Contact for queries : [email protected]

Exegesis of Imam Zamana’s (a.t.f.s.) Ziarat

As has been customary for the past few years, we shall discuss the exegesis of Imam Mahdi’s (a.t.f.s.) Ziarat in this issue of Al-Muntazar. This year we have short listed Imam’s (a.t.f.s.) Ziarat on Friday for discussion. Before we proceed with the exegesis of the Ziarat, it is important that we first appreciate the importance of Friday in Islam. Importance of Friday Islam accords great importance to Friday. While all days of the week belong to Allah, Friday stands out for its significance.

1. Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) informs: ‘Allah has created the Prophets (a.s.) and the successors (a.s.) on Friday.’

(Behaarul Anwaar vol. 15 pg. 22 narrated from Basaaer al-Darajaat)

 2. Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) narrates:

‘Friday has been named as Juma’h ( ) because on this day Allah assembled all the creatures and extracted a covenant from them concerning His Unity (Tauheed), the Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and the guardianship of Ameerul Momeneen – Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.).’

(Tahzeebul Ahkaam by Shaykh Tusi (r.a.) vol. 3 pg. 3)

  3. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) informs:

‘Friday is the day of worship. So worship Allah as much as possible on that day.’ (Behaarul Anwaar vol. 59 pg. 18, 19)

4. Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) explains:

‘Friday is the day of Eid for the Muslims. It is greater in merit than Eidul Fitr and Eiduz Zoha. The greatest of Eid is Eid-e-Ghadeer which was on 18th Zilhajj and even that incident occurred on a Friday. Our Qaim (a.t.f.s.) will also reappear on Friday. Even the Day of Judgement will come to pass on Friday.’

(Behaarul Anwaar vol. 59 pg. 26) 

5. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared:

‘Friday is the chief of all days.’  (Behaarul Anwaar vol. 40 pg. 47)

6. Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) revealed:

‘The excellence of Fridays of the month of Ramazan over Fridays of other months is like the superiority of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) over other prophets.’

(Wasaailush Shia vol. 10 pg. 363) 

7. Friday is associated with Hazrat Wali-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.). Sitr ibne Abi Dalf met Imam Ali Naqi (a.s.) while he was in Mutawakkil Abbasi’s prison (may Allah curse him). Sitr inquired: ‘O my master, there is a tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) the meaning of which is not clear for me.’ Imam asked him to narrate the tradition. Sitr recounted: ‘  

‘Don’t disobey the days, else the days will disobey you.’  

Imam Ali Naqi (a.s.) clarified, ‘Yes, in this tradition the days refer to us (Imams (a.s.)) until the time the heavens and the earth survive. Then Saturday refers to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Sunday refers to Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.), Monday refers to Hasnain (a.s.), Tuesday refers to Imam Ali b. Husain (a.s.), Imam Muhammad b. Ali (a.s.) and Imam Jafar b. Muhammad (a.s.). Wednesday refers to Imam Moosa b. Jafar (a.s.), Imam Ali b. Moosa (a.s.), Imam Muhammad b. Ali (a.s.) and me (Imam Ali Naqi (a.s.)). Thursday refers to my father Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and Friday refers to my grandson (Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)) who will be surrounded by a group of the truthful ones. This is the meaning of the days, therefore do not disobey them, else in the hereafter they shall disobey you.’   

After mentioning the above tradition, the eminent scholar and narrator of supplications and Ziaraat – Sayyid Ibne Taoos (r.a.) has recorded the Ziaraat of the Imams (a.s.) for the days of the week. The most reliable of traditionalists – Shaikh Abbas-e-Qummi (r.a.) has also recorded the Ziaraat for various days in his distinguished compilation – Mafaateehul Jinaan.  

The exegesis of Imam’s Ziarat on Friday

(1) ‘Salutations be upon you O Allah’s Proof on His Earth.’

 The word Salaam has been explained at length in the exegesis of Ziaraat and supplications in the earlier editions of the Al Muntazar magazine. In the interest of brevity, we do not wish to reiterate that over here. Suffice it is to say that when a believer salutes his Imam, he is invoking peace and security for him.  

In the salutation, the word ‘Hujjat’ is worth noting. It means proof or evidence. Its plural is ‘Hujjaj’. The word finds mention in the Quran in several places like Surah Baqarah (2): Verse 150; Surah Nisaa (4): Verse 165; Surah Shura (42): Verse 115. In all three verses, the word has been employed to mean of proof/evidence. For instance, in Surah Nisa, Allah declares:  

‘(We sent) apostles as the givers of good news and as warners, so that people should not have a plea against Allah after the (coming of) apostles’

 Just like the prophets (a.s.) and apostles (a.s.) were Allah’s Proofs, the infallible Imams (a.s.) also shared this status. In one tradition, the prophets (a.s.), the successors (a.s.) and the Imams (a.s.) have been described as Apparent Proof, while the intellect has been described as concealed proof. This tradition is popular as the ‘Tradition of Ibne Sikkit’. In this tradition, Ibne Sikkit (r.a.), an eminent and reliable Shia and an expert in Arabic literature, asked Imam Ali Reza (a.s.), “Why has Allah granted different miracles to the Prophets (a.s.)?” When Imam (a.s.) replied to this query, he asked again, ‘At present (since there are no Prophets (a.s.)), who is the divine proof on the earth? Imam responded,  

“The intellect because it is through the intellect that you can establish the credentials of Allah’s genuine proof (Hujjat) and differentiate from the pretenders. In this way, you can reject the imposter and snub his claims.”

(Al Kafi vol. 1 pg. 24, Behaarul Anwaar vol. 1 pg. 105)

 It is apparent from the tradition that the Imam is the apparent proof while the intellect is the concealed proof. In other words, the Imam is the apparent intellect, while the intellect is concealed Imam. The one who possesses intellect and understanding will most certainly confess to the  Imamat of the Imam of his era. Conversely, the Shia of the Imam obviously boasts of intellect and comprehension that have led him to the recognition of the Imam. Only those with intellects that have been veiled (with sins and transgression) reject the Imamat of the truthful Imam. That is why the Imam is Allah’s ultimate proof after whom the people are left with no excuse or plea against Allah.

 An important note The word ‘Arzehi’ meansAllah’s Earth. The pronoun’hi’ refers to Allah. However, the earth referred to in the Ziarat does not only hint at this earth that we see around us. Rather it refers to all the worlds that have been created by Allah. The following tradition is a pointer to this reality.  

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) informs: ‘Surely for Allah, the Almighty, there are 12,000 worlds. Each of these worlds is larger than the seven skies and seven earths. These are the worlds that can be seen (by the human eye). Apart from these worlds there are several worlds that can’t be seen (by the human eye). I am Allah’s Proof on all these worlds.’

(Tafsire Noor al-Saqalain vol. 1 pg. 16, tradition 72 narrated from al-Khesaal vol. 2 pg. 171-172)  

The world is never devoid of Allah’s Proof

A belief that is well-established for the Shias is that the earth is never devoid of Allah’s Proof even for a moment. If Allah’s Proof is not there in the world, it will collapse. Rather, the entire universe will be destroyed. In this context, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) warns: ‘If the earth remains devoid of Allah’s Proof, it will be destroyed.’

(Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, ‘Kitaab al-Hujjah’) 

The infallible Proof of Allah has been described by Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) in a sermon:  

Ameerul Momeneen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) delivered a lengthy sermon at Kufah in which he (a.s.) mentioned as follows,  

“O Allah! It is imperative for You to have proofs in Your earth; one proof after another upon Your creation that they (the proofs) may guide them to Your religion and teach them Your knowledge so that the followers of Your friends are not scattered (regardless of these proofs being) apparent without being obeyed, or concealed, apprehensive and expectant. Even if their personas are concealed from the people in times of peace in an unjust government, their vast knowledge will never be concealed from them and their etiquette will be firmly entrenched in the hearts of the believers. They (the people) will act upon them, be familiar from what the deniers feel alienated and the extravagant (disbelievers) in Allah deny. A word that is priceless; whoever hears it, understands it, recognizes it, believes in it, follows it and treads its path, is reformed with it.”

 Then he (a.s.) said, “From this and for this the knowledge is covered when
the carriers who protect it and convey it as they have heard from the  earned (Imam) are not found.”

  Thereafter, after a lengthy talk in this sermon he (a.s.) said,

“O Allah! I surely know the unseen that the knowledge – in its entirety – will not be covered nor will its substance be eliminated. For indeed, You will not leave Your earth devoid of a proof upon Your creatures, whether he is apparent and obeyed or apprehensive and concealed without being obeyed, lest Your proof is not invalidated and Your friends are not deviated after You have guided them.”

(To be continued Inshallah)

September 1, 2020