Al Atab’at al Aaliyy’at
In addition to the holy cities of Makkah-al-Mukarramah and Madinat-ul-Munawwarah, the Shia sect of Islam holds the cities of Najaf and Karbala in utmost reverence, where the former enshrines the grave of Amir al Mumineen, Ali (as). This is the third holiest site for 200 million Shia followers. Next to the grave of Ali (as) are the graves of Adam (as) and Nuh (as). The Shrine of Sayyedi Abal Fadl al Abbas Ibn Ali (as) is the second consecrated place in Karbala after the Shrine of Al Imam al Husain (as) in Iraq, the burial place of the brave son of Amir al Mumineen Ali (as), and the half-brother of Abi Abdillah Al Imam al Husain (as). It is located close to the Shrine of al Imam al Husain ibn Ali (as) which is the most sanctified site in Karbala. Karbala is revered by the Shia for Ziyarah (pilgrimage) alongside Makkah, Madinah and Najaf. Millions of Zaireen (pilgrims), greater in number than at the annual Haj, visit the city of Karbala every year to observe Aashurah and Arbayeen. Pilgrims, travelers and tourists frequently visit these Mashhads. Zaireen visit the Mashhads of Ahl al Bait (as) for Ziyarah and to recite Ziyarah Salaam that symbolizes complete submission of a devotee, with his heart and soul. An extract of the Salaam recited at the time of Ziyarah that inheres deep meaning is as follows:
“O Moula al Husain! Perhaps I was in Karbala with you, and had been among those Shuhada who sacrificed their lives upon you for your cause, and achieved Naj’at.”
One of the great Ash’ab, Sayedna Jabir bin Abdullah al Ansari (ra) taught the significance of the Ziyarah and Salaam such that devotees of Ahl al Bait (as) wish to perform Ziyarah at least once in their life. When a Mumin recites Salaam upon his Moula, he rejects the immoral desires of the world from his heart. Therefore, Zikril Husain (a.s) has great importance in the life of a Muslim Mumin; indeed, it is an elixir of eternal life.