One’s Behaviour during Ziyārah

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  • Muḥammad b. Muslim shares: I posed a question to Imām Ṣādiq(a), "When we undertake the ziyārah of your father, Imām Ḥusayn(a), are we considered to be in Ḥajj?" The Imām(a) confirmed, "Yes." Intrigued, I further inquired, "Does that mean the rules of Ḥajj apply to us?" The Imām(a) sought clarity, "To what are you referring?" I specified, "The conduct of those at Ḥajj." Imām(a) then elaborated, "You should strive to be an amiable companion to those who join you, engage in minimal conversation, and when you do, ensure it is meaningful, mention Allah frequently, dress in clean clothes, perform ghusl before venturing to al-Ḥāʾir1, maintain humility, pray often, send blessings on Muḥammad and his household, demonstrate integrity by refraining from taking what is not yours, avoid looking at what is forbidden, assist your brethren in need and provide them comfort, and abide by taqiyyah, which is a pillar of your faith. You should refrain from forbidden activities, from fighting, making vows, and disputes leading to making vows. If you adhere to these guidelines I've provided, your Ḥajj and ʿUmrah will be fulfilled. In doing so, you'll gain Allah's forgiveness, mercy, and favour, blessings that you sought by investing money in your journey, being apart from your family, and expressing the intention to perform the ziyārah of Ḥusayn(a)."

  • Mufaḍḍal b. 'Umar relates: Imām Ṣādiq(a) advised, "Performing ziyārah of Ḥusayn(a) is typically more desirable than not doing so, yet there are instances when it is more appropriate for you not to perform ziyārah than to perform it." Stunned, I confessed, "You have shaken me to my core!" The Imām(a) asserted, "By Allah! You all visit your fathers' graves with heavy hearts full of sorrow, but when embarking on his ziyārah, you take various foods with you. No! It is better you refrain unless you approach in a disheveled state, covered in dust."

  • Imām Ṣādiq(a) emphasised: "When you set out to perform the ziyārah of Ḥusayn(a), do so imbued with sorrow, overwhelmed with grief, disheveled, covered in dust, with the pangs of hunger, and the discomfort of thirst. Ḥusayn(a) met his martyrdom in a similar state: sorrowful, heartbroken, disheveled, dust-covered, hungry, and thirsty. After performing his ziyārah, present your needs to him and then depart. Do not settle in Karbalā."


  1. Al-Ḥāʾir Ḥusaynī (Arabic: اَلحائِر الحُسَینی) is a special area around the grave of Imām Ḥusayn(a)