The ahadith which speak about the Ziyarat of Imam Husayn (as) refer to it as being an obligatory (wajib) act which each person who claims to be a Shia must perform at least once in his life (this is in reference to the physical visitation of Imam Husayn (AS)at his shrine in Karbala – since the spiritual meeting of the Imam from wherever one lives through the recitation of the words given to us can be performed at any time and any place).

Is this “wajib” commandment in the narrations the same “wajib” which we understand for acts of worship such as Hajj, Khums, Salat, Sawm, etc.? Through this discussion and commentary of this Ziyarat, we hope to clarify this issue, however it suffices to mention here that this is an act which the Prophet of Islam (AS) told his daughter, Fatimah Az-Zahra (SA), that a group of her Shia (followers) would perform (this was foretold over 50 years before the event occurred) and is something which each Imam has emphasized.

There are numerous benefits which have been promised will be granted to the one who pays his respects to Imam Husayn (AS) and include: one’s sins will be removed, an increase and also Divine blessings in one’s life, removal of difficulties and the acceptance of one’s legitimate desires and appeals. In addition, the Ziyarat of the 3rd Imam is equivalent to the (spiritual) visitation of Allah and the visitation to His Noble Prophet (PBUH).

It goes without saying that such benefits are not acquired simply by the physical visit to Karbala without any positive change in the morals and character of a person. This point shall be elucidated upon in detail in our next discussion, God willing so that we do not think that by a mere journey of a few hours and the recitation of a few words, that we truly become deserving of such bounties.