top of page

Ziyarat Ashura: Authentic or Not?



Introduction

Ziyārah (supplicatory) literature plays a paramount role within Shi’ism and is intimately linked with the physical act of pilgrimage to the tombs of the Ahl al-Bayt and other revered figures within Islam. The practice of ziyārah as pilgrimage has a deep legacy in Islam and mass visitations to the tomb of Imām Ḥusayn is historically rooted immediately following his martyrdom by figures such as the famed companion Jābir al-Anṣārī or other figures such as Sulaymān b. Ṣurad al-Khuzā’ī who was one of the Shi’a elite elders in Kufa at the time.


Alongside physical pilgrimage, ziyarah supplicatory prayer, namely Ziyarah ‘Āshūrā’ plays an important role within this sacred history. Numerous early ascriptions of the ziyārah including Ibn Qūlūwayh’s (d. 386 H) Kāmil al-Ziyārāt and Shaykh Ṭūsī’s (d. 460 H) Misbāḥ al-Mutahajjid have transcribed the text of this ziyārah. These written ascriptions contain reliable chains of transmission traced back to the fifth Imām, Muḥammad al-Bāqir. Dozens of detailed historical commentaries and contemporary studies (including many leading Grand Ayatollahs such as Sayyid Khū’ī, Shubayrī Zanjānī and many others) cover both of the chains of transmissions as well as comparative literary content in the ziyārah. These meticulous studies by some of the leading scholars of the Muslim world present overwhelming evidence attributing to the veracity and faithful transmission of Ziyarah ‘Āshūrā’.

In recent times, however, certain reformist trends within contemporary Shī‘ism expressed disconcert at the ziyārah’s use of la‘n (disassociation and cursing) towards the oppressors of the Ahl al-Bayt and Imām Ḥusayn. These reformist figures, including notable clergymen, questioned the ziyārah’s authenticity on the basis of their theological position that the Imāms could not have advocated such cursing. This position is puzzling given the importance of la‘n as a nearly universally accepted and permissible practice within Shī‘ism, but even more importantly given the fact that the Qur’ān is replete with dozens of usages of la‘n. Not only does Allah do la‘n on certain categories of accursed people, but Allah also groups with himself those who do la‘n in Surah Baqara, Verse 159: “Those who conceal the clear (Signs) We have sent down, and the Guidance, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book – on them shall be Allah's curse, and the curse of those entitled to curse” (yal‘anuhum Allah wa yal‘anahumu al-la‘inūn) (Yusuf Ali translation).

Given the solid basis of Ziyarah ‘Āshūrā’, including its theological and philological/historical foundations, we hope to discuss in more detail the historical, theological, and contemporary context of Ziyarah ‘Āshūrā’.


Sources


The text of Ziyārah ‘Āshūrā’ can be found in two primary works. The earliest extant source of the text is Kāmil al-Ziyārāt of Ibn Qūlūwayh (d. 367), and the second work is Miṣbāḥ al-Mutahajjid wa Salāḥ al-Muta‘abbid of Shaykh Ṭūsī (d. 460).


Other than these two sources that explicitly record the text of the ziyārah, there exists other references to the ziyārah in the aforementioned works that detail the merits and etiquettes of its recitation.


Kāmil al-Ziyārāt


The earliest extant source of the ziyārah is Kāmil al-Ziyārāt, which records a tradition inclusive of merits, etiquettes and as well as the text of the ziyārah to be recited. The chain of transmission as it appears in the book is as follows:


حَدَّثَنِي حَكِيمُ بْنُ دَاوُدَ بْنِ حَكِيمٍ وَ غَيْرُهُ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مُوسَى الْهَمْدَانِيِّ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ خَالِدٍ الطَّيَالِسِيِّ عَنْ سَيْفِ بْنِ عَمِيرَةَ وَ صَالِحِ بْنِ عُقْبَةَ جَمِيعاً عَنْ عَلْقَمَةَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ الْحَضْرَمِيِّ وَ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ عَنْ صَالِحِ بْنِ عُقْبَةَ عَنْ مَالِكٍ الْجُهَنِيِّ عَنْ أَبِي جَعْفَرٍ الْبَاقِرِ ع قَال‏


Ḥakīm b. Dāwūd b. Ḥakīm and others narrated from Muḥammad b. Mūsa al-Ḥamdānī from Muḥammad b. Khālid al-Ṭayālisī from Sayf b. ‘Amīrah and Ṣāliḥ b. ‘Uqbah together, from ‘Alqamah b. Muḥammad al-Ḥaḍramī and Muḥmmad b. Ismā‘īl from Ṣāliḥ b. ‘Uqbah from Mālik al-Juhnī from Imām Bāqir (a).


In reality, there are two chains for this report which can be broken up as follows:


1) Ḥakīm b. Dāwūd b. Ḥakīm and others narrated from Muḥammad b. Mūsa al-Ḥamdānī from Muḥammad b. Khālid al-Ṭayālisī from Sayf b. ‘Amīrah and Ṣāliḥ b. ‘Uqbah together, from ‘Alqamah b. Muḥammad al-Ḥaḍramī from Imām Bāqir (a).


2) Muḥammad b. Ismā‘īl from Ṣāliḥ b. ‘Uqbah from Malik al-Juhnī from Imām Bāqir (a).


The text begins with the mentioning of merits and etiquettes and then says:


Ṣāliḥ b. ‘Uqbah al-Juhnī and Sayf b. ‘Amīrah say, ‘Alqamah b. Muḥammad al-Ḥaḍramī said to Abī Ja‘far (a) – where ‘Alqamah asks the Imām to inform him of the way to perform this ziyārah and the Imām teaches him the Ziyārah of ‘Āshūrā’. In other words, it appears that the exact text of the ziyārah can be traced back to the first chain mentioned in Kāmil al-Ziyārāt and that the second chain is not relevant for our discussion in this paper.


Miṣbāḥ al-Mutahajjid


The second extant source for the ziyārah is Miṣbāḥ al-Mutahajjid which contains two relevant reports. The first of these reports has the following chain of transmission:


رَوَى مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ بَزِيعٍ عَنْ صَالِحِ بْنِ عُقْبَةَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ أَبِي جَعْفَرٍ


1) Muḥammad b. Ismā‘īl b. Bazī‘ from Ṣālih b. ‘Uqbah from his father (‘Uqbah b. Qays) from Imām Bāqir (a).


This tradition is similar to the one that appears in Kāmil al-Ziyārat and also contains the following chain in the middle similar to Kāmil al-Ziyārāt:


2) Ṣāliḥ b. ‘Uqbah al-Juhnī and Sayf b. ‘Amīrah say, ‘Alqamah b. Muḥammad al-Ḥaḍramī said to Abī Ja‘far (a) – ‘Alqamah is taught the ziyārah.


A second report that exists in Miṣbāḥ al-Mutahajjid which is unique to this work, its chain of transmission is as follows:


وَ رَوَى مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ خَالِدٍ الطَّيَالِسِيُّ عَنْ سَيْفِ بْنِ عَمِيرَةَ قَالَ:


Muḥammad b. Khālid al-Tayālisī from Sayf b. ‘Amīrah who said: I left with Ṣafwān b. Mihrān al-Jammāl alongside some other companions towards al-Gharī (present day Najaf) after Abū ‘Abdillah (a) had left. We travelled from al-Ḥīrah towards al-Medīnah … and Safwān recited the Ziyārah which ‘Alqamah b. Muḥammad al-Ḥaḍramī had narrated from Abī Ja‘far (a) on the day of ‘Āshūrā’…


This is an important report because it is from the time of Imām Ṣādiq (a) rather than Imām Bāqir (a), while it references the ziyārah of ‘Āshūrā’ taught to ‘Alqamah by Imām Bāqir (a) as it exists in the tradition in Kāmil al-Ziyārāt and as well as the first tradition cited from Miṣbāḥ al-Mutahajjid.


Analysis of Chains of Narrators


Many scholars have considered the Ziyārah ‘Āshūrā’ to be needless of any chain analysis due to its widespread acceptance amongst the earlier Imāmī Shī‘ī companions and scholars and as well as the acceptance and promotion of it by later scholars.


Nevertheless, in this section we will briefly analyze the chain of narrators for the ziyārah and determine whether it is reliable or not. It was shown that the ziyārah in Kāmil al-Ziyārāt has two chains, although the exact text of the ziyārah can be traced back to the first chain whereas the second chain. As such, we will only investigate the first chain of narrators:


1) Ḥakīm b. Dāwūd b. Ḥakīm and others narrated from Muḥammad b. Mūsa al-Ḥamdānī from Muḥammad b. Khālid al-Ṭayālisī from Sayf b. ‘Amīrah and Ṣāliḥ b. ‘Uqbah together, from ‘Alqamah b. Muḥammad al-Ḥaḍramī from Imām Bāqir (a).


a) Ḥakīm b. Dāwūd b. Ḥakīm is from the teachers of Ibn Qūluwayh and can be strengthened based on the principle that some of the teachers that trustworthy scholars would narrate from were also trustworthy. Even if one were not to reject this principle in general, in the case of Ibn Qūlūwayh it would still apply as he himself says in his introduction that he is narrating from trustworthy and reliable individuals, which as a bare minimum would include his teachers.


b) Muḥammad b. Mūsa al-Ḥamdānī has been weakened by both Shaykh Najāshī and Ibn Ghaḍā’irī. The former says that the scholars of Qom would weaken him because of their understanding that he would exaggerate, whereas Ibn Walīd could consider him to be someone who would fabricated traditions. As such, he cannot be relied upon in principle.


c) Muaḥammad b. Khālid al-Ṭayālisī does not have any explicit statements from scholars regarding his credibility, however, more will be said on him later in the paper.


d) Sayf b. ‘Amīrah has been strengthened by both Shaykh Najāshī and Shaykh Ṭūsī.


e) Ṣaliḥ b. ‘Uqbah can also not be strengthened and on the contrary Ibn Ghaḍā’irī weakens him – although this weakness does not matter to us since Ṣāliḥ b. ‘Uqbah is reporting together with Sayf b. ‘Amīrah who is trustworthy.

f) ‘Alqamah b. Muḥammad al-Ḥaḍramī does not have explicit statements on his credibility, but there exist some reasons to believe he was reliable.


From the perspective of the chain, this chain of narration could be considered weak due to the presence of Muḥammad b. Mūsa who was weakened by Ibn Ghaḍā’irī, however there are two problems with this: firstly, the attribution of Ibn Ghaḍā’irī’s book to him has been contested by many scholar, and secondly, it is well known that many of Ibn Ghaḍā’irī’s opinions weakening certain individuals were due to his theological disagreements with them. As such, many scholars have not taken the opinions of Ibn Ghaḍā’irī very seriously.


Moving on to the chain of Miṣbāḥ al-Mutahajjid, we have two different reports, one which is similar to Kāmil al-Ziyārāt and is transmitting from Imām Bāqir (a), and a second report in which Imām Ṣādiq (a) is mentioned. The chain of the first report is as follows:


رَوَى مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ بَزِيعٍ عَنْ صَالِحِ بْنِ عُقْبَةَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ أَبِي جَعْفَرٍ

1) Muḥammad b. Ismā‘īl b. Bazī‘ from Ṣālih b. ‘Uqbah from his father (‘Uqbah b. Qays) from Imām Bāqir (a).


2) Ṣāliḥ b. ‘Uqbah and Sayf b. ‘Amīrah say, ‘Alqamah b. Muḥammad al-Ḥaḍramī said, I said to Abī Ja‘far (a).


The statement “from his father” is most likely an error in the chain. Nevertheless, this is the exact same report as mentioned in Kāmil al-Ziyārāt and the analysis will not be repeated. The tradition in which a reference is made to the ziyārāh of ‘Āshūrā’ in the presence of Imām Ṣādiq (a) has the following chain:


وَ رَوَى مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ خَالِدٍ الطَّيَالِسِيُّ عَنْ سَيْفِ بْنِ عَمِيرَةَ قَالَ:


Muḥammad b. Khālid al-Tayālisī from Sayf b. ‘Amīrah who said: I left with Ṣafwān b. Mihrān al-Jammāl alongside some other companions towards al-Gharī (Najaf) after Abū ‘Abdillah (a) had left. We travelled from al-Ḥīrah towards al-Medīnah … and Safwān recited the Ziyārah which ‘Alqamah b. Muḥammad al-Ḥaḍramī had narrated from Abī Ja‘far (a) on the day of ‘Āshūrā’…


Three individuals need to be analyzed in this chain, namely Muḥammad b. Khālid al-Tayālisī, Sayf b. ‘Amīrah and Ṣafwān b. Mihrān.


It was earlier shown that Sayf b. ‘Amīrah is trustworthy and there is also no dispute on the reliability of Ṣafwān b. Mihrān. The only disputed issue is the connection between Shaykh Ṭūsī to Muḥammad b. Khālid al-Ṭayālisī and the reliability of al-Ṭayālisī himself.


It appears that Shaykh Ṭūsī took the report from the book of Muḥammad b. Khālid al-Ṭayālisī and Shaykh Ṭūsī himself has a path to his book as follows:


Al-Ḥusayn b. ‘Ubaydillah al-Ghaḍā’irī, from Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā al-‘Āṭṭār from his father, from Muḥammad b. ‘Alī b. Maḥbūb.


All of these individuals are from the senior scholars of the Imāmīyyah school and are prolific teachers and narrators of ḥadīth. Hence, the connection of Shaykh Ṭūsī to the book of Muḥamad al-Ṭayālisī presents no problem. The only discussion left is regarding al-Ṭayālisī himself. There are a number of ways to strengthen him:


a) We see that Muḥammad b. ‘Alī b. Maḥbūb has transmitted the book of al-Ṭayālisī, and he was from the senior scholars of Qom, trustworthy and a noble man.


b) We also see that the books of Sayf b. ‘Amīrah and Muḥammad b. Ma‘rūf are transmitted by Muḥammad b. Ja‘far al-Razzāz through Muḥammad al-Ṭayālisī. Al-Razzāz was one of great Imāmī scholars and his transmission of these books through al-Ṭayālisī shows his reliance on him.


c) A number of great trustworthy scholars – besides the ones mentioned above – also narrate from al-Ṭayālisī, such as Sa‘d b. ‘Abdillah, Salamah b. al-Khaṭṭāb, ‘Alī b. Ibrāhīm, ‘Alī b. Sulaymān al-Zarārī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Ṣaffār, Mu‘āwīyah b. Ḥakīm and others.


These are all reasonable indicators that strengthen al-Ṭayālisī’s reputation and that he is to be considered a reliable narrator of ḥadīth. As such, the tradition in which the Ziyārāh ‘Āshūrā’ is referenced as it was taught to ‘Alqamah by Imām Bāqir is authentic and reliable.


Observations on Text of the Ziyārah


Given the ziyārah’s attribution to Imām Bāqir (a), we see that its content is in complete harmony with the socio-political context of the Imām’s (a) time, which coincided with the last few years of the Umayyad dynasty.


One of the prominent themes of the ziyārah is the notion of walāyah – in the sense of loyalty and loving the Ahl al-Bayt (a) - and barā’at – in the sense of disassociating and hating the enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt (a). This was a prevalent atmosphere during the first half of the second century hijrī. The ziyārah reiterates the notion of barā’at from the Umayyads and this was a well-known position of the Shī‘a during the latter stages of the Umayyad dynasty. One of the indicators of a fabricated text are the presuppositions a fabricator naturally brings into the text. As such, if this was a later fabrication such as during the Abbasid period, there would naturally have been signs of a more consolidated Shī‘ī theology and as well as perhaps references to contemporary enemies.


The text of the ziyārah explicitly mentions the names of some of the enemies that the Shī‘a had a shared anger towards. This strengthens the claim that the ziyārah was prescribed during a time when these names and as well as family lineages were very much still known and relevant, and even in positions of authority and power.


Meaning of Tanaqqabat Li-Qitālik


A statement in the ziyārah which has been the subject of exegetical differences is:


لَعَنَ الله أُمّةً أسْرَجَتْ وَ أَلْجَمَتْ وَ تَنَقَّبَتْ لِقِتالِكَ

May Allah also curse the people who saddled up, gave reins to their horses, and masked their faces in preparation for fighting against you.


The verb tanaqqabat which originates from the verbal-noun tanaqqub (to mask one’s face) has been the subject of exegetical differences amongst scholars. Some scholars have opined that while men covering their faces was not a common practice, there are definitely references in historical reports indicating certain men covering their faces for various reasons. Thus, it is possible that some of the enemies may have covered their faces when preparing to fight Imām Ḥusayn (a) and his companions.


However, the problem with this position is that firstly, no historical report on the battle of Karbalā’ suggests that even a certain flank of soldiers was covering their faces. Secondly, the verb tanaqqabat is primarily used to describe a woman covering her face. The noun lithām and the verb talaththama is used to describe the covering used by men to conceal their face.


Other scholars have interpreted the verb as a metonymy (kināyah) or comparison (tashbīh) of women covering their faces in preparation to leave their homes with soldiers preparing themselves to leave their homes for battle. However, the act of women covering their faces used as a metonymy for preparing to leave the home is unheard of in the Arabic language and the Arabs do not have such an affinity between the two concepts.


The most reasonable opinion seems to be that a scribal error has occurred in this text, where the verb tahayya’at (they mobilized themselves) has been mistakenly replaced by tanaqqabat. While such scribal errors can be cited as mere possibilities, in this case, there is ample evidence to indicate that such an error did indeed take place.


The verb tanaqqabat does not appear in any other ziyārah of Imām Ḥusayn (a), not even in the Ziyārah ‘Āshūrā’ recorded in Kāmil al-Ziyārāt. Instead, the verb tahayya’at appears as follows:


لَعَنَ اللَّهُ أُمَّةً أَسْرَجَتْ وَ أَلْجَمَتْ وَ تَهَيَّأَتْ لِقِتَالِكَ


May Allah also curse the people who saddled up, gave reins to their horses, and mobilized themselves in preparation for fighting against you.


The verb tahayya’at – instead of tanaqqabat - also appears in a ziyārah of Imām Ḥusayn (a) reported by Ṣafwān al-Jammāl from Imām Ṣādiq (a),[1] the ziyārah of Imām Ḥusayn (a) for the day of ‘Arafah,[2] the ziyārah of Imām Ḥusayn (a) to be recited in the month of Dhū al-Qa‘dah,[3] and other ziyārāt of Imām Ḥusayn (a).


Furthermore, in various manuscripts of Miṣbāh al-Mutahajjid of Shaykh Ṭūsī, the verb tahayya’at has been written in Ziyārah ‘Āshūrā’ instead of tanaqqabat, and as such, there is sufficient reason to believe that the former is the correct rendition of the verb, rather than tanaqqabat. This offers a much more reasonable reading, supplicating for the curse of Allah (swt) to be upon the enemies who prepared their horses and mobilized themselves to battle and fight against the Imām (a).


The Cursing and Manuscript Discrepancies


The ziyārah of ‘Āshūrā’ consists of various instances where enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) are being cursed. One of the most significant of these curses appears near the end of the ziyārah as follows in the Kāmil al-Ziyārāt version:


اللَّهُمَّ خُصَّ أَنْتَ أَوَّلَ ظَالِمٍ ظَلَمَ آلَ نَبِيِّكَ بِاللَّعْنِ ثُمَّ الْعَنْ أَعْدَاءَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ مِنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ وَ الْآخِرِينَ اللَّهُمَّ الْعَنْ يَزِيدَ وَ أَبَاهُ وَ الْعَنْ عُبَيْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ زِيَادٍ وَ آلَ مَرْوَانَ وَ بَنِي أُمَيَّةَ قَاطِبَةً إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَة


O Allah, pour special curses on the foremost oppressor who oppressed the progeny of your Prophet. Then curse the enemies of the progeny of Muḥammad, from the first an the last. O Allah, curse Yazīd and his father, and curse ‘Ubaydullah b. Ziyād and the family of Marwā and Banī Umayyah altogether, up to the Day of Resurrection.


This is contrary to what appears in the version recorded in Miṣbāḥ al-Mutahajjid of Shaykh Ṭūsī which is what is more popularly recited:


اللَّهُمَّ خُصَّ أَنْتَ أَوَّلَ ظَالِمٍ بِاللَّعْنِ مِنِّي وَ ابْدَأْ بِهِ أَوَّلًا ثُمَّ الثَّانِيَ ثُمَّ الثَّالِثَ وَ الرَّابِعَ اللَّهُمَّ الْعَنْ يَزِيدَ خَامِساً وَ الْعَنْ عُبَيْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ زِيَادٍ وَ ابْنَ مَرْجَانَةَ وَ عُمَرَ بْنَ سَعْدٍ وَ شِمْراً وَ آلَ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ وَ آلَ زِيَادٍ وَ آلَ مَرْوَانَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَة


O Allah, pour special curses on the foremost oppressor and begin with him first, and then pour curses on the second, the third, and the fourth. O Allah, curse Yazīd fifthly, and curse ‘Ubaydullah b. Ziyād, the son of Marjānah, ‘Umar b. S‘ad, Shimr, the family of Abū Sufyān, the family of Ziyād, and the family of Marwān, up to the Day of Resurrection.


The point of contention is which of these readings is correct, particularly when the version of Miṣbāḥ al-Mutahajjid contains the additional phrase “and begin with him first, and then pour curses on the second, the third, and the fourth.” Is this additional phrase part of the original Ziyārah or an addition by a later scholar or scribe?


The scholars differ on this matter, and both positions will be briefly summarized. A number of scholars maintain that this line is not part of the original ziyārah and was a later addition by the scribe. They opine that Shaykh Ṭūsī’s source to the ziyārah is the book Kāmil al-Ziyārāt itself which does not contain this phrase.


In addition, they claim there are further alibis indicating that the text present in Shaykh Ṭūsī’s work was a later addition to the manuscripts. In order to expand on this, it is imperative to know that the Miṣbāḥ al-Mutahajjid available and published today is what is often referred to as al-Miṣbāḥ al-Kabīr, as opposed to the same work that was summarized by Shaykh Ṭūsī himself and was called al-Miṣbāḥ al-Ṣaghīr. This latter work only exists in various manuscripts and has not been published. Sayyid Ibn Ṭā’ūs (d. 664) in his work Miṣbāḥ al-Zā’īr[4] explicitly mentions that the manuscript of al-Miṣbāḥ al-Kabīr does not contain these lines, whereas the manuscript of al-Miṣbāḥ al-Ṣaghīr which he also had at his disposal contained them.


Many of the earliest extant manuscripts of al-Miṣbāḥ al-Kabīr which date back to the 6th, 7th, and 8th, 9th and even 10th centuries do not contain this line at all, including the earliest manuscript which dates back to 502 AH.[5] Some of these manuscripts contain the aforementioned line in the margins and they have clearly been written by later scribes due to the obvious differences in handwriting.


As such, these scholars claim that this phrase did not exist in al-Miṣbāḥ al-Kabīr nor Kāmil al-Ziyārāt and it was most likely an addition made by someone to al-Miṣbāḥ al-Ṣaghīr which Ibn Ṭā’ūs had. When ‘Allāmah Majlisī (d. 1110) compiled his Zād al-Ma‘ād (a book similar to Mafātīḥ al-Jinān of his time) he included this phrase in the ziyārah and ever since it has become the popular recital of the ziyārah.


On the contrary, there are scholars who believe that this phrase did indeed exist in al-Miṣbāḥ and any omission of it was due to dissimulation. In challenging the findings of Shaykh Ḥusayn al-Raḍī and his claims about manuscript discrepancies and the absence of the phrases in Miṣbāh al-Kabīr and its earliest manuscripts, a book named al-Mudākhilāt al-Kāmilah fi Radd Mudā‘ī al-Tazwīr ‘ala Ziyārah ‘Āshūrā’ al-Mutadāwala has questioned the academic integrity and methodological soundness of the research conducted in investigating and categorising the manuscripts which contain Ziyārah ‘Āshūrā’. The author engages with the categorisation of manuscripts dealt with by al-Raḍī and concludes that he is unfortunately guilty of skewing the evidence, a logical fallacy committed when one omits certain pieces of evidence which could undermine the case they are providing. The fallacy is described as follows: “Biased Sample Fallacy (also known as: biased statistics, loaded sample, prejudiced statistics, prejudiced sample, loaded statistics, biased induction, biased generalization, biased generalizing, unrepresentative sample, unrepresentative generalization).


Description: Drawing a conclusion about a population based on a sample that is biased, or chosen in order to make it appear the population on average is different than it actually is.


This differs from the hasty generalization fallacy, where the biased sample is specifically chosen from a select group, and the small sample is just a random sample, but too small to get any accurate information.”[6]


Unfortunately, it would be tremendously outwit the scope of this limited paper to advance the argumentation in its entirety and given that paleography and codicology are largely outwit the remit of the expertise of lay-people, it should suffice to note that there are numerous contested claims in this particular area of study. It remains a discussion which must be discussed by experts and both al-Raḍī and his interlocuter who writes under the pseudonym of Ḥubb al-Ḥusayn are both scholars who have invested large periods of time consulting the original manuscripts in question.


Regardless of which of these positions happens to be correct, one can still recite the version of al-Miṣbāḥ based on the legal principle of leniency or with the intention of hope (rajā’), as affirmed by Sayyid Khū’ī:


Q: What is your noble opinion regarding the chain and text of Ziyārah ‘Āshūrā’ which appears in Miṣbāḥ al-Mutahajjid of Shaykh Ṭūsī (q)? Does its recitation suffice one from having to recite the aforementioned Ziyārah from Kāmil al-Ziyārāt of Ibn Qūlūwayh (q)? People who have not attained ijtihād have passed opinions on this matter.


A: It is sufficient to recite from any of the two works alongside the differences that appear in them, with the intention of hope (rajā’) that it is in accordance with reality.[7]


Opinions of Shī‘ī Scholars


Āyatullah Shubayrī Zanjānī: Besides the unseen metaphysical affirmations that support the strength of Ziyārah ‘Āshūrā’, its chain of narrators has been mentioned in Miṣbāḥ al-Mutahajid and it is an authentic chain.[8]


Āyatullah Sayyid Aḥmad Madadī: I was asked to present a research analysis on the chain and text of Ziyārah ‘Āshūrā’, but I find that the ziyārah is needless of such an analysis. This is because is it from the few ziyārāt which enjoys great popularity and attention amongst the followers of the sect, and its popularity is similar to that of Ziyārat Amīnullah and al-Jāmi‘ah al-Kabīrah. There is no doubt that Ziyārah ‘Āshūrā’ has precedence amongst other ziyārāt, and an external observation of this is perhaps the strongest argument for this. As one enters a mosque, a shrine or a ḥusaynīyyah, and goes to pick up a book of ziyārāt, one clearly sees the effects of the attention given to this specific ziyārah by the believers. Thereafter, are we really in need in analyzing its chain and text? When we see that the whole sect with all of its demographics - from the great Marāji‘ to the laymen, the old and the young, men and the women - all recite it and seek blessings from it, do we really find an academic void such that it needs to be filled up with an academic analysis? Do their actions not show that the sect believes in the contents of the ziyārah and believe in its truth and validity, such that there does not exist anything in it that is against one's creed?[9]


Āyatullah Montazeri: The contents of Ziyārah of ‘Āshūrā’ are valid and its benefits are very much tested. From the perspective of its chain of narrators, a number of senior scholars of ḥadīth such as Ibn Qūlūwayh in his Kāmil al-Ziyārāt, Shaykh Ṭūsī in his Miṣbāḥ al-Mutahajjid, and Ibn Mashhadī in his al-Mazār have transmitted it – though there are some discrepancies in some words and statements.[10]


Conclusion


As it has been shown, the Ziyārah ‘Āshūrā’ can be traced back to the time of Imām Bāqir (a) who taught it to his companion ‘Alqamah, after which it was gradually spread amongst the early Shī‘ī community. Hence later references to it can even be found even as far back as during the time of Imām Ṣādiq (a). The merits and rewards of the ziyārah are too many to enumerate, and the Shī‘ī companions of the Imāms and as well as centuries of scholars have all unanimously accepted the ziyārah and have encouraged its recitation through out the year.


The text of the ziyārah serves as a complete manifesto of what constitutes the notion of association with the Ahl al-Bayt and their friends, and disassociation from the enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt. Therefore, even from the perspective of its textual contents, the ziyārah is in line with Shī‘ī theology and contains nothing even remotely problematic. While it was shown that there exist some differences of opinion on a scholarly level in regard to the existence of certain lines within the ziyārah where la‘n is done on certain unnamed individuals, fundamentally due to manuscript discrepancies, by no means does this difference lead one to dismiss the ziyārah and its recitation completely.


Article reviewed by Sayed Ammar Nakshwani, Sheikh Nuru Mohammed and Islamic Education Team of The World Federation of KSIMC.

[1] Miṣbāh al-Mutahajjid, by Shaykh Ṭūsī, v. 2, pg. 721. [2] Al-Mazār al-Kabīr, by Ibn Mashhadi, pg. 463. [3] Al-Balad al-Amīn, by al-Kaf‘ami, pg. 289. [4] Pg. 278 [5] Ziyārah ‘Āshūrā’ fī al-Mīzān, by Shaykh Ḥusayn al-Rāḍī, pg. 144. [6] Cited from https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/54/Biased-Sample-Fallacy [7] Munyah al-Sā’il, pg. 226. [8] Juray’ī az Daryā, Āyatullah Shubayrī Zanjānī, v. 2. [9] Nigāhī beh Daryā, Āyatullah Sayyid Aḥmad Madadī, pg. 455-456. [10] Pāsukh beh pursezh-hāyī dīnī, pg. 242 [https://amontazeri.com/book/porsesh/224]

Comentários


bottom of page