In the long days and dark nights of occultation (ghaibat), neither our beloved prophet, Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) nor our Imam, Imam Vali-e-Asr (a.t.f.s) is present in our midst. The only way to quench the thirst of their recognition (ma'refat) and knowledge is through the treasure of books, which we have inherited from our great scholars.
As it is narrated by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) - in the last era, the faith of the people will be based on 'black over white' i.e. books. Books are the source through which we can acquaint ourselves with Islamic beliefs (aqaed), religious edicts (ahkam), history, and ethics (akhlaq). In this treatise we try to acquaint ourselves with one such book, which is one of the most crucial references with regards to Hazrat Sayyudush Shohada, Imam Husain (a.s.). The book is Kamiluz Ziaraat.
The author of the book is Abul Qasim Jafar Ibne Mohammad Ibne Jafar Ibne Moosa Ibne Qulawayh Qummi famous as Ibne Qulawayh.
He hailed from a very knowledgeable and religious family. His father Abu Jafar Ibne Mohammad Ibne Jafar was a Muhaddith (narrator of traditions) and was well regarded in the field of jurisprudence (fiqh). Numerous traditions in Kamiluz Ziaraat have been narrated from him. He is buried in Qum near the grave of Janabe Ali Ibne Ibrahim Qummi author of Tafseer-e-Qummi. His brother Abul Husain Ali Ibne Mohammad Ibne Jafar Ibne Moosa Ibne Qulawayh was also a Muhaddith and one of the narrators of traditions in Kaamil-uz-Ziaraat.
As we mentioned earlier, the author himself is a Muhaddith. Let us see what other scholars have written about him:
"People considered him good, trustworthy and Faqih, but he was greater than it."
(Muntakhab Kameluz Ziaraat, Pg. 16)
Glad Tidings of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)
In 337 A.H., Ibne Qulawayh (a.r.) decided to perform Hajj and desired to present himself in the holy presence of Imam Mahdi (a.s.). In the same year Hajare Aswad was to be installed in its original place. Ibne Qulawayh (a.r.) was aware that Hajare Aswad can only be installed by the Divine Proof (Imam (a.s.)). He decided not to miss this opportunity to present himself to Imam (a.s.). He commenced his journey and reached Baghdad where he became sick and was unable to travel further. Thereafter, he wrote a letter and deputed a person named Ibne Hisham to perform Hajj. He ordered him to give the letter to the one who installs the Hajare Aswad and get the reply. He had sought the answers that how long he will live and whether this sickness will be the cause of his death?
Ibne Hisham handed over the letter and got the following reply:
"Do not fear from this sickness. You will die after 30 years."
The words of Imam (a.s.) manifested in the year 367 A.H., when he fell sick and expired. He is buried in Kazmain near the graves of Imam Jawad (a.s.), Sheikh Mufeed (a.s.) and Husain Ibne Hujjaj, poet of Ahle Bait.
He has written 30 books. Some of his works are:
Mujaawat Al Jasad, Al Rakhaa, Qiyaam Al Lail, Al Jummah wal Jamaat, Al Salaat Al Qazaa Wal Aadabul Hukkam, Bayano Hal Haywan min Muharemehi, Al Adad, Al Sidaaq etc.
However, Kaameluz Ziaraat remains his most famous accomplishment.
This book is available in Arabic with Persian translation. The Persian translation has been done by Sayyid Mohammad Jawad Zahni Tehrani. The book contains 108 chapters. Out of 108 chapters, 84 chapters deal specifically with Sayyudush Shohada, which will be our topic of discussion.
The remaining 24 chapters deal with Ziarat of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Imam Ali (a.s.) and other Imams (a.s.). Keeping in view the brevity of the treatise, we will discuss some of the topics dealt in the book pertaining to Imam Husain Ibne Ali (a.s.), which highlight the exalted stature of Imam Husain (a.s.).
1. Wailing of all the creatures on Imam Husain ibne Ali (a.s.)
Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.) said:
Men and jinn, birds and animals wail on Imam Husain b. Ali (a.s.) till tears flow profusely.'
(Chapter 26, tradition no. 1, pg. 251)
The tradition points towards the importance of crying and wailing for Imam Husain (a.s.) on one hand and on the other, underlines the folly of those people who brand crying for Imam Husain (a.s.) as innovation and polytheism. When all creatures are crying on Imam Husain (a.s.), then it is nothing but 'Sunnat-e-Ilahi' and 'Sunnat-e-Ilahi' cannot be innovation and polytheism.
2. Pigeons curse the killers of Imam Husain (a.s.)
Dawood Ibne Farqad a companion of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) narrates: I was sitting in the house of Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a.s.) and heard a pigeon cooing for quite a long time. Imam (a.s.) turned towards me and questioned,
'O Dawood, what this bird is saying?'
I showed my ignorance in this regard. Imam (a.s.) said:
'It is cursing the killers of Imam Husain b. Ali (a.s.). Take it to your house.'
(Chapter 30, tradition no. 2, pg. 316)
The above tradition exhorts us to perform the similar act which the pigeon was performing i.e. cursing the killers of Imam Husain (a.s.). The implication being that if a dumb and ignorant bird curses Imam's (a.s.) killers, then we being humans and knowledgeable must definitely do so.
3. Reward for crying on Imam Husain (a.s.)
Abu Abdillah (a.s.) informed:
If our remembrance brings out a tear which is equal to a wing of a fly then that person's sins will be forgiven, even if they are equal to the froth in the sea.
(Chapter 32, tradition no. 8, pg. 335)
Crying to the extent of a wing of a fly over the hardships inflicted on Imam Husain (a.s.) becomes the cause of forgiveness of all sins. The hardships inflicted on Imam Husain (a.s.) were so severe that tears start flowing only on listening about them.
4. Reward for the one who recited elegy on the calamities of Imam Husain (a.s.) and cries and make others cry.
Abu Abdillah (a.s.) narrated to Abu Haroon:
O Abu Haroon! One who recites elegy on the calamities of Imam Husain (a.s.) and cries and two other people cry with him then paradise is obligatory on them. And if one recites an elegy on the calamities of Imam Husian (a.s.) and cries and other persons also cry along with him, then paradise is obligatory on all of them. One who listens to the calamities of Imam Husain (a.s.) and sheds a tear to the extent of a fly, then his reward is with Allah. And Allah will not be satisfied till He gives him paradise.
(Chapter 33, tradition no. 1, pg. 338-339)
This shows the importance of salutations, elegy and poems recited on the calamities of Imam Husain (a.s.).
5. Reward for the one who remembers the thirst of Imam Husain (a.s.) and curses his killers after drinking water.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) said to his companion Dawood:
"O Dawood! Curse the killers of Imam Husain (a.s.). There is not a servant that after drinking water remembers Imam Husain (a.s.) and curses his killers, but that Allah will write in his deeds one lakh good deeds, will forgive one lakh sins and raise his position by one lakh grades. (Perhaps it is freeing one lakh people from sins). On the Day of Judgment, Allah will make his heart contented and satisfied. "
(Chapter 34, Tradition No. 1, Pg. 346)
If somebody desires the satisfaction of Allah and reward from Him then he should remember the thirst of Imam Husain (a.s.), his family members and his companions.
6. Visitors of the grave of Imam Husain (a.s.) will do intercession for others
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) said:
"The visitor of the grave of Imam Husain (a.s.) on the Day of Judgment will intercede on behalf of 100 inhabitants of hell.'
(Chapter 68, tradition no. 2, pg. 567)
7. Superiority and reward of prayers of angels for the visitors of Imam Husain's (a.s.) grave
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) said:
"Seventy thousand angels worship near the grave of Imam Husain (a.s.). One namaz of one of them is equal to thousand namaz of mankind. The reward of this namaz is for the visitors of Imam Husain's (a.s.) grave. The curse of Allah, His angels and all mankind is forever upon the killers of Imam Husain (a.s.)."
(Chapter 42, tradition no. 1, pg. 393)
These few traditions are a mere drop in the ocean of traditions which throw light on virtues and superiority of Imam Husain (a.s.). As a few drops cannot quench the thirst, we have mentioned below some of the topics discussed in the book:
• Prophecy of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) about the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) as revealed through Hazrat Jibrael (a.s.)
• Curse of Allah and all His Prophets (a.s.) on the killers of Imam Husain (a.s.)
• Crying of the sky and the earth on the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.)
• Elegies of Jinn on the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.)
• Proofs in the tradition that Imam Husain (a.s.) is Sayyedush Shohada
• Ziarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) by the Prophets (a.s.)
• Supplication of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) for the visitors of the graves of Imam Husain (a.s.)
• Reward of spending money on Ziarat of Imam Husain (a.s.)
• Ziarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) is superior to all actions
• Ziarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) and other Imams (a.s.) is like Ziarat of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)
• Visitors of Imam Husain's (a.s.) grave will be the first to enter paradise
• Ziarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) erases sins
• Ziarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) is equal to one Hajj and one Umrah
• Reward of Ziarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) on the day of Arafah
• Virtues of Karbala and Ziarat of Imam Husain (a.s.)
• Soil of the grave of Imam Husain (a.s.) is a means of cure and peace
• Etiquette of reciting Ziarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) in the house
These were only a few topics, which we could cover in this treatise. Readers can refer to the book for more details.
We pray to Allah to give us taufeeq to reap the benefits of reading this book again and again. We beseech Allah to keep us steadfast in the period of the major occultation. May Allah hasten the reappearance of Imam (a.t.f.s.) and include us among his servants and among those who will avenge the blood of Imam Husain (a.s.).