What does Ziyaarat with Ma’refah mean?

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Ibn Qulawayh (a.r.) in his famous book Kaamil al-Ziyaaraat, has narrated 11 specific traditions through a different chain of narrators on the authority of Imam Kazim (a.s.) and Imam Sadiq (a.s), whose gist is as follows:

“Whoever performs the Ziyaarat of Imam Husain (a.s,) recognising his rights and accepting his mastership (Wilaayat) and his position, his past, and future sins shall be forgiven.”

[Kaamil al-Ziyaaraat, chapter 54, pp. 138-140, H. 1-15]

In this tradition, the recognition (Ma’refah) of the right of Imam Husain (a.s.) and accepting his Mastership (Wilaayah) and position have been mentioned as the condition for Ziyaarat. The question that arises here is ‘What is meant by performing Ziyaarat with recognition (Ma’refah)? The answer to this can be found in other traditions as well as in different statements of various Ziyaaraat themselves. Performing Ziyaarat with recognition means that a visitor should firmly believe that the infallible one whose Ziyaarat he has intended:

  1. He is Allah’s Proof upon all His creatures. [Al-Kaafi, vol. 4, p. 584]
  2. He is the Allah’s Door through which one can reach Allah. [Al-Kaafi, vol. 4, p. 584]
  3. Whoever opposes him and his family is deviated. [Iqbaal al-A’maal, vol. 2, p. 605]
  4. He is a guided Imam and the source of all guidance. [Iqbaal al-A’maal, vol. 2, p. 605]
  5. He is the Vicegerent of Allah having a lofty and praiseworthy status. [Al-Kaafi, vol. 4, p. 569]
  6. He will intercede in this world and in the hereafter. [Al-Kaafi, vol. 4, p. 569]
  7. He is our saviour from the Hell-fire. [Al-Kaafi, vol. 4, p. 571]
  8. None can save us from the Hell-fire except him. [Al-Kaafi, vol. 4, p. 571]

All these rights are found in various traditions and Ziyaaraat statements of the infallible ones (a.s.). It is this recognition with which, if someone visits having certainty in his heart about it, then Allah shall forgive his past and future sins. There is no doubt that this does not refer to sins committed intentionally or purposefully. However, it also does not mean that there is any exaggeration in this tradition. Forgiving of sins is in Allah’s Hands and it is Allah’s decision to forgive the sins of the one who performs the Ziyaarat of Imam Husain (a.s.).

We beseech Allah to forgive those sins of ours, which could act as an impediment between us and performing the Ziyaarat of Imam Hussain (a.s.). Aameen, O Lord of the worlds!

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