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Last Updated: 2009/02/08
Summary of question
Is the Ziyarah of Nahiyah Muqaddasah valid according to the Shia and what are the reasons for its authenticity?
question
My question is about Ziyarat-e-Nahiya. Is this Ziyarah valid in according to the Shia what are the traditions behind it?
Concise answer

The ziyarah of Nahiyah Muqaddasah is an "absolute" or "unconditional" ziyarah, meaning that it can be recited any time; on Ashura or any other day.

This ziyarah begins with greeting the prophet of Islam (pbuh), the other prophets and the imams (as), and is followed by greeting Imam Husein (as) and his loyal companions. Afterwards, the ziyarah explains in detail the honorable characteristics, traditions and way of life of the imam before his rise, the affection of Imam Mahdi (aj) for him, the circumstances that led to his rise, gives a description of what took place in Karbala, tells us of his martyrdom and the tragedies he suffered and underwent, and about the mourning of all earthly and heavenly creatures for him. The ziyarah ends with a tawassul (asking for mediation and intercession) to the imams and supplications to Allah (swt).

The famous Ziyarah Nahiyah Muqaddasah has an authentic and reliable chain of narrators [sanad] and has been issued by Imam Mahdi (as) to one of his "special" representatives [one of the four representatives that were specifically appointed by the imam (as) himself in the third century (ah) during his minor occultation] in the form of a tawqi' [letters written by the imam in response to questions that were asked from him]. This ziyarah was passed down to great scholars such as Sheikh Mufid and Seyyid Murtadha through Shia narrators, and from them to others like Ibnul-Mashhadi, and finally from then on to later scholars, namely: Seyyid ibn Tawus and Allamah Majlisi.

Detailed Answer

A number of Imam Mahdi's (as) precious sayings have reached us through tawqi's [letters written by the imam in response to questions that were asked from him] given to his "special" representatives [one of the four representatives that were specifically appointed by the imam (as) himself in the third centurty (ah) during his minor occultation] or other high-ranked individuals. Some tawqi's were ziyarahs and duas from the imam to the people; Ziyarah Ale-Yasin and Dua Iftitah [that is recited during the nights of Ramadhan] are examples of these types of tawqi's.

One of these tawqi's is known by the name of "Ziyarah Nahiyah Muqaddasah".

This ziyarah is one of the "absolute" or "unconditional" ones, meaning that it can be recited at any time; let it be Ashura or any other day.

It begins with greeting Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the other prophets and the imams, and is followed by greeting Imam Husein (as) and his loyal companions. Afterwards, the ziyarah explains in detail the honorable characteristics, traditions and way of life of the imam before his rise, the affection of Imam Mahdi (aj) for him, the circumstances that led to his rise, gives a description of what took place in Karbala, tells us of his martyrdom and the tragedies he suffered and underwent, and the mourning of all earthly and heavenly creatures for him. The ziyarah ends with a tawassul (asking for mediation and intercession) to the imams and supplications to Allah (swt).

Seyyed ibn Tawus has mentioned this ziyarah in his book, Misbahul-Za'ir. He is one of the great Shia scholars in which his books, especially the ones on different ziyarahs and duas, are of high importance amongst Shia scholars. Ibn Mashhadi has also mentioned this ziyarah in the book Al-Mazarul-Kabir[1] before Ibn Tawus. Seyyin ibn Tawus [full name: Seyyid Radhiyyuddin Ali Ibn Tawus] and Seyyid Abdul-Karim Ibn Tawus have narrated many ziyarahs from Ibn Mashhadi in their books Misbahul-Za'ir and Farhatul-Ghariyy, respectively.

This book [the book of Ibn Mashhadi] is one of the resources of Allamah Majlisi's book, Biharul-Anwar, and is known by the names of Al-Mazar, Al-Mazarul-Kabir, Al-Mazarul-Qadim, Mazar Ibn Mashhadi. "It is a weighty book on the subject of ziyarahs and one can tell that it is an authentic one by the way he has done its isnad [listing the chains of narrators of hadith]", says Allamah Majlisi.

In the introduction of his book, Mashhadi himself has said: "I have mentioned the ziyarahs of different shrines…I have narrated all of these ziyarahs from dependable and reliable narrators…".[2]

Muhaddith Nouri, another important narrator of hadiths writes: "It can be concluded by his introduction that all of the ziyarahs he has mentioned therein are authentic, even though in some cases he hasn’t linked the chain of narrators to the imam in the end."[3]

Muhammad ibn Jafar Ibn Ali Ibn Jafar Al-Mashhadi, known as Ibn Mashhadi, is one of the Shia's reliable jurisprudents and narrators of hadith who lived in the sixth century (ah). Great scholars such as Allamah Majlisi, Muhaddith Nouri, Sheikh Abbas Qummi[4], Sheikh Hurr Ameli[5], The First Shahid [martyr][6], Seyyid Mohsen Amin[7], and Agha Bozorg Tehrani[8] have all confirmed his reliability.

Sheikh Abbas Qummi hasn’t mentioned this ziyarah in Mafatihul-Jinan, because the aim of this book isn’t to mention every ziyarah there is. Yet, Sheikh Abbas has cited a portion of it in his book of Nafasul-Mahmoum and as was mentioned before, he considers Ibn Mashhadi reliable and has praised him.

Conclusion: Both the content and chain of narrators of the famous ziyarah of Nahiyyah Muqaddasah, in which Imam Mahdi (aj) has addressed his great grandfather with, are authentic and have been verified by Shia scholars.



[1] Ibn Mashhadi, Al-Mazar, pg.496.

[2] Al-Mazar, pg.27.

[3] Husein Nouri, Khatimatul-Mustadrak, vol.1, pg.360.

[4] Sheikh Abbas Qummi, Al-Kuna wal-Alqab, vol.1, pg. 409.

[5] Al-Mazar (introduction), pg.6.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Seyyid Mohsen Amin, A'yanul-Shia, vol.9, pg.202.

[8] Agha Bozorg Tehrani, Al-Dhari'ah, vol.20, pg.324.

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