Ziyarah (Visiting) of Tombs of the Imams
By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Naser Makarem Shirazi
WE BELIEVE that pilgrimages for visiting the tombs of the Apostles and Imams, as well as the scholars and the martyrs, is a definite religious precept which has to be observed, although not a must.
In many books of the SUNNI Scholars, same as those written by SHIITES, many a tradition is narrated from the prophet that he has recommended the precept or Ziyarah (pilgrimage). To collect all such traditions will make a voluminous book. Throughout the history of Islam, our great scholars, and all groups of Muslims have done that with much care, and books are written about the adventures of their pilgrimages.
It is evident that no one takes his visiting a tomb for worship, which belongs only to God. The purpose of visiting the tomb of a great man is to respect him and to pay regards, and meanwhile seeking their intercession.
It is also narrated that even the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) himself often went to visit the cemetery of Baqi and saluted the dead in their graves. Therefore, no one should doubt the lawfulness of such pilgrimages in Islam.