‘Allamah Sayed Murtadhaal-Kashmiri says:
• Visiting the holy shrine of Imam al-Hussain (as) on the twentieth of Safar is one of the recommended visits! It is an act of two Imams of the Ahlul-Bayt (as)! The act of an Imam (as) and his words represent the Sunnah!
• One of the widely spread and constantly practiced institutions amongst Muslim communities and others is to revive the honour of the deceased person 40 days after his death by giving charity on his behalf, seeking rewards for him and paying tribute to him by repeating his positive qualities at meetings held to commemorate him!
18 Safar 1439
These words were mentioned during the speech that he made on the occasion of the 20th of Safar. He started with the Hadith of Imam al-Sadiq (as) during his prostration [Sajdah] for the visitors of Imam al-Hussain (as), when he prayed:
“Lord! You are the One Who chose us to receive Your bliss, promised us to intercede,emphasized on taking care of us in the will, granted us the knowledge of what has passed and of what is to come, Who has favoured us by making the hearts of some people incline towards us:
I implore You to forgive me and my brethren and those who visit the gravesite of my grandfather al-Hussain, those who spend their wealth and exhaust themselves out of their desire to express their devotion to us, hoping to earn the rewards which You have for all those who maintain their link with us, and because of the pleasure they bring to Your Prophet, and out of their response to our own order to do so. Reward them for provoking the anger of our enemies, while they sought Your Pleasure.
So reward showering them with Your bounty, provide for them their need of provision at day and night, and be generous to their families and offspring, those who succeed them in doing such good deeds. Be their Friend; ward off them from any evil of every tenacious tyrant, from every weak or stiff of your creations and from the evil of mankind and [djinn] devilish spirits!
And grant them the best of what they aspire as they estrange themselves from their home-lands, and for preferring us over their sons, families, and kinsfolk. Lord! Our enemies find fault with their going out to visit our shrines, yet it does not stop them from doing so, unlike those who oppose us. Lord! Have mercy on the faces transformed with sunburn by the heat of the sun.
And be compassionate with those cheeks that touched the grave of Abu ‘Abdullah, al-Hussain. Have mercy on the eyes whose tears have been due to being in love with us! Have mercy on the hearts that are grieved on our account and are fired with passion for us. And have mercy on those who mourn us. Oh Lord! I implore You to be the Custodian of these souls, hearts and bodies till You bring them to the extensively generous Pool [of Kawthar] where the great thirst is to be quenched on the Day of the great thirst”, on the Doomsday!
Sayed M. Al-Kashmiri said:
‘The concurrent accounts of various narrations from the Prophet (sawas) and Imams of Ahlul-Bayt (as) are explicitly indicating the virtue and the elevated rewards for the visit of the holy shrine of Imam Hussain (as) and the great reward that Almighty God (swt) has prepared for his visitors! Somebody may ask the following question: ‘why is there all this emphasis and great promotion for visiting him (as), whether being done in general, or on specific occasions of the year?
The answer is as provided by Sayed Al-Muqarram, who said:
“The Umayyad mentality is still alive, and it increases or decreases in intensity from time to time.
Those who have certain vested interests periodically howl about it. Although the Umayyads have long since turned into dust rags and nothing is attached to their name except shame and they are cursed whenever they are mentioned, there has lately been an atheistic propensity promoted by their gang and by those who join them over the generations.
The Ahl al-Bayt (as) paid special attention to putting out its fire and to attracting attention to its deviation from the right path, the path brought by the Greatest Saviour who suffered so much in order to disseminate his call and keep it alive.
One of the means that lead the souls to such a path, acquainting them with the injustice meted to the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and directing them towards the divine right clarified for them by the great legislator (sawas), is the cause of the Master of Martyrs: It is full of tragedies to which the heart of the most bitter enemy softens, let alone that of his follower who recognizes the Imam's usurped authority.
The Imams (as) desired that their Shi’as should remain all year round, as days come and go, fully alert with regard to those who usurped such an authority, the ones that are so distant from the right path. They, therefore, required them to be present around the shrine of the masters of the youths of Paradise on specific occasions, and during other times as well.
It is only natural that such assemblies bring to memory the cruelty employed by the Umayyads who slaughtered the children and banished the daughters of the Prophet (sawas) from one country to another.
Fervour and manliness insist that nobody should surrender and accept to be ruled by anyone who inflicts such horrible deeds on anyone else at all, let alone on the family of the most holy Prophet (sawas). It is then that the souls become filled with emotion, feelings reach their ebb, and judgment is issued against those filthy folk who reneged from the Islamic faith.
Of course, such a cause with regard to the Master of Martyrs is more binding than any other Imam because his cause contains that which softens the hearts. It is from this juncture that the Infallible Ones (as) used him as their argument whereby they assault their foes.
They, therefore, required their followers to weep, to commemorate in any way, to visit his shrine..., and so on and so forth, causing the umma to become full of the memory of Hussain: Hussaini in principle, and to the last breath Hussaini...”
One of those special institutionalised visits is on the 20th of Safar, which was highly recommended through the narrations from the infallible Imams (as) who have considered it, as one of signs of a believer and of profound faith. Al-Muqarram says:
“It is customary to pay tribute to the deceased forty days after his death by doing acts of righteousness on his behalf, by eulogizing him and enumerating his merits. This is done at organized gatherings in order to keep his memory alive just when people's minds start to forget about him and their hearts start to ignore him. An immortal portrayal is brought back to such minds through the medium of well composed poetry transmitted from one person to another, one which takes its place in people's hearts. Epochs, hence, pass by, and so do years, while his memory remains fresh and alive. Or maybe someone delivers a moving speech recorded in books and in other records, so it would become an enduring part of history. The lost one remains alive whenever such poetry is recited, or whenever a researcher comes across what was said in his eulogies recorded in books, so he develops an interest in investigating about him and in getting to know his merits and feats.
Such a commendable custom becomes more significant as the greatness of the lost one increases and is proportionate with his feats. Such is the case with reformers and role models emulated by others. This is more important because disseminating their merits and teachings calls for following them and walking on their footprints to effect reform and to cultivate the souls.”
Probably this has caused the Shi’ahs to follow the same institution on the occasion of 40 days after the martyrdom of Imam al-Hussain (as) every year. Probably it was due to the narration that was narrated from Abu Ja’afar al-Baqir (as) saying, “The sky wept over al-Hussain (as) for forty mornings with blood, and with redness during the sun-set”; perhaps that iss why the Shi’ah Muslims have this widely spread institution.
In a narration that records the statement made once by Imam al-Hasan al-’Askari (as) wherein he said: ‘There are five marks of a believer: his fifty-one rak’at prayers, Ziyarat al-Arba’in, audible recitation of the basmalah, wearing his ring on the right hand, and rubbing his forehead with dust.’
He (al-Muqarram) has added here: “There is no doubt that those who follow his path are the believers who recognize him as their Imam; so, one of the marks highlighting their iman, as well as their loyalty to the Master of the Youths of Paradise, the one who was killed as he stood to defend the divine Message, is to be present on the Arba’in anniversary at his sacred grave in order to hold a mourning ceremony for him and to remember the tragedies that had befallen him, his companions and Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).
A testimony to the sacred hadith quoted above is the fact that the renowned scholars do not dispute in their understanding of the significance of visiting the gravesite of al-Hussain (as) on the 40th of Safar.
One of them is Abu Ja’far Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan al-Tusi! He discusses the merits of visiting the shrine of al-Hussain (as). Having narrated the traditions referring to the merits of any visit to his shrine, he started discussing those to be performed on specific dates, one of which is ‘Ashura. After that he quoted this same hadith.’
In Misbah al-Mutahajjid (Bombay edition), he has mentioned the month of Safar and discussed the significant events that took place during it, then the author goes on to say, “On the 20th of Safar, the ladies of Abu ‘Abdullah (as) returned from Syria to the city of the Prophet (sawas). They were the first to make such a visit (ziyarat). Also, Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah al-Ansari came at the same time to visit the gravesite of Abu ‘Abdullah (‘a), thus becoming the very first person outside al-Hussain's family to do so. Such is ziyarat al-Arba’in.” quoted –albeit not literally- from Al-Muqarram [al-Maqtal].
On that very day [20th of Safar] Imam Zain ul-’Abidin (as), had arrived at the site of Karbalah along with his aunt, the leader of those ladies, i.e. lady Zaynab (as), amongst other Hashimite ladies, who had been captured and taken as P.O.W. during ‘Ashurah. They all performed the visit [Ziyarah of al-Hussain] on 20th of Safar! As such, this is a clear evidence for the recommendation of Ziyarat al-Arba’in, because the actions and sayings of the infallible (as) are legal proof and justified argument [hujjah]that supports establishing the practical ruling, which is: to be Recommended!”
I quote again from al-Muqarram: “In addition to that ‘Allamah al-Hilli has said in his books ‘Al-Muntaha’, ‘al-Tathkirah’ and ‘al-Tahrir’, and –amongst others- al-Faydh al-Kashani and Shaikh al-Mufid have, also, all stated that visiting Imam al-Hussain (as) on the 20th of Safar is highly recommended.” Unquote!
Sayed al-Kashmiri added at the end: ‘The generous visitor should revive, through his visit to the Imam (as), his commitment, covenant, loyalty, obedience and willingness to sacrifice for the principles of Imam Al-Hussain (as)! He should also use this occasion as a training season to purify his heart, practice virtuous morals, and to prepare himself with honest repentance, deciding to reflect upon his mistakes and shortcomings in order to be firm with repentance to Almighty Allah (swt).
He stressed that: Remaining absolutely loyal to Almighty Allah (swt) is essential while conducting these rituals associated with the visit to the holy shrine, such as hospitality camps, providing services for the visitors, weeping, and beating chests for the tragedy of Imam Al-Hussain (as) and so on!
He also reminded everyone to remain cautious especially not harming the visitors –even verbally or vocally- keeping high and good morals and keeping the best standard in providing the services that meet their needs. They are the guests of Imam al-Hussain (as), the Master of all martyrs (as), who are –indeed- honoured by him.
We ask Almighty Allah (swt) to protect the visitors of Imam al-Hussain (as) from any evil and fatal incidents, and to bring them back safely and unharmed with the blessing of Muhammad (sawas) and the purified Ahlul-Bayt (as).
All peace [salams] on Al-Hussain, on ‘Ali ibn al-Hussain (as), on the sons of Hussain (as) and on the companions of Al-Hussain (as).’