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  • 9/7/2005


The pilgrimage to the holy shrines of the prophets, Imams, and saints is calledZiyara. It is different from the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca, which is called Hajj. Hajj however is obligatory upon every Muslim man and woman under specific conditions, whereas Ziyara is not obligatory. It is yet very recommended for the innumerable narrations of the Prophet and the Imams regarding the rewards of those who perform such pilgrimages voluntarily.

Simply, Ziyara is to visit the tomb and say any word of greeting, such as 'Salaam'. Other narrations have confirmed that it is acceptable to address such words of greetings from any place in the world while directing the face towards the direction of the tomb.

At any rate, it is advisable, according to reason as well as instructions of well-versed scholars, to commit to the statements of the Ziyaras that are related to the Ahl-ul-Bayt, because such statements express deeply the actuality of the owner of the visited tomb and hint at the most accurate conducts to be practiced there.

Ziyara to Abbas (PBUH)

On that account, it is recommendable for the visitors of the tomb of Abbas to follow the instructions mentioned in the saying of Imam Ja'far Sadiq regarding the Ziyara.

In this saying, the Imam instruct the visitor tostop opposite to the body of Abbas turning the back to the Qibla,just like visiting the tombs of the prophets and Imams. This expresses the utmost courtesy befitting the elevated rank of al-Abbas. In fact, to visit Abbas after his death is same as visiting him during his life. This is because the martyrs are "alive with their Lord and receive sustenance from Him."

The author of Mezar ul-Bihar on page 165, records that Sheikh Mufid, Ibn Mash'hadi, and Shahid Awwal emphasized that the visitor of the tomb of Abbas should, first, stop at the door of the shed and seek permission to enter by saying: "Greetings of Allah… etc." He then should enter and throw himself on the tomb and recite: "Salaam be upon you, the righteous servant of God… etc." He then should move to the direction of the head to offer the prayer and supplicate to God. He then should return to the tomb, stop at the two legs, and recite: "Salaam be upon you, Abu'l-Fadhl Abbas… etc."

Although these statements do not show whether it is advisable to stop at a specific side, it is understood that the direction of the kiblah is the intended.

Some scholars however advised of visiting the tomb of Abbasbefore that of Imam Hosein, because the earlier is the door to the latter.

It is also advisable to offer the two-Rakaa prayer of Ziyara at the tomb of Abbas. During his visit to the tombs of the martyrs of Karbala on the fortieth day after their martyrdom, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari visited the tomb of Abbas bin Ali and offered a two-Rakaa prayer.

It is also advisable to kiss the tomb. This is proved through the narration of Safwan Jammal who relates it to Imam Sadiq:
"… You should then come near the tomb of Abbas bin Ali and say… Then throw yourself on the tomb, kiss it, and say… etc."

Tomb of Abbas


After he had visited the tombs of Imam Hosein, his household, and the virtuous companions, Imam Sadiq ran to visit the tomb of his uncle Abbas. He stood on that tomb and recited that famous Ziyara.
Imam Sadiq begins this Ziyara by seeking the greetings of God, His favorite angels, commissioned Prophets, righteous servants, and all martyrs and truthful ones to be on Abbas. He then goes on testifying to his uncle of being submissive, believing, faithful, and sincere:


Abbas submitted completely to his brother and leader, and followed him from top to bottom until he was martyred for his sake. This unmatched submission was the result of Abbas's full acquaintance with the Imamate of Hosein that is incumbent upon every Muslim. Abbas practiced all matters stemming from the divine commandment of the submission to the Immaculate Imams.


Abbas believed in God and gave full credence to his brother. He surpassed all doubts in his belief of the equity of his issue. He believed he was the right while his enemies were wrong.


Imam Sadiq testified that his uncle Abbas accomplished his duties regarding the pledge of God and the loyalty to the Imam of his age utterly. He supported the right party, stood steadfastly with his brother in the most intensive circumstances, and did not leave him until he was martyred although he lost his two hands. Finally, Abbas was created to be faithful; therefore, his loyalty was a natural element of his personality and was also the fruit of the unparalleled loyalty of his parents.


Sincerity is another feature in the personality of Abbas to which Imam Sadiq testified. Abbas was sincere in his fighting against the wrong and opposing the wrongdoers. He played a great role in the jihad of his brother who took the leadership of struggling the wrong.

In another paragraph of the Ziyara, Imam Sadiq showed his great admiration for the great help and huge sacrifices that Abbas made for Imam Hosein. He sacrificed himself, protected him with his dearest things, and tolerated steadfastly crises and hardships-all for sake of God. God may reward him so remarkably on behalf of Prophet Mohammed, Imam Ali,  LadyFatima, Hasan, and Hosein.

Imam Sadiq, in the same Ziyara, testified that his uncle Abbas followed the same line of the martyrs of Islam whose blood raised the word of God highly. As he noticed the Umayyads' attempts to eradicate Islam and take people to the pre-Islamic customs and traditions, Abbas, under the leadership of his brother, revolted to keep the word of God high, to achieve victory to Islam, and to defeat the enemies and rivals.

In the last paragraphs of the Ziyara, we notice the great rank of Abbas in the sight of Imam Sadiq who testified to him that he did not show any shortcoming or retreat and did his best for sake of the religion. Hence, the Imam beseeches to God to confer Abbas with eternal happiness, large place in Paradise, and companionship of the prophets, martyrs, and righteous ones.

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