Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansaari – The First Visitor of Arbaeen

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A’amash relates from Atiyyah al-Kufi, who was a slave of Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansaari (r.a.), that he says,

“I accompanied Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansaari for the pilgrimage to the grave of Imam Husain Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s). When we entered Karbala, Jabir went towards the river Euphrates, performed the ritual bath (Ghusl), wrapped himself in a cloth, and placed a robe upon his shoulders (like the Ehraam of Hajj). Then he opened a purse of a So’d (a perfume) and applied it upon his body. He then started glorifying Allah at each step until he reached the grave, then he told me, ‘Tie me to the grave’. So, I tied him to the grave. Then Jabir threw himself on the grave and fell down unconscious. I sprinkled some water upon him. When he regained consciousness, he cried out thrice ‘O Husain, O Husain, O Husain!’ Then he said,

حَبِيبٌ لَا يُجِيبُ حَبِيبَهُ

‘A friend is not replying to his friend?’ Then he said,

‘How could he reply when the blood of his jugular vein lies smeared upon his throat, while his head has been separated from his body! I bear witness that you are the son of the last of the Prophets (s.a.w.a.), son of the chief of believers and the companion of piety. You are the son of guidance and the fifth among the people of the cloak. You are the son of the leader of all leaders and the son of Fatima, the chief of all women. And why would it not be so, when you have been fed by the hands of the chief of all Messengers (s.a.w.a.) and brought up in the laps of the pious, you were fed with the milk of faith and you grew up along with Islam. You lived a pure life and died in chastity as well. But the hearts of the believers are aggrieved due to your separation while they have no doubt in your fruitful end. Thus, salutations of Allah and His Paradise be upon you! I bear witness that you tread the path similar to your brother Yahya Ibn Zakariyyah (a.s.)’. Then Jabir turned his eyes around the grave and said,

السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَيَّتُهَا الْأَرْوَاحُ الَّتِي حَلَّتْ بِفِنَاءِ الْحُسَيْن وَ أَنَاخَتْ بِرَحْلِهِ ‏

‘Peace be upon you, O the souls which sacrificed themselves for Husain (a.s) and submitted to him with their mounts!

وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكُمْ أَقَمْتُمُ الصَّلَاةَ وَ آتَيْتُمُ الزَّكَاةَ وَ أَمَرْتُمْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَ نَهَيْتُمْ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَ جَاهَدْتُمُ الْمُلْحِدِينَ وَ عَبَدْتُمُ اللَّهَ حَتَّى أَتَاكُمُ الْيَقِينُ

I bear witness that you established the Prayers, you gave the Zakaat, you enjoined the good, forbade evil, fought against the deviated ones, and worshipped Allah until death approached you.

Jabir continued, ‘By Him Who sent Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) as a Prophet with truth, we are indeed partners with you in whatever you have achieved’. Atiyyah says that hearing this I asked, ‘O Jabir! How are we partners with them, when we did not alight at any valley or ascend a mountain, nor did we strike anyone with swords? While the heads of these martyrs were severed from their bodies, their children have been orphaned and their women have been widowed?’

Jabir replied, ‘O Atiyyah! I have heard my beloved, the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.) say that those who love a nation shall be raised along with them, while those who are pleased with the action of a group is party to them in their task. By the One Who sent Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) with truth as a Prophet! My intention and those of my companions is similar to what Imam Husain (a.s.) passed away with. Now, take me to the houses of Kufa’.

Atiyyah narrates that ‘we had covered only a short distance when Jabir said, ‘O Atiyyah! Should I advise you something because I do not think that I shall meet you again after this journey? Befriend the friends of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) till they continue to befriend them! And bear enmity with the enemies of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) until they continue to bear enmity with them even if he fasts the whole year and remains awake at night (in worship). Be merciful towards the friends of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), for if one of their feet slips due to excessive sins, the other one will remain steadfast due to their love. Their friend shall return to Paradise and their enemy will return to Hell.’

1. Bashaarah al-Mustafa Le Shia al-Murtaza, vol. 2, pp. 74-75
2. Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 65, pp. 130-131, H. 65 & vol. 98, pp. 195-196, H. 31


This was the first Ziyaarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) and the honour of being the first visitor went to Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansaari. Our salutations to Jabir and we feel like telling Jabir that O Jabir, then it was you alone who performed this Ziyaarat but come and witness the radiance of Karbala today. Lovers of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) – from all parts of the world, to express their love, defeating every fear and bearing every pain – throng towards Karbala on Arbaeen, so that practice which you established continues till Qiyaamah.

Lastly, in order to implement the advice of Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansaari, we beseech Allah to grant us the sustenance to love the lovers of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), hate their enemies and in order to establish the rule of the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) in the entire world, hasten the reappearance of the Imam of our time, His Eminence Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). Aameen, O Lord of the worlds!

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