Sham Travel Guide
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ZIYARATS IN SYRIA

For those who are going to Syria for the first time a guide is definitely required as locations are far and taxi + historical background is a must.

PLACES  TO  VISIT :

A ; IN ZAINABIYYA

(a)    Rauza of Bibi Zainab A.S.

(b)    In the courtyard some Mujtahids are buried.  One of them is Syed Mohsinul Ameen. His 3 daughters had dreamt that Bibi Sakina’s grave was getting flooded with water. Syed M. Ameen asked for permission to open up the grave and have it raised above water level.  He was given permission with the condition that if the grave is found to be dry then he would be killed.  He agreed to this condition and the grave was opened and found flooded but the body was completely fresh.  He lifted the body and had it reburied on the raised level.

(c)    Nearby there is a graveyard of Behishte Sayyeda Zainab where among the many important people buried is the grave of Dr. Ali Shariati.  His grave is in a room located on the far right hand side of the cemetery.

B : IN DAMASCUS  TOWN

(a)    Rauza of Bibi Sakina A.S.  (NOTE : This is commonly called Sayyeda Ruqayyah).

(b)    Nearby there is the Darbare Yazid (also called Majide Umayya or Jaami Amawi).

This has many historical spots.

1) In the courtyard you can see :

– The spot where Bibi Zainab gave her Khutba.

– The spot where 4th Imam gave his Khutba.

– Baab Sa’at – the entrance with minaret and clock.  The Qafela were made to wait nearly 7 hours then brought before Yazid through this entrance.

– The place where all the invited guests of Yazid were sitting (on the 1st floor) overlooking the courtyard.

2) In the mosque you can see :

– The mimber (pulpit) from which 4th Imam gave a Khutba which was interrupted by Adhaan (although it was not Namaz time).

– Opposite the mimber is a platform where the Qafela were made to wait.

–  The tomb of Nabi Yahya A.S.  Christians call him John the Baptist and come here on Sundays to perform their rituals.

3) Adjacent to the mosque (on one side of the courtyard) you enter few separate rooms.  Here you can see :

–  The place where Imam Hussain’s head was kept.

–  Near it there is a glass enclosure.  This is the place where 4th Imam used to pray.

–  Another glass enclosure in the adjoining room.  This led to the underground treasury of Yazid where the heads of Imam Hussain + other Shuhada were kept.

(c)   Goristane Gharibaan (commonly called as Babus-Sagheer). This is a cemetery in Damascus which has following graves :

–  Umme Salma.   Wife of Holy Prophet S.A.W.W.

–  Umme Habiba.  Wife of Holy Prophet S.A.W.W.

–  Umme Kulthum (daughter of Imam Ali A.S.). Go downstairs to see the grave.

–  Bibi Rukayya (commonly known as Bibi Sakina’s grave). Go downstairs.

–  Bibi Fatemah Sughra – daughter of 3rd Imam.  Go downstairs to see the grave.

–  Bibi Fizza  –  kaniz of Bibi Fatemah A.S.

–  Abdullah bin Jafar-e-Tayyar (Bibi Zainab’s husband).

–  Bilal (Prophet’s Muazzin).

–  Maimoona  –  daughter of Imam Hassan A.S.

–  Hamida       –  daughter of H. Muslim.

–  Asma           –  wife of Jafar-e-Tayyar.

–  Abdullah     –  son of 4th Imam.

–  Abdullah     –  son of 6th Imam.

Opposite the cemetery there is a Zari where the heads of Shohada-e-Kerbala were kept and behind it there is a mosque where 4th Imam prayed.

(d)   Mazaar of Sakina binte Ali  –  daughter of Imam Ali A.S. and Bibi Fatemah A.S.

NOTE  –  This is not authenticated by all Ulema.

(e)    Jebel Al Qaasiyun.   This is a mountain which has following spots :

On one side of the mountain

  • The cave of Ashabe Kahf (a madressah has been built over here).
  • (Note : Cars only climb upto Ashabe Kahf cave. The other spots are difficult to access)

– Koh-e-Raqim.

– Masjide Sulaiman.

– Footprint of Imam Ali A.S.

– Khutba written on stone by Imam Ali A.S. with his fingers.

2)         On the other side of the slope but difficult to access (nearly 1 hours climb) :

– Place where Qabil killed Habil.

– Imprints of 2 eyes with teardrops (on the 1st murder on earth).

– Finger-prints of Hazrat Jibrail.

– Mehrabs of Nabi Khizr A.S. and Nabi Ibrahim A.S.

(f)    Hazrat Habil’s grave. This is on another mountain nearly 30 minutes drive from Damascus.  As this area is near the Lebanon border there are security checks on the way and you must take your Passports with you. Also cameras/video cameras are not allowed in this sensitive area (they may be hidden and taken for photography within the mazar).

C : IN ADRA

This place is nearly 1 hour drive from Zainabiyya.  Here the grave of Hujr bin Adi bin Hatim Taai and his men is located.  Hujr was an as-haab of Imam Ali A.S. and fought with him in the battles of Naharwaan, Siffeen and Jamal.  Hujr was captured by Muawiya’s army when he was on a journey from Iraq to Syria.   Muawiya ordered his army to imprison and kill them unless they agreed to abuse Imam Ali A.S.  When they refused, they were all killed.  Hujr asked that his son be killed first, lest he should change his mind once his father was dead.

ALEPPO  AND  RAQQA

Aleppo is nearly 4 hours drive from Zainabiyya and a further drive of 2 hours will take you to Raqqa.

(1)  On the way there is a Maqam of 4th Imam (a drive up one mountain).

(2)  In Aleppo there are following spots :

–    Mazar of Hazrat Zakariyya.  He had hid himself in a hollow tree from the tyrant ruler of the time.  A woman gave away his hiding place to the ruler who got the tree to be sawed in 3 parts and H.Zakariyya was killed. The woman was punished by Allah and was changed into a Lizard.

–    Mazar of H.Mohsin son of 3rd Imam.  His mother Rubab was 4 months pregnant when they were passing through Aleppo as captives after the event of Kerbala.  He was still-born and is buried here (NOTE : This is not authenticated by all Ulema).

–    Masjide Nuqta.  This was the site of a Church whose Priest had observed the bright light emerging from Imam Hussain’s head when the captives of Kerbala had camped in Aleppo for the night.  He gave some money to Shimr in return for keeping Imam Hussain’s head with him for 1 night.  He kept the head on a stone and talked with it the whole night and accepted Islam.  In the morning he returned the head and told Shimr,  ‘Shame on you.  You call yourselves Muslims and you murdered the grandson of your Prophet.  I am the 36th generation of Prophet Dawood and my people still respect me’.  The stone bearing the marks of Imam Hussain’s blood is preserved in a glass Zarih.  The old church was demolished in a war and the stone was moved to the Mazar of H.Zakariyya.  However, it just did not remain stable and the Ulema of the time decided to tie it on a horse and let it go free and to keep the stone wherever the horse stands.  The horse came back to the site of the demolished Church and the stone was kept there.  A big mosque was then constructed during the time of Mujtahid Agha Mohsin Al-Hakim.

(3)  In Raqqa there are the graves of Ammar Yasir and Owais-e-Qarani who were martyred in the battle of Siffeen.

GENERAL  NOTES  :

  • IZNE DUKHOOL (permission to enter) is required before entering any Roza of Ahlulbayt.
  • Wudhoo is required for reciting Ziyarat. 2 rakat Namaz for Hadiya-e-Ziyarat is recommended after most of the Ziyarats.
  • Ziyarat-e-Jamia is highly recommended in ALL
  • Namaze Ja’afar-e-Tayyaar is highly recommended in ALL Rozas.

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