March 2000/ Zilhajj 1420 A H
Ziyarat Facts- Iraq
After my latest Iraq ziyarat experience, I would like to briefly outline few details
which I think will be a great help to zawwars in future.
As there is no aerial route to Iraq these days due to embargo most of the zawwars
follow the road link from Iran to Iraq which is one of the shortest possible ways
to reach Iraq. The other option is to go by a passenger ship from Sharjah to
Basra. This is a longer journey, which I have not experienced and cannot contribute
much on this subject. The road journey to Iraq must be in a group of at least 14
persons which is one of the conditions you have to fulfill.
Now a days most of the zawwars fly to Tehran and get a connection to fly to the nearest
possible point to Iraq border which is Kermanshah. This takes about 50 minutes by air
from Tehran. There are two problems in this journey, firstly the quickest connection
to Kermanshah from Tehran and secondly the change of flight from Tehran. All the
passengers have to clear their cargo from Tehran and transfer to domestic terminal
for the flight to Kermanshah. Domestic terminal is a good 12 to 15 mins walk and
it is difficult with the luggage to transfer, therefore either a taxi or bus is usually
arranged. All the cargo is then passed through the scanner for security followed by
normal weighing and ticketing procedure.
Kermanshah is a beautiful city surrounded by mountains usually with snow on the peaks,
the scenery is breathtaking. This is one of the smallest airports I have come across.
From this spot the group coordinator usually has made full arrangements of the journey as the entire journey is by road. The roads are fully tarmac and reasonably good condition throughout the journey.
Next is the road journey to Qasr al Shireen, which is a border town for Iran exit.
This takes approximately 4 hours depending on the speed and traffic conditions.
Procedure here is sometimes quite lengthy. All the cargo is checked and immigration
formalities must be completed. The government of Iran has provided special busses
from the border to Iraq border entry point. All the cargo is first offloaded from the
bus which you traveled from Kermanshah, the cargo is then loaded on the
Iran border bus and offloaded again at the Iraq entry point. Here the cargo is
checked again, immigration formalities for Iraq entry must be completed. All the
passengers usually undergo aids test here which costs US $ 50/-. Although this
formality is sometimes avoided by paying a little extra. After completing all these
formalities the cargo is checked by security and loaded on to a bus which is an
At this point it is worth making a proper identification of the bus, noting the registration number as this bus will be with you for the entire Iraq journey,
which is usually 8 to 10 days. The government provides two Iraqi persons here at the border who will be with the group until the Iraq exit point.
These two Iraqi strangers will now be part of your group. It is advisable to make friendship with them as they will be eating, sleeping, praying etc with the group at all times. During the trips to other outside ziyarats they are usually together. We had very good people and I found them to be like our bodyguards rather than hindrance.
The journey to Baghdad is approximately 3 hours.
Group coordinators select the next destination. We headed for Najaf where we spent
two days then headed for Kerbala for the Arafat Makhsoosi. We spent 5 days in
Kerbala, then went to Kazmain and Samarrah before returning back to the Iraqi border
and underwent most of the procedures again. From Kermanshah we flew to Tehran and back to Dubai.
In the next few pages I have briefly outlined details of Iraq ziyarats.
In most of the locations the ziyarats are written on the side before you enter the
zarih or mosque. It is recommended that one recites all the ziyarats and izne-dukhool,
if mentioned and recite two rakaat for Hadiye Masjid or (Tahiyyate Masjid) and
two rakaat for each ziyarat respectively.
It is recommended to have least possible weight as you have noted above the
number of times the goods are offloaded and loaded. Make sure the packages
or suitcases you carry are strong enough otherwise you will return with damaged
and torn suitcases which may result in loss of cargo. The number of times
cargo is offloaded and loaded is done quite roughly in large groups, therefore
carry a good quality light suitcase and do not have any fragile goods inside the
cargo throughout the journey. I have still not mentioned the number of times cargo
is loaded and offloaded again from hotel to hotel as usually the group spends
nights in Kerbala, Najaf, Kazmain, Samarrah and Kerman shah depending
on the itinerary.
Conditions in Iraq are not as bad as people fear. Most of the necessities are
available. Hotels near Haram are of reasonable standard, although hotels
located further from Haram are of good standard, but are usually avoided
as it is very convenient to walk for the ziyarats at all times. The major problem in Iraq is the Asian type toilets, although a commode is sometimes available in some hotels.
Most of the shrines close at night around 10.00 p.m (except for Maksoos Nights ) and open just before morning prayers. Jamaat namaaz in the Harams are conducted outside in the sahan area usually.
For Makhsoos a’maals in Imam Hussein A.S. Haram, it will be difficult to get a place
inside the Haram. It is recommended to sit outside in the sahan area where one can perform a’maals at ease. Unfortunately the sahan is not carpeted, therefore one should carry a musalla or mat, also carry water bottles for drinking and
performing wuzu if necessary, as toilets are not conveniently located .
Poverty is immense in Iraq, you will notice mainly women and children
begging for almost anything what you can give. Make sure when you give, give
in privacy otherwise you will be surrounded.
Pick pocketing is very common. All the zawwars must ensure not to take their
important documents to the Harams under any circumstances. You should carry only some local currency for basic spending and charity. In our group of 40, 4 persons were robbed; fortunately they did not have any important documents. Purses, handbags are the main targets. Due to poverty small children usually have this habit.
The following items are recommended to take with you if you are very particular,
although these goods are not necessary as most of it is available. I will mark
n/a in the list of items not available.
1. Pillows and Sleeping bags- Useful only at the border and airport if you
are spending nights.
2. Long Jones or internal clothes only during winter season. Very Important
3. Rubber or room slippers/ sandals,( mainly for use of going to Harams.)
4. Milk for tea if you do not like fresh milk. (n/a)
5. For infants you must carry the entire foodstuff.
6. Shampoo, soap and shaving kit.
7. Chilly sauce, achaar and tomato ketchup, as you will find the food light. (n/a)
8. Mini trolley can be handy for outside ziyarats.
9. Sweaters and Jackets only during winter seasons. Leather jackets are available
in Iraq for very good value. If you have the need you must buy from Iraq.
For US $ 30 to 50 you can buy excellent leather jackets. This is a good value
for zawwars coming from the west.
10.Use mineral water only, which is available locally.
11.Cameras/Video Cameras. It is allowed to take pictures inside the holy shrines.
Video Camera could cause a problem, as you have to carry and care throughout.
12.Dua/Ziyarat books. (n/a)
There is no fear whatsoever in Iraq, there are no restrictions, except that
one should not get involved into political matters. We had done matam almost
everywhere, cried loudly, read ziyarats and laanats loudly, had majlises in many
In march 2000 for one US $ we got 1900 Iraq Dinars. One can buy a packet
of bread with 10 loaves for 300 Iraqi Dinar. Can you imagine with One US Dollar you
can fulfill approximately 8/9 beggars if you give 200 or 250 Iraqi Dinars. I would
recommend when you change local currency do not take less than 250/- Iraqi Dinar
notes, otherwise you will face problems to carry local currency. If you change
US $ 10/- you will approximately get 19000/- Iraqi Dinar which will be 76 notes
of 250 Dinars. Do not accept less than 250 notes.
I would like to thank Sayed Mumtaz and his family for their excellent treatment and a
very well organized tour. May Almighty Allah grant him a long and prosperous
life and give him the strength to continue his ziyarat mission for many many more
Distances to Iraq and inside Iraq:
Tehran to Kermanshah flight 50 Mins
Kermanshah to Qasre Shireen by road 4 Hours 300 kms
Qasre Shireen to Najaf by road 4 Hours 350 kms
Najaf to Kufa by road 20 mins
Najaf to Kerbala by road 1 Hour 70 kms
Kebala to Kazmain by road 2 Hours 120 kms
Kazmain to Samarra by road 3 Hours 250 kms
ZIYARATS IN IRAQ
1. Haram of Haz. Imam Hussein A.S. ( Sayyedush – Shohada)
- Within Imam Hussein’s zarih (towards the leg side) are the graves of
his two sons Haz. Ali Akber and Haz. Ali Asger.
- Nearby there is a big zarih for Ganj-e-Shahidan where almost all shahids
of Kerbala are buried.
- In Rawaq (passage-way) there is a zarih of Habib ibne Mazaher Asadi.
- Qatlagah- The place where Imam Hussein was actually martyred
- Zarih of Ibrahim Mujaab (son of 7th Imam A.S.)
All the above are located inside the shrine and are visible from few steps.
After reciting Izne Dukhul a total of 6 ziyarats are to be recited, Imam Hussein,
Haz.Ali Akber, Haz. Ali Asger, Ganj-e Shahidan, Habib Ibne Mazaher
and Ibrahim Mujab. After ziyarats two rakaat namaaz for each should be recited.
2. Haram of Hazrat Abul Fazlil Abbas A.S.- This is visible from the Haram of
Imam Hussein A.S. and is about 5 minutes walk.
The following are the recommended a’maal for most of the Harams:
Ghusl- ziyarats- 2 rakaat namaaz of hadiye masjid, 2 rakaat namaaz for each ziyarat,
Ziyarate Ashura, Ziyarate Waritha, Ziyarate Mutlaqah, Dua e Alqamah,
Namaaz e JaffereTayyar, Namaaze Shab, Recite as many namaaz as you can
as for each rakaat the sawaab is multiplied number of times, recitation of
the holy Quran, Dua e Komail, Ziyarate Jamia Sagheer and Kabeer and most important
of all is the tasbih of Bibi Fatemah (SAW)
Sajdagah’s are available in all the harams and most of the outside ziyarats.
3. The following are the ziyarats of different spots in the battlefield. All these spots
are at walking distances from the Haram of Imam Hussein A.S. Allow at least
2 hours to complete all these ziyarats, which is normally done walking.
You will have a picture of the entire battle field, where the Bani Hashim
camped, and the grave of Imam Hussein. To make the following ziyarats (A to K)
comfortable you may carry some water for drinking or performing wuzu.
A. TILLA E ZAINABIYYA- Place where Janabe Zainab A.S. climbed to see
Imam Hussein A.S. when he fell from the horse during the battle and was martyred.
Maqam has been built on this spot where zawars recite 2 rakaat namaaz.
B. KHAIMAGAH: Place where the tents of Imam Hussein A.S. were located.
A permanent structure is built in this spot and 2 rakaat namaaz is recited here.
C. Two different spots where Haz. Abbas A.S. arms were chopped.
D. Spot where Imam Hussein A.S. spoke to Umar e Sa’ad ( L)
E. Maqame Haz. Ali Akber- where he fell from the horse
F. Maqame Haz. Ali Asger- where he was martyred by the arrow of Hurmala (L)
G. Maqame Haz. Ali A.S. – where Imam Ali A.S. met Janabe Zainab A.S.
H. Maqame Janabe Fizza
I. Maqame Jaffer-e- Jinn - place where he offered help to Imam Hussein A.S.
J. Maqame Sahibuz- Zamaan A.S. (near river Furat) - It is prominently believed that
this is the place where the horse of Imam Hussein A.S. stopped when he entered
Kerbala. It is also believed that Imam Zamana comes to this spot where a mosque
has been built, he offers his prayers here before going to the Zarih of Imam Hussein.
River Furat has now become a touristic and beauty spot in Kerbala. The water flowing
is quite clean. We performed wuzu with that water and some zawwars take a sip too.
K. Maqam of Imam Jaffar e Sadiq A.S. – A bridge is built on the river Furat, which has
to be crossed to reach this spot which is about 5 mins further walk. There is a small
ziyarat to be recited and two rakaat namaaz is recommended. The caretakers of this
area usually provide special Arabic bread and dates at a small sum. I also had the
opportunity to see the room of Imam Jaffer e Sadiq, which is located on the left
of the main entrance, the passage way is blocked as the caretakers live here.
This place is also sometimes known as Bagh e Imam Jafar e Sadiq A.S. and is famous
for its dates.
4. Rauza of Janabe Hurr- This is about 3 miles from the Haram.
5. Rauza of Janabe Awn bin Ali- This is about 7 miles from the Haram
6. Musayyab- This is a town 8 miles from the Haram, the 2 sons of Haz. Muslim bin
Aqeel (Tiflan e Muslim), namely Haz. Mohamed and Haz. Ibrahim are buried here.
The two sons of Haz. Muslim bin Aqeel were killed by Harris(L) after seeking shelter
at his house.
Before leaving Kerbala it is recommended to buy sajdagha’s (turbat of Khaqe Kerbala)
You may also purchase Tasbih of Khaaq, Kafans and rings, however the rings can be
purchased from Najaf as Durre Najaf stone is available cheaper in Najaf. I found
a better selection of Aqeeq, Firoza and Hadeed e Theen rings in Kerbala. The other
items you can buy in Kerbala are Musallas, plaques or picture frames with ayaats
Do not forget Ziyarate Wida for all the Harams. Specific Wida ziyarats are mentioned
It is very important to note that you have to recite qasr namaaz in all the locations of
Iraq if your stay is less than 10 days at one location, however in Masjide Kufa one
must recite full namaaz and not qasr.
NAJAF E ASHRAF
1. Haram of Hazrat Amirul Mo’mineen Imam Ali bin Abi Talib A.S.
In the zarih of Imam Ali A.S. there are also the graves of Haz. Adam
and Haz Nuh A.S.
Ziyarat of the above 3 are recited and 2 rakaat namaaz for each should be performed.
Other a’maals and ziyarat as mentioned before for all the Harams.
2. Allama Hilli, Allama Ardabeli are buried within the Haram. Allama Isfahani is buried
in the sahan area. On one side of the Haram Sayed Khui is buried, this access is now
blocked. Outside the Haram (from Bab e Qibla) there is Masjid e Hind where
Sayed Mohsin Hakim is buried.
3. Wadius-Salaam ( this is a huge graveyard):
The following graves can be located here. It is every momin’s wish to be buried in this
Graveyard as this is one of the best places to be buried in. Zawars usually make a small
mark inside this graveyard and make a copy of their own graves.
- Mazaar of Haz. Hood A.S.
- Mazaar of Haz. Saleh A.S.
- Makame Haz. Imam Zainul Abedin A.S.
- Makame Haz Hujjat Sahebuz Zamaan A.S.
4. Masjide Sa’asa ibne Sauhan and Masjide Zayd.: It is highly recommended to perform
ziyarat of this mosque as Haz Ali A.S. himself has prayed in this mosque.
5. Masjide Hannana – This mosque is located between Najaf and Kufa. The pillars of this
mosque bowed down when Imam Ali’s janaza passed near it on its way from Kufa
to Najaf for burial. It is also believed that after the events of Kerbala, the 4th Imam,
the ladies and children were made to wait at this mosque before entering Kufa.
In the middle of the mosque is a small zarih where the skin of Imam Hussein’s face
is buried after it was peeled by Khuli,(L) who was one of the Yazid’s(L) soldiers
who used to carry Imam’s head on the spear.
6. Rauza of Janabe Kumail (whom Imam Ali A.S. taught Dua-e-Kumail).
This is rauza is located between Najaf and Kufa. Komail was one of the ashaabs
Of Imam Ali A.S., recommended to recite ziyarat, 2 rakaat namaaz and Dua e Komail.
- Masjide Kufa- This is a very revered mosque with plenty of historic spots of various Prophets and Imams. Refer Mafatih for special a’maals and duas for
- Mehrab e Ibadat- where Imam Ali A.S. was martyred
- Courtroom of Imam Ali A.S. (Dakkatul Qazaa)
- Rauza of Muslim bin Aqeel bin Abutalib
- Rauza of Mukhtar e Thaqafi
- Rauza of Hani bin Urwa (the host of Muslim bin Aqeel)
- Maqam (Musallas) of several prophets.
- Tanoor from where Tufaan e Nooh started (in the center of compound)
It is highly recommended to recite jamaat namaaz in this mosque. There is a
great sawaab to recite as many namaaz as one can in this mosque. Do not miss
the opportunity to recite nafelah namaaz, do not forget to recite the tasbih of
Bibi Fatemah here and at all the other ziyarats. It is recommended when you
go for ziyarats you must have a tasbih in your hands and continuously recite
any zikr of Allah. Do not forget marhooms, you may recite 2 rakaat namaaz
for all marhoomins, 2 rakaat namaaz of shukr, 2 rakaat namaaz of hajat that you
should get another opportunity to visit this sacred mosque. Repeat similar
a’maals for Masjid e Sahla. These two are very important ziyarats.
Please note, full namaaz has to be recited in Masjide Kufa (not qasr)
- Rauza of Janabe Khadijatul Sugra binte Imam Ali- Opposite of Masjide Kufa
She is the sister of Haz Abbas.
- House of Imam Ali A.S. where he was also given Ghusl and Kafan. Inside the
house there is a water-well which Imam Ali had dug.
One is allowed to go inside this house, do not forget to take your cameras, this
is a sad but an eventful site. There are separate rooms of the Imam Ali’s A.S.
family including a well within the house. You may drink or perform wuzu with
this water. Some zawwars buy a small plastic container and collect the water
from this well. Plastic containers are available outside.
- Rauza of Maytham e Tammar- The companion of Imam Ali whose tongue,
hands and legs were cut followed by hanging, when he achieved martyrdom.
- Masjide Sahla- This is a very revered mosque with plenty of historical spots
of various Prophets and Imams. Very similar to Masjid e Kufa. Again refer
the Mafatih for special a’maals and duas for different places. Some important
spots are Maqam of 4th, 6th and 12th Imam. Maqam of H. Ibrahim, H.Idris
H.Khizr and Maqame Saleh. It is higly recommended to perform a’maals on
Tuesday night, Jamaat Namaaz is usually performed here. We were lucky enough to recite maghrib prayers which was led by the grand son of Ayatollah Mohsin Hakeem.
- Maqam of Haz. Yunus- near river Furat where he came out of the fish belly.
This is a small town between Kufa and Najaf. The following 6 ziyarats can be performed.
- Mazar of Janab Hamza – grandson of Hazrat Abbas
- Mazar of Janab Zaid e Shahid – son of 4th Imam
- Mazar of Janab Qasim – son of 7th Imam
- Mazar of Prophet Ayyub, Danyal and Dhulkifl
- Maqam of Sahebuz Zamaan A.S.
- Masjide Raddush shams – where Imam Ali made the sun return as his namaaz
was getting kazaa
KAZMAIN AND BAGHDAD
It is highly recommended to perform ziyarat of 7th and 9th imam here in
Kazmain. The sawaab for performing ziyarat is equivalent to the ziyarat
in Madina and other Imams ziyarat. Refer to Haram a’maal mentioned
before and follow the same procedure. Refer Mafatih for specific ziyarats
- Rauza of 7th and 9th Imam in Kazmain. Both the imams are nearby.
- Mazar of Sh. Mufid and Sh. Toosi. (inside the Haram in Kazmain)
- Mazar of Sy. Murtaza and Sy. Razi (Outside Haram – 2/3 mins walk)
- Masjide Buraathaa- Between Kazmain and Baghdad (several Prophets have recited namaaz in this mosque, including Imam Ali A.S.)
- Mazar of Uthman Bin Saeed- 1st Naeb of 12th Imam. (In Baghdad near Postoffice)
- Mazar of Mohamed Bin Uthman- 2nd Naeb of 12th Imam. (In Baghdad in Babush Shaikh.
- Mazar of Ali bin Mohamed Samary- 4th Naeb of 12th Imam (In Baghdad in Suq ul Harraj)
- Mazar of Hussein Bin Rawh – 3rd Naeb of 12th Imam ( In Baghdad in Suq ul Atateer)
- Mazar of Qamber – servant of Imam Ali A.S. This is in Baghdad in Bazaar e Qamber.
- The wall in which Haroon Rashid (L)buried many Sadaat alive.
This is in Baghdad on the north of bridge on the corner of river Dajla
- Rauza of Salman e Farsi (Close companion of Imam Ali A.S)
- Mazar of Huzaifa e Yamaani
- Mazar of Jabir ibne Abdullah Ansaari
- Taak e Kisra- This is the palace of Nausherwan. On the birth of Prophet Mohamed (SAW) in Mecca this huge palace developed cracks on its
walls. Also the “holy fire” they used to worship, which was lit
for centuries went off.
It is highly recommended to perform ziyarats of 10th an 11th Imam here. There is great sawaab to perform a’maal inside the Haram.
Follow the same procedure for a’maal of Haram. Refer Mafatih for specific ziyarats
of Samarrah for 10th and 11th Imams respectively.
1. Rauza – e – Askariyyan: The Rauza of 10th Imam, 11th Imam, Bibi Halima
Khatoon (sister of 11th Imam) and Bibi Nargis Khatoon (mother of 12th Imam)
- Sardaab (cellar) where 12th Imam went into Ghaibat (Occultation)
3. The palace of Mo’tamid (L) where 10th and 11th Imam were imprisoned.
One must see the prison to imagine the torture that Imams endured.
4. The spiral mosque- huge mosque built during the time of Mo’atamid (L)
5. Rauza of Sayed Mohamed – son of 10th Imam in Balad ( On the way from
Kazmain to Samarrah.
For any suggestion, proposal, errors or comments, please contact,
Box 5741 Dubai
Tel: Off : +9714 8814786 Cell: +97150 6253025
Fax: +9714 8812786