Here is the English abstract of Dr. Reza Brenjkar (Muslim Clergy, Faculty Member (Full Professor), University of Tehran; Chancellor of The Islamic Kalam Association of Hawza, Qom, Iran) presentation at the 5th pre-con meeting of the conference “Theology of Pilgrimage" which was held by The Islamic Kalam Association of Hawza on November 2, 2023.
The Theological Foundations of the Pilgrimage
Ziyārah (pilgrimage) literally encompasses the meaning of inclination, intention, and the pilgrim's attention towards the one being visited, accompanied by the pilgrim's aversion from all others. In other words, Ziyārah signifies a form of spiritual and heartfelt transference of the pilgrim towards the one being visited, often accompanied by a spatial transition. Ziyārah can encompass diverse material and spiritual objectives. One specific manifestation of this practice is the pilgrimage to the Infallibles in Shia, particularly after their martyrdom or demise. This type of pilgrimage is rooted in various doctrinal foundations, including Kalam (theological) principles. Some of these Kalam foundations can be articulated in the form of the following statements: 1. The pilgrim knows truly the one being visited. 2. The true essence of human lies within the soul, not the body. 3. Death does not bring about the annihilation of the soul; souls endure after death. 4. Souls can establish connections with one another. 5. The Infallibles possess knowledge of the pilgrims and their needs. 6. The Infallibles enjoy a lofty position and status with the Almighty. 7. Attaining material blessings and spiritual perfections from the Infallibles is possible. The benefits derived from the Infallibles can be acquired in three ways: A. Entreating God, asking Him, through the intercession of the Infallibles, to fulfill our needs. B. Beseeching the Infallibles to implore God on our behalf for the fulfillment of our needs. C. Requesting the Infallibles to fulfill our needs, contingent upon the permission of God. This article is dedicated to elucidating and analyzing each of these Kalam foundations of the Pilgrimage.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi