Manners & Etiquette

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The essence of Ziyārah is the spiritual attention towards the Imām(a) and showing respect, greetings and making spiritual bond with him. However, since ziyārah is considered as going before the Imām(a), certain instructions are recommended to increase the benefits one can receive:

  • Ritual bath (ghusl) for ziyārah.

  • Make ablution (wuḍūʾ) and be pure.

  • Wear new and clean clothes.

  • Wear perfume1.

  • Avoid idle talk.

  • Recite permission for entrance (idhn al-dukhūl).

  • Going near the grave, so that the visitor reaches the chamber (Ḍarīḥ), provided that one does not disturb other visitors.

  • Speak softly and recite supplications/visitations in low tone.

  • Performing two unit (raka’at) of prayer and gifting its reward to the visitee.

  • Reciting supplications (duʿāʾ) and the Qurʾān and gifting its reward to the visitee.

  • Kissing the doorstep.

  • Seeking repentance (Tawbah), because such places are the place of acceptance of repentance.

  • Pay attention to the presence of the Imām(a)
    The prime condition for a pilgrimage to be accepted is to meet with his Majesty, the Imām(a); in other words, visiting the shrine is not simply limited to entering or existing in one place. You have to bear in mind the spiritual presence that surrounds you: there is a lofty soul present, pay attention to this presence.

  • Talk to the Imām(a)
    To meet the Imām(a) you don’t have to see him with your own eyes. He surrounds you, hears your words, observes your attendance and watches you. This particular pilgrimage becomes a valuable meeting in this manner.

  • Greet the Imām(a)
    When one meets a person, he or she, naturally, greets the other. This is also required when meeting the purified souls of the Imāms(a) and the Divine Saints (Awliyāʾ). One should greet them with Salām, and convey his respect and admiration towards them.

  • Perform the ziyārah using any language
    A pilgrimage can be accomplished no matter what language is spoken: if you speak in your own simple language while observing etiquette, ziyārah will be met.

  • Recite the visitations of the Imāms(a)
    If you wish to talk to the Imāms(a), eloquently and with noble intentions, recite the available ziyārah texts: like Zīyārat Amīn Allāh or al-Zīyārah al-Jāmiʿa al-Kabīra.

  • Speak from depths of your heart
    Communicate from deep within your heart. Aim to free your heart from any worldly concerns, even if for two or five minutes. Establish a connection with the spirituality that fills the shrine, and then speak freely to the Imām(a).

  • Recite al-Zīyārah al-Jāmiʿa al-Kabīra
    Al-Zīyārah al-Jāmiʿa al-Kabīra is, for instance, six or seven pages long--if you have the available time read through it all, and if you do not, recite only a page to half a page.

  • When visiting, remember who you’re addressing
    When you are reciting the ziyārah, even if you do not know the meaning of it, remember who you are addressing. If you accomplish that, then you've accomplished a true pilgrimage.

  • Establish a firm connection with the Imām(a)
    Some people believe it is only necessary to reach out and touch the chamber (Ḍarīḥ) in order to establish a connection through their hearts: they only focus on connecting physically with the shrine. On the contrary, there are people who might be further away, but their hearts are better connected; this is the desired manner to make contact with the Imām(a).

  • Perform prayers & recite Dhikr in the shrine
    Inside the shrine perform prayers: Qaḍā' (missed), Wājib (obligatory), Mustaḥabb (recommended) and pray for you parents. Recite, "lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh" (there is no god, besides Allāh) and the al-Tasbīhāt al-Arba'a2—provided that the heart is firmly connected.


  1. Except for ziyārah of Imām al-Ḥusayn(a), for which wearing perfume is not recommended.

  2. Al-Tasbīhāt al-Arba'a (Arabic: التَسْبیحات الأرْبَعَة) consists of four dhikrs recited in daily prayers. The four dhikrs are: "Subḥān Allāh, wa l-ḥamd li-llāh, wa lā ilāh-a illā Allāh, wa Allāh Akbar" (Exalted is Allah, and praise is for Allāh, and there is no god except Allāh, and God is the greatest).