What is Ziyarat al-Nahiya?

Of the several prescribed Ziyarat of Imam al-Husain (PBUH), one was recited by Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH) and reached us through one of his four special deputies. For that reason, it is known as the Ziyarat that was issued from the sacred side (Ziyarat al-Nahiya al-Muqaddasa).[1] One of the most important features of this Ziyarat is that in different phrases, Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH) graphically describes the events of Ashura and the agony that Imam al-Husain (PBUH) and his family faced on that horrific and ominous day.

[1] It should be noted that there is another Ziyarat known as al-Nahiya, which focuses on the Ziyarat of other martyrs of Karbala, specifying the names of the companions of Imam al-Husain (PBUH). However, as mentioned by al-Majlisi, the time mentioned in the documentation of the Hadith as the time of its release is four years before the time of the birth of Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH). Assuming that it was not a transcription error, that particular Ziyarat may have been transmitted by Imam Hasan al-Askari (PBUH) (Imam Mahdi’s father, the eleventh Imam), not Imam Mahdi (PBUH). In that case, al-Nahiya al-Muqaddasa (the sacred place) refers to the house of Imam Hasan al-Askari (PBUH) in Samarra.