By Zishaan Karim,
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
“I SEEK FROM YOU, O ALLAH …”
As I go about my daily chores I make it a point to do my daily recitation of Ziyarat Ashoor as it now forms a part of my routine.
Having recited it daily for years now, it forms a vital section of my daily spiritual activities and places an importance as good as salah itself.
I am reminded that I am not the first one to have made the ziyarah a part of my routine and that learned scholars have initiated this culture and there are numerous benefits for this particular Ziyarah.
I am told of Ayatullah Amini and how after he passed away, his son saw him in the dream where Ayatullah looked very contented and in the midst of gardens. When asked, he replied that the status he acquired in barzakh was neither due to his famous book, Al Ghadeer, nor due to the Library he had established. His status was a recompense of Ziyarat Ashoora in his daily schedule.
As I read and hear benefits of Ziyarat Ashoora, I cannot help but wonder… If great ulemas have so abundantly benefited from the ziyarah, why do I not see any difference in myself?
Or perhaps the results are seen only when I enter the land of barzakh?
For any good act or noble deed there are various facets. The deed carries with it thawab, which is the spiritual gain and there are physical gains also. All good deeds have material benefits as well as spiritual benefits.
However, to any noble deed there are two main angles to look from; The purpose of performing the deed and the effect of its performance.
Sometimes we mistake the effect for the purpose and carry out the deed with the effect in focus.
For example if a young child has been diagnosed with an illness that requires daily consumption of a certain medicine, his mother will ensure that he takes the medicine as required. The purpose of taking the medicine is to cure him of the illness; however, knowing that the child will not be willing to take the medicine, she promises him a new toy upon consumption of the dose. The toy is the effect of taking the medicine, not the purpose. However, to motivate the child into taking the medicine, the mother promises a toy, and because the child is too naïve to comprehend the purpose, he focuses on the gift and consumes the medication as required.
Many of the good deeds that I perform are also focused on these “TOYS” that are the benefits of the deeds. Swalatul Layl gives barakah in rizq, Ziyarat Ashoora solves all problems, Ghufayla guarantees answer to all halal hajaat, and so on. True, they all do and will continue to do so. But are they the purpose of the deed or the benefit from them? I wonder….