There are many traditions concerning the merit of Imam Rida's (a.s) Ziyarah (pilgrimage) in general and in some its thawab (spiritual reward) is concerned to be equal to that of the martyrdom of the martyrs of Badr and in still other traditions its thawab is considered equal to that of a hajj pilgrimage.
Ja'far ibn Muhammad ibn Qulawayh narrates the following tradition from Hassan ibn Abd Allah, from his father, Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Isa,from Dawud Sarmi, who narrates from Abu Ja'far the Second (Imam Muhammad al-Taqi (a.s), ninth Holy Imam) saying:
I heard him say, "Whoever visits my father's tomb shall enter paradise"1.
Again, he narrates from his father, from Sa'd, from Ibrahim ibn Rayyan, fromYahya ibn al-Hasan al-Husayni, from Ali ibn Abd Allah ibn Qutrub:
"Ali ibn Abd Allah ibn Qutrub says: "Once when the sons of Imam Musa al-Kazim (a.s) were gathered in his presence, Ali, his son, who was very young, passed by; then the Holy Imam said. "This son of mine shall die in a foreign land. So whoever makes a pilgrimage to his shrine, while he submits to his Wilayah and Imamah and knows his right, shall have a reward near Allah Almighty and Glorious, like that of the martyrs of Badr"2.
In The Presence Of Imam Ridha (a.s)
Ziyarah (pilgrimage) is the eager visit to present ourselves before whom we love and venerate.
Ziyarah is the presence in the holy places of the leaders of religion, which commence by leaving our native place with the intense desire for visiting the holy places. Outwardly it is moving from a place but in reality it is the movement of heart and spirit.
Ziyarah is the means to attain our heart's connection with the proof (hujjah) of Allah, to keep ourselves at the disposal of the realm of spirituality, blessing and bounties of the Holy Imam (a.s)
Ziyarah is to present oneself before the holy shrine of those great immaculate personalities who devoted their lives struggling in the cause of Allah and defending the rights of the people and propagating the true Islam and pure monotheism.
Ziyarah is the presence before the burial place of the martyr and to glorify and honor the martyr, who had sacrificed his life in the cause of Allah and attained eternity by martyrdom.
Having the gnosis of the Holy Imam (a.s) and understanding the spiritual stations and perfections of these holy and divine personalities, who are selected and chosen by Allah, attain the reality of the presence of the pilgrims in the holy shrine.
Rules of Ziyarah
The Ziyarah has certain manners and rules; here are some of them mentioned below:
To enter the holy shrine after performing Wudhu or Ghusl.
To wear clean, tidy and new clothes.
While going towards the holy shrine, the pilgrim should walk with peace and dignity. The pilgrim should walk with humility by keeping the head down and should develop the concentration of mind and presence of heart.
In the holy shrine, the pilgrim should be busy praising the Creator and the heart should remember the greatness of Allah. Pilgrim should continuously invoke blessings and salutations (Salawat) upon the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his household) and his Holy Ahl ul-Bayt (a.s).
In the holy shrine, the pilgrim should avoid vain talk and should abstain from altercation and hostile discussions.
The pilgrim when reaching the precincts of the holy shrine should stop and seek the permission of entry from the Holy Imams (a.s).
The pilgrims should abstain from creating any sort of trouble in the holy shrine and should abide by the instructions of the attendants of the holy shrine.
When the pilgrim sees the holy burial chamber (dharih), before starting the recitation of ziyarah he should first recite Takbir.
Pilgrim should try his best to recite the ziyarah standing.
While reciting ziyarah the pilgrims' face should be directed towards dharih and for the supplication (dua) the pilgrim should move toward the upper part of the dharih and recite the dua while facing the Qiblah.
The pilgrim should recite the ziyarah only narrated by the Holy Imams (a.s) for example Ziyarat -i- Aminullah and Ziyaratul-Jame’h al-Kabeerah, and should abstain from reciting any non - authentic and non-appropriate words in the Ziyarah.
The pilgrim should not recite the Ziyarah in a raised voice.
After the recitation of the Ziyarah, pilgrim should perform the two rakah Salatul Ziyarah and present the thawab of it to the Holy Imam (a.s).
After the Salatul Ziyarah the pilgrim should recite the recommended supplications (dua) and then should pray to Allah Almighty to grant everything good and beneficial to his relatives, friends and all those who had requested him to pray for them in the holy shrine.
The pilgrim should recite the Holy Quran as much as possible and present the thawab of it to the holy soul of the Immaculate Imam (a.s).
The pilgrim should pray to Allah Almighty to hasten the advent of Imam al-Zaman Hadrat Mahdi (a.s) and to grant prosperity and success to Islam and the Muslims in the world.
1 -Ibn Qulawayh: Kamil al-Ziyarat, bab 101, p.303.
2 -Ibid, bab 101, p. 304.