Is Ziyaarat a substitute to the Obligatory Hajj? – A Reply

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Those who object to the Ziyaarat of Imam Husain (a.s.), are often seen stating that the Shias consider this visitation equivalent to the obligatory Hajj and by way of this Ziyaarat, they are keeping people away from the obligatory Hajj. However, we would like to clarify that this is not our belief. Instead, it is just an allegation. Our belief is based on the teachings of the Ahlul Bait (a.s.)

Ibn Qulawayh narrates through his chain of narrators from Yunus Ibn Abd al-Rahmaan that Imam Reza (a.s.) said:

“Whoever visits the grave of Imam Husain (a.s.) has indeed performed Hajj and Umrah.”

Yunus enquired, “Does it replace the (obligatory) Hajj of Islam?”

Imam (a.s.) replied: “No, rather it is (recorded as) the Hajj of the weak ones (viz. those who do not have the means) until they have the means for it and they visit the sacred House of Allah (to perform their obligatory Hajj). Do you not know that 70000 angels circumambulate the House of Allah every day until night sets in. Then these angels ascend the heavens at night and another group of angels comes to perform circumambulation (of the Holy Kaaba) and they remain there till (next) morning. However, Imam Husain (a.s.) is more honourable to Allah than the Holy House (Kaaba). Hence, at the time of every prayer, 70000 angels visit him with their heads covered in dust and hair dishevelled. They do not get another opportunity (of this Ziyaarat) till the Day of Judgement.”

[Kaamil al-Ziyaaraat, chapter 65, p. 159, H. 6]


    • This tradition of Imam Reza (a.s.) clearly proves that visiting Imam Husain (a.s.) is not a replacement of obligatory Hajj.
    • No one should be under this wrong impression that if he has visited the grave of Imam Husain (a.s.) then he is absolved from performing the obligatory Hajj. It is certainly not so.
    • On the other hand, due to flawed thinking and shortsightedness, one should not conclude that if he does not have the means to go for Hajj then he should not perform Ziyaarat as well till he completes his obligatory Hajj.
    • As per this tradition, visiting Imam Husain (a.s.) will carry the reward of Hajj for those who do not have the means to perform it.
    • Granting reward is in Allah’s Hands. It is the decision of the Almighty Allah, that He will reward the visitor of Imam Husain (a.s.) with that of Hajj.
    • Hence, raising such an objection that the Shias consider Ziyaarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) as a substitute for obligatory Hajj, is mere blame and far from reality.
    • In fact, such objections are an attempt to keep the Shias away from performing Ziyaarat.

May Allah, the Almighty, bless all Shias with multiple opportunities to visit His Blessed House for Hajj and the graves of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his pure progeny (a.s.). Aameen, O Lord of the worlds!

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