Arsh.
Back to Top1. Meeting Allah
‘Meeting Allah’ is not an impossible task reserved for prophets (a.s.) – even common Muslims can achieve this station as the Holy Quran says:
فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاء رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا
“…therefore whoever hopes to meet his Lord, he should do good deeds, and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord.”
Performing good deeds is rewarded with meeting the Lord (لِقَاء رَبِّهِ). The good deed can be any one of the hundreds of good deeds defined by the Holy Quran and the correct Sunnah. It can be as basic as spending a dirham in the way of Allah, the High.
Then why is it surprising if the ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) is rewarded with meeting Allah on Arsh? It must be noted over here that mention of Arsh in the tradition does not restrict Allah to a position; it underlines His magnificence and splendor and the importance of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) visitor.
Back to Top2. Importance of a believer
The skeptics object to ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) being compared to ziyarat of Allah on Arsh, while we see the believer (momin) being granted a position that boggles the mind and this is merely for his belief. If he performs actions like ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) with this belief, then one cannot even imagine the reward for the actions.
‘The heart of a believer is Allah’s (Rahman) Arsh. When a believer’s heart is disturbed, it shakes the foundation of the Arsh.’
- Behaar al-Anwaar vol.. 55 p. 39
- Mer’aat al-Uqool fi Sharh-e-Akhbaar-e-Aal al-Rasool (a.s.), vol.. 12 p. 230
In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah the Almighty says, ‘The believer is from Me and I am from the believer.’
- Al-Jawaaher al-Saneeyyah of Shaikh Hurr al-Aamili (r.a.)
These traditions conclude that respecting a believer is a cause for divine proximity and is like revering Allah on His Arsh.
When the simple act of honouring a believer, visiting him, helping him, pleases Allah on His Arsh, then the ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.), the Chief of Youths of Paradise, is even worthier in this regard.
Back to Top3. No one can question Allah’s Mercy
Reward of any action is linked directly to Allah’s Mercy. The reward may amaze the people, but that just shows how much Allah loves the person.
Prophet Zakariyyah (a.s.) was puzzled to see the food near Maryam bint Imran (s.a.) especially since her chamber was not frequented by any mortal.
كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقاً قَالَ يَا مَرْيَمُ أَنَّى لَكِ هَـذَا قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللّهِ إنَّ اللّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاء بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
“…whenever Zakariya entered the sanctuary to (see) her, he found with her food. He said: O Mariyam! whence comes this to you? She said: It is from Allah. Surely Allah gives to whom He pleases without measure.”
(Surah Aale Imran (3): Verse 37)
Hazrat Maryam’s (s.a.) response clearly states that Allah rewards those He pleases to the extent He pleases even to the amazement of Prophet Zakariya (a.s.).
There are many verses of the Noble Quran which state this fact:
أَن يُنَزِّلُ اللّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ عَلَى مَن يَشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِهِ
“…Allah should send down of His grace on whomsoever of His servants He pleases…”
(Surah Baqarah (2): Verse 90)
وَاللّهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ
“…and Allah chooses especially whom He pleases for His mercy, and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.”
(Surah Baqarah (2): Verse 105)
Ultimately, the reward of one hajj/umrah or a million hajj/umrah is Paradise. And anyone who wishes to enter Paradise must gain the pleasure of its chiefs. According to established traditions of the Sunnah, Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.) are the Chiefs of the Youths of Paradise.
- Sahih-o-Tirmizi vol. 5 p. 660
- Sunan-o-Ibn Maajah Introduction of vol. 8
- Musnad-o-Ahmed, vol. 1, vol. 3, vol. 5
- Mustradrak-e-Hakim, vol. 3
- Al-Sawaaeq al-Muhriqah, Chapter 11
Back to Top4. Remembrance of Allah is the greatest
Skeptics ridicule traditions equating Imam Husain’s (a.s.) ziyarat with multiple hajj / umrah.
They fail to realize that the highest reward of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) visitor is Allah’s Pleasure, which is higher than a billion salaat, hajj/umrah or any other worship. This reality is pointed out by the Quran:
اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ
“Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book and keep up prayer; surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil, and certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest, and Allah knows what you do.”
(Surah Ankaboot (29): Verse 45)
Once the visitor of Imam Husain (a.s.) has acquired Allah’s Pleasure, he has already acquired something higher than multiple hajj and umrah. So skeptics are missing the larger picture of Allah’s Pleasure by arguing over minor details of hajj / umrah being equated to Imam Husain’s (a.s.) ziyarat.
Back to Top5. Only Allah knows the reward of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) ziyarat
A million hajj/umrah is merely a statistic to define the visitor’s reward in units of worship. Traditions abound with respect to the number of hajj and umrah for one ziyarah of Imam Husain (a.s.). The number varies across traditions and is merely indicative of the reward. A simple blessing (salawaat) on the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and his progeny attracts limitless rewards that even the angels cannot count, then what can one say about visiting Imam Husain (a.s.) from near or far?