The Holy Shrine of Abbas (a.s.)
From early ages of humankind, people used to show various forms of adulation to their honorable and unique personalities. One of these forms was the sanctification of their tombs by constructing handsome buildings that are, in most cases, taken as places of worship. The holy Quran, narrating the story of the seven sleepers of Ephesus, has referred to this phenomenon:
"We caused their story to become public so that people would know that God's promise was true and that there is no doubt about the coming of the Day of Judgment. They started to argue with each other about the matter (Resurrection) and some of them said, "Let us establish a building at the youths' sleeping place. Their Lord knew best their intentions about them. The majority prevailed in their suggestion of the establishment of a mosque in that place."68
Such buildings have been ceaselessly visited by people for seeking blessings, showing respect, and practicing definite ceremonies and rituals of worship there.
The question of visiting the tombs of the prophets, their successors, and saints has been an uninterrupted tradition quoted from Prophet Mohammad's words, deeds, and confirmations.
Nevertheless, some heretical doctrines claiming belongingness to Islam have arisen problematic matters regarding this point. As if they are the only Muslims believing in the legality of visiting the tombs, the Shia have been accused of believing that it is permissible to visit the shrines of the Prophets, Imams and saints, building them, to seek blessings through them, to pray and make supplications around them. All the other Islamic schools of jurisprudence have shared the Shia in such beliefs.69
Not only is the holy shrine of al-Abbas visited by the Shia, but also Muslims from other Islamic sects have been pilgrimaging to that shrine ceaselessly.
The Immaculate Imams of the Ahl-ul-Bayt (a) confirmed the pilgrimage to the holy shrines of the prophets, Imams, and saints and referred to definite rules of conduct to be followed there. They also dedicated definite statements of supplication and greetings to such shrines.
As a matter of fact, the question of constructing shrines on the tombs of certain individual is not an ordinary issue originated from personal views or tendencies. Indeed, it is a divine will having many dimensions.
First of all, God the Exalted has promised His sincere servants to commemorate their names and mentioning in this world as well as the world to come. One of the signs of their eternity in this world stands for the presence of handsome buildings on their tombs to remind of their situations, ways of life, and piety to the Creator.
As they played the roles of examples during their lives, the pious individuals' shrines keep in people's minds these examples that should be followed for winning happiness in this life and the life to come.
The holy shrines, too, have become the shelters of those who are inflicted with worldly disasters and those who seek refuge of God. Under the domes of such shrines all supplications to God are responded, all screams of the repentant are heard, and all cries of seekers of succor are answered.
These holy shrines, finally, have very frequently been the source of many reestablishments of relations with the Lord, many revolutions against individual and shared wrong and injustice, and many returns to God.
68. The Holy Quran; Sura of al-Kahf, Verse 21.
69. At-Tabarani in his books al-Mu'jam al-Kabir and al-Awsat, ad-Darqutni in his book al-Amali, and Abu-Bakr bin al-Muqri in his Mu'jam mention a tradition narrated by Maslama ibn Salim al-Juhani, from Ubaidullah bin Omar, from Nafi, from Salim, from Ibn Omar that the Prophet Muhammad (a) and his family, said, "He who comes to see me, having no other desire than that of visiting me, of a surety I will be an intercessor for him on the Day of Judgment." He commented: "It was mentioned in ibn ul-Muqri's Mu'jam, "For him who comes to visit me, it will be incumbent upon Allah to make me an intercessor for him on the Day of Resurrection."
Adopted from the book : "Al-Abbas"
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