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Question 057: Can I do the ziyarat for Imam Hussein (as) from home? How does one determine the direction of Karbala?

Answer 057: You can do the ziyarat for Imam Hussein (as) from home. You say, ‘Assalamo-Alaika Ya’ Aba Ab’dillah Al-Husain’. It does not matter where you are, because the ziyarat depends on your niyat (intention). Just do it with all your heart.
It is recommended to do Ziyarat in the direction of Karbala, however you are allowed to do it in the direction of the Qibla.

When Imam Baqir (as) explained to Alqama the rewards of Ziyarat Ashura, Alqama asked: May I be ransom for you! What reward is for those who are away from Karbala and it is impossible for them to come to visit the holy shrine of Imam Hussain (as) on the day of Ashura? The Imam replied: I divinely promise that if one does Ziyara of Imam Hussain from far away on this day he would be given all the rewards.

The Imam explained how to do Ziyarat as follows: One should be in an open place and in the direction of Imam Hussain (as), curse the Imam’s killers, offer two rak’at prayer before noon, mourn and cry for Him and invite his family to mourn and condole Shia Muslims when meet each other. If the one do so I would certainly promise that he gets all the rewards (i.e. the rewards have been determined for doing Ziyarat of Imam Hussain (as)).[1]

Ibn Abi Umayr quoted from Imam Sadiq (as) that He said: Certainly we are given the salaams of those of you who are far away from our shrines, but go to an open place offer two rak’ats prayer and say Salaam while pointing our graves.[2]

There is another tradition in which Sudayr, one of the followers of Imam sadiq (as) narrated it, saying that Ziyarat of Imam Hussain (as) has more rewards for those who are even far away from the holy shrine if they go to an  open place, look at their right and left sides, raise their head toward the sky and be in the direction of the holy shrine of Imam Hussain (as) and then say: Assalamo-Alaika Ya’ Aba Ab’dillah, Assalamo-Alaika wa Rahmatullhi wa Barakatuhu.[3]

A narrator asked Imam Sadiq (as): May I be ransom for you! What should I say whenever I remember Imam Hussain (as)? The Imam (as) replied: Say thrice: “Sallallahu Alaika Ya Aba Abdillah”, as He is received the Salaam from near and far.[4]

Note: If you want to find the direction of Qibla and other holy places you would be able to head over Google Map and choose Karbala (the holy Shrine of Imam Hussain (as)), use some other means related to this issue or download some useful apps such as: حقیبة المؤمن and “Bad e Saba.” via internet, and mobile app stores.

For further information in this regards, please read the following answers:

Index: Ziyarat Ashura, Arabaeen, Ameenullah and Warith, answer 253.

Index: Going for Hajj or Ziyarat / Ziyarat of Imam Hussain (as) is better or Imam Reza (as), answer 124.

[1] . Kamel al-Ziyarat, chapter 71, Pg. 175, H. 8;  Biharul Anwar, Vol. 98, Pg. 290, H. 1.

[2] . Ibid, chapter 96, Pg. 286, H. 1.

[3] . Ibid, Pg. 287, H. 2

[4] . Kafi, Vol. 4, Pg. 575, H. 2.

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