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The Decorum of Pilgrimage

1. We should go on our pilgrimage with halal money, because with even a morsel of haram food, our prayers and pilgrimage will not be accepted, and our supplications will not be answered.(Muhasin Barqi, 88)
2. Let us keep away from sin, because God Almighty accepts the good deeds of none but those who have taqwa (God-wariness, piety).(The Holy Qur'an (5:27).
3. When we leave home and bid farewell to our spouses and children, we should advise them to have taqwa (to be God-wary, pious) and to do good deeds, because reminders given at the moment of saying good-bye are more effective.
4. When we arrange for tickets or a means of transportation, we must not annoy anyone, behave badly, lie, violate the rights of others, or misuse public property, because any of these can take away the real value of the sacred journey of a pilgrimage.
5. We should know that if, prior to this, we have despised any Muslim and refused to recieve him, Imam will also refuse to receive us.
During the Imamate of Imam Kazim (A.S.), 'Ali ibn Yaqtin was a vizier of Harun al-Rashid. One day Ibrahim Jammal, who was a camel driver and a Shi'ite wanted to enter into the company of the vizier. 'Ali ibn Yaqtin refused to receive him. It happened that in the same year he went on the hajj, and while in Madinah he wanted to have the honor of visiting Imam Kazim(A.S.). The Imam would not receive him. The next day he saw the Imam and asked him, "O Imam! What is wrong with me [that you have refused to see me]?"
The Imam replied, "I did not receive you because you did not allow your brother, Ibrahim Jammal to enter into your company.(Bihar al-Anwar, 48, 85)
6. Insofar as possible, we should treat our traveling companions and friends well and help them.
Marazim ibn Hakim said, "[On a trip to Madinah] I was in the company of Muhammad ibn Musadif. When we arrived in Madinah, I became ill. He would go to the mosque and leave me by myself. I complained about this to him, and he conveyed the matter to Imam Sadiq (A.S.). Imam sent him this message, "Staying beside him is better than your praying in the mosque."(Furu' al-Kafi, Vol. 4, 545)
7. Let us not consider being of service to others as unimportant or negligible. Helping our traveling companions has a special reward.
Isma'il Khath'ami said, "I said to Imam Sadiq (A.S.), 'When we arrived in Makkah, my companions went to circumambulate the House of God [the Ka'bah] and left me to guard their luggage.' Imam replied, 'You have been rewarded more than all of them."
(Furu' al-Kafi, Vol. 4, 545)
8. When entering the shrine, it is appropriate to wear neat and clean clothes, and to scent ourselves so that we smell good, and we should never have the unpleasant odor of sweat or dirty socks or feet, because it might cause discomfort or annoyance to the other pilgrims.
9. We should enter the precincts of the shrine (haram) calmly and with dignity, after having performed wudu (minor ablution), and if possible after ghusl (major ablution), for ziyarat. After a prayer requesting permission to enter, we should come into the presence of the Imam with humility, hope, presence of heart and crying eyes. If it does not bother the other pilgrims, we should stand facing the pure darih (burial chamber); but if we are bothering the others, we should stand back further from the darih to make our ziyarah, and say:
"O Imam! Always our ugly deeds are presented to you, and we cause you to suffer because of our bad deeds and bad words. Now, we are at your mercy asking for your pardon.
O Imam! You are of the household of the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.), the place of the coming and going of the angels of God, a mine of knowledge and
mercy of God.
O Imam! You [and the other Imams] are proofs of God and the guardians of our blessings! You are the claimants to Imamate; you are the political leaders and the refuge of the people. God has chosen you, who possess perfect intelligence, who are a mirror of divine knowledge (ma'rifat) and treasures of knowledge and learning. You are the interpreters of divine revelation and are witnesses to the deeds of the people. God has protected you from any kind of sin, lapse or deviation. You have advanced along the way of God by giving your life generously, and you have guided the others along the same way.
O Imam! You are Light in the Darkness Wherever there is truth you are its origin and termination. You are the pivots of virtue, truthfulness, glory, guidance and mercy. You are the representatives of God on the Earth. You are the divine proofs for the people. You are the possessors of the knowledge of hidden things, perfect gnosis, pure love and affection, and powerful wisdom. You are the establishers of prayer and of the limits set by God, you give the poor rate (zakat) and offer up your lives in the way of God."(A portion of Ziyarah Jami'ah)
We should whisper such words, kiss the doors and the walls with the love of Imam, and pray for our ancestors, and the scholars who prepared the ground for us to be led through this way. We should seek God's help in training children in awareness of the Imams' rights.
10. While reflecting upon its meaning, we should recite one of the authentic written prayers, (such as Ziyarah Amin Allah or Ziyarah Jami'ah), then follow this with saying a two rak'ah prayer with the intention of saying a prayer of ziyarah, and of pilgrimage, and continue with praying for our parents, children, friends, relatives, the righteous, and those who have requested us to pray for them. We should ask God, the Exalted, for the amelioration of the affairs of the Muslims, for the health and long life of person in the high station of leadership, Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, and the other employees who serve the government of the Islamic Republic.
11. We should perform our daily obligatory prayers in congregation, and benefit from the blessings of performing the prayers at their specifically proper times.
12. We should observe the directions of the servants of the Holy Shrine and avoid bothering others.
13. We should not waste our time in the Holy Shrine by napping, chatting or arguing; rather we should make the most of our time by reciting the Holy Qur'an, the Ziyarah Jami'ah and other authentic prayers, saying prayers to make up for those we or our parents may have missed, or saying recommended prayers to store up some spiritual provisions for our afterlife.
14. We should not forget to pray for the advent of Imam Zaman (A.S.), may Allah hasten his reappearance, the savior of humanity and greatest reformer.

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