Here is the English abstract of Mr. Seyyed Ali Qazi Askar's (the Custodian of the Shrine of Abd al-Azim al-Hasani) presentation at the 4th pre-con meeting of the conference “Theology of Pilgrimage" which was held by The University and Research Institute of Quran and Hadith on September 27, 2023, at The University of Quran and Hadith, Rey, Iran.
The Purposes of Pilgrimage from the Perspective of Imamiyyah
In the common parlance, the primary aim of pilgrimage is supplication to the infallible Imams, asking them to supply people’s needs. However, according to Shiite narrations (hadiths), the focal point of the pilgrimage is having a true knowledge of the one being visited, and it is upon this knowledge that other significant objectives for the pilgrimage are delineated by the infallible Imams themselves. These objectives are as follows: the pilgrim's proximity to the Almighty, bringing about spiritual and moral transformation within the pilgrim, the pilgrim's repentance from sins, the pilgrim's pledge of allegiance to the one being visited, the pilgrim's dissociation from oppressors, and the eradication of ignorance. To achieve genuine pilgrimage and to reach these objectives, narrations present some instructions for what should be done both prior to and during the pilgrimage. For example, seeking forgiveness from others and purifying wealth before pilgrimage. Furthermore, during the pilgrimage journeys, pilgrims are cautioned against any form of extravagance. During the journey to Karbala, pilgrims are advised to eat and drink less in order to better understand the severe conditions of Imam Hussein, his family, and his companions on the day of Ashura at that time.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi