What else could be a greater merit for this Ziyarat than to be the ‘Word of Allah’ (Hadithe Qudsi)? No other Ziyarat bears this eminence and superiority. The difference between the Holy Quran and Ziyarate Ashura is the same as the difference between the Holy Quran and Hadithe Qudsi. If the words from Allah claim to be a miracle from the aspect of meaning and concept, then they are the verses of the Holy Quran. But if there is no claim of miracle from the aspect of meaning and concept, then these divine words are called as ‘Hadithe Qudsi’. And if the concept is from Allah, but the words are those of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), then it is called as ‘Hadith’. However there is no doubt that this Ziyarat is Hadithe Qudsi.
Safwan (r.a) narrates that Hazrat Jibraeel (a.s.) conveyed this Ziyarat to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on divine command. We will narrate this incident in detail in the end of this article. What is important at this point is to appreciate that this Ziyarat is Hadithe Qudsi and it has reached Imam Baqir (a.s.) through his noble ancestors who received it from Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a). Imam Baqir (a.s.) made ‘public’ this Ziyarat for the first time. This is because like all other divine laws that were delayed, the delay in the communication of Ziyarate Ashura in the public domain also had a divine rationale. (Shifa al-Sudoor, p. 51 by Abul Fazl Tehrani)
We will narrate the importance of Ziyarate Ashura in the light of traditions later in this article. Now let us take a look at some incidents that highlight the significance of Ziyarate Ashura and its recitation.
The great and pious jurist, Marhoom Shaikh Jawad b. Shaikh Mashkoor, was a leading jurist of Najaf who died at the age of 90 years in 1337 A.H. He is buried next to his father in a room in the blessed courtyard of the grave of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.). This great scholar dreamt in the night of 26 Safar 1332 A.H in which he saw Hazrat Izraeel – the angel of death (a.s.). He did salaam to the angel of death and asked him from where he was coming. The angel of death replied ‘I am coming from Shiraz after having seized the soul (Ruh) of Mirza Ibrahim Mehlaaki.’ Shaikh asked him ‘In what condition is his soul in Barzakh?’ The angel of death replied ‘He is residing in the most beautiful garden and is in the best of the conditions. Allah has appointed 1,000 angels at his beck and call.’ Shaikh asked him ‘For which action has he received such a great reward – for his high level of knowledge? Or for the large number of students he had trained?’ The angel of death replied, ‘For none of these reasons’. Shaikh asked, ‘Then for leading the congregational prayers and explaining the religious laws to the people?’ The angel of death replied in the negative. So Shaikh asked, ‘Then on what basis did he receive such a great position?’ The angel of death said ‘For reciting Ziyarate Ashura.’ Mirza Mehlaaki recited Ziyarate Ashura regularly in the last 30 years of his life. And if due to an illness or any other reason, he was unable to recite the Ziyarat, then he would appoint a representative to recite the Ziyarat on his behalf.’
The next morning, Shaikh Jawad went to Ayatullah Mirza Mohammed Taqi Shirazi and narrated his dream. On hearing this, Ayatullah Mirza Mohammed Taqi began weeping. When people asked him the reason of his grief, he replied ‘Mirza Ibrahim Mehlaaki was a pillar of jurisprudence and he has departed from the world.’ People said ‘But this news was only a dream, while we don’t know the fact as yet.’ Ayatullah Mirza Taqi replied, ‘This was not the dream of an ordinary individual, it was the dream of Shaikh Jawad.’ The very next day there was letter informing the residents of Najaf about Mirza Ibrahim Mehlaaki’s demise. In this way, the veracity of Shaikh Jawad’s dream proved to be true. Subsequently many scholars learnt of this incident from the late Ayatullah Syed Abdul Hadi Shirazi who in turn had personally heard about it from Shaikh Jawad. (Ziyarate Ashura by Nasir Rasti Lahejaani, p. 27)
This incident highlights the significance of reciting Ziyarate Ashura regularly.
Shaheed-e-Mehraab, Ayatullah Dastghaib Shirazi (r.a.) narrates an incident from Ayatullah Uzma Shaikh Abdul Kareem Haayeree (r.a.), the founder of the Hauz-e-Ilmiyyah in Qum. Janab Haayeree (r.a.) narrates, ‘I was residing in Samarrah to pursue religious studies. Once, the city was struck by a deadly plague. Scores of people were dying every day. During those days, a group of religious scholars had gathered at the house of our teacher late Syed Mohammed Fesharki (r.a.). At that time, Janab Mirza Mohammed Taqi (r.a.) too came in that meeting. The talk turned towards the topic of plague and the devastation it was causing in terms of loss of lives. Marhoom Mirza Taqi (r.a.) said, “If I command you to perform an action will all of you obey me?” Everyone replied “Yes, of course, we will obey whatever you say.” Marhoom Mirza (r.a.) then ordered “Tell every Shia of Samarrah to recite Ziyarate Ashura for the next ten days and to gift the reward of the Ziyarat to the soul of the mother of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.), Janabe Nargis Khatoon (s.a) so that the people remain safe from this disease.” All those who were present in that gathering passed this information to the Shias of Samarrah, who all began reciting Ziyarate Ashura. From the very next day, there was no news of any Shia death. Only the news of the death of the Ahle Sunnat was being reported. Gradually the Sunnis realized this and asked some of their Shia friends as to the reason that why none from the Shias were dying of plague. The Shias said that they were reciting Ziyarate Ashura. On hearing this, the Sunnis too began reciting the Ziyarat. Consequently, they too were secured from the perilous effects of the plague.’ (Ziyarate Ashura – Effects & Miracles, p. 24)