Ziyāra (Arabic: الزيارة; visit) or pilgrimage is a religious act which means to attend before religious leaders or their graves in order to express and show love and reverence and acquire spiritual blessings. Visiting religious personalities and their graves have always been among recommended acts in Islam and during history, Muslims have paid attention to it and followed it. However, ziyara of the Prophet (s) and Imams (a) has had a great importance among Shi'a and many spiritual benefits and rewards have been mentioned for them. Since ziyara is greatly important in Shi'a culture, it has been regarded among the characteristics of Shi'a.
Despite the general opinion of Muslims about recommendation and permissibility of Ziyara, Wahhabism, which has certain interpretations of some verses, claims that ziyara is not compatible with the conduct of the Prophet (s) and has cast doubts on this issue. These doubts have made Shi'a and Sunni scholars answer and defend the permissibility of Ziyara.
Literally, the word "Ziyara" means turning and withdrawing from something. The person who goes on ziyara is called Za'ir because when he goes to ziyara of a person, turns away from others.
The common meaning of ziyara is that one turns to a person to show respect and become close to him; i.e. a visit which is accompanied with reverence at the heart and spiritual approach. Also, some have said that visiting friends of God and great Muslim personalities is called ziyara because it is turning away from material world towards the spiritual world.
Importance in Islamic Culture
In Islamic culture and all Muslims' tradition, ziyara has an important position which can be understood from hadiths received from Imams (a) about the promised rewards for ziyara. Hadiths about recommendation of ziyara of the Prophet (s) are many and at the level of Tawatur [high frequency of narration] and agreed upon by both