The Sharh al-ziyara of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i
A Translation of the al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-kabīra ("The Larger, Comprehensive Visitation Text") transmitted through the 10th Imam `Ali al-Hadi (d. 254/868), with brief introduction and select notes.
Stephen N. Lambden UCMerced.
In progress - last updated and corrected 26-01-2016.
The Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-kabīra ("The Larger, Comprehensive Visitation Text") transmitted through the 10th Imam `Ali al-Hadi (d. 254/ 868) is an important devotional Ziyāra (visitation) text for recitation at the sacred shrines of the Prophet Muhammad, his daughter Fatima, or any of the twelve Imams from `Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 40/661) until Imam Hasan al-`Askari and his son Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi, the Hidden Imam and expected Qa'im (messianic ariser). For some further biographical details about the 10th Imam, `Ali al-Hadi see :
This Ziyara text, which contains a high-imamological exaltation of a foundational nature, can be found in numerous major and minor compilations of Twelver, Imami Shi`i devotional and related works including the following two important legalistic works of Ibn Babūya/ Babawayh al-Qumī (d. Rayy, 381/991-2), Man lā yahḍuru-hu al-faqīḥ ("For whosoever is without access to a lawyer") and al-Ṭūsī, (d.381/991), Tahdhīb al-aḥkām (The Rectification of Judgments). We may summarize a few details regarding important transmitters of the text(s) of the al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-kabīra and select printed sources as follows:
Ibn Bābuwayh, Muhammad ibn `Alī ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Qumī (d. Rayy, 381/991-2).
- Man lā yaḥḍuru-hu al-faqīḥ (1 vol. ed.). Beirut: Mu`assat al-A`lā li'l-Maṭbū`āt [= Allami Library], 1426/2005.
- `Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā’, 2 vol. ed. Beirut: Mu`assat al-A`lamī li’l-Maṭbū`āt, 1404/1983.
al-Ṭūsī, Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn al-Ḥasan ( d. Najaf 460/1067).
- Tahdhīb al-aḥkām (1 vol. ed.). Beirut: Mu`assat al-A`lā li'l-Maṭbū`āt [= Allami Library] 1426/2005.
al-Kaf`amī, [al-`Āmilī], Shaykh Taqī al-Dīn ( d. 900/1494-5).
- Balad al-amīn wa’l-dir` al-ḥaṣīn. Beirut: Mu`assasat al-A`lamī, 1418/1997.
`Alī al-Hādī, Abū al-Ḥasan `Alī ibn Muhammad, the tenth Imam (d. 254/868).
al-Qumī, Hajjī Shaykh `Abbās (d. 1319/1901).
- Mafātīḥ al-jinān. Beirut: Mu`assat al-A`lamī li’l-Maṭbū`āt, 1427/2006.
Select printed sources for the text of the al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra :
- Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra, in Ibn Bābawayh, Man lā yaḥḍuru-hu al-faqīḥ (1 vol. ed.), Kitāb al-ziyārāt, no. 3215, 419-422.
- Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra, in Ibn Bābawayh, `Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā’, vol. 1 305-310, 2 vol. ed. Beirut: Mu`assat al-A`lamī li’l-Maṭbū`āt, 1404/1983.
- Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra, in Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Ṭūsī, Tahdbīb al-aḥkām, Bk. VI. Sect. 46 No.1, 1070-1073.
- Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra, in Kaf`amī, al-Balad al-amīn (1418/1997), 418-424.
- Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra, in al-Qumī, Mafātīḥ al-jinān (1427/2006), 620-628.
TRANSLATION OF THE AL-ZIYARAT AL-JAMI`A AL-KABIRA
الزيارة الجامعة الكبيرة
A translation of the al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-kabīra transmitted through the 10th Imam `Ali al-Hadi (d. 254/868).
Stephen N. Lambden
Beta translation completed December 2015.
Many of the sources for the text of the al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-kabīra contain pre-recitation ritual directives and devotional verses to be performed or uttered prior to the recitation of the central text of the roughly five to ten page Arabic al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-kabīra. Set down below is a translation of this preliminary text contained in the Tahdhīb al-aḥkām of Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Ṭūsī (d. 460/1067), citing Ibn Bābawayh (see above). It may further be noted at this point that Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i (like other commentators) commented on certain of these preliminary directives in his Sharh al-Ziyara (see the 4th ed. of the Sharh al-Ziyara, vol. 1: 33f). First then is set down the twelver Imami chain of transmission for the al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-kabīra, followed by the preliminary ritual directives and then my translation of the text itself divided up into paragraphs and with numbered verses suitable for later commentary and (cross-) reference to various sometimes lengthy Shi`i-Shaykhi commentaries. There have been a few earlier modern Shi`i English translations, though these are often unsatisfactory. It was occasionally useful to consult them though I seldom followed these translations.
Select earlier English translations:
لزيارة الجامعة الكبير Ziyarat-ul Ja `mea l'l-Imam Amir al-Mu`minin. Qum [Islamic Republic of Iran] Ansarian Publications. n.d. [early 1980s?]. 66 pp. including Arabic text (pp.2-7) + translation (pp. 8-15) + Select Notes and Comments (pp.16-68). The single page introduction is by Asgharali M. M. Jaffer while the translation is that of Mulla Husein Rahim who completed his translation after consulting that of Janab Suheil Affendi (d. 1979) of Dubai. The former also added the notes and comments.
Ziyārat... Compiled by Hadi Husayn Sayyid [Select Arabic texts with facing English translation] of Shi`i ziyarat and related devotional compositions. Karachi [Pakistan] : Peermahomed Trust. / P.E.T Publications, 1989. ix+808-1085 [sic.] pp. The al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`ah al-kabīra in this volume is printed (Ar. + English trans. ] on pages 820-842.
- Ziyāra al-jāmi`ah al-kabīrah [and] Du`a al-Nudbah. Qum [Islamic Republic of Iran] Ansariyan Publications. 2004. 103pp. Includes the Arabic text and translation of the al-Ziyara al-jāmi`a al-kabīra (not the introduction) in parallel columns (pp. 5-54).
- Online versions :
Stephen Lambden Translation completed in Beta version December 2015 - Under revision...
"Muhammad ibn `Ali ibn al-Husayn Ibn Bābawayh [d. Rayy, 381/991-2] has tranmitted that he stated that `We transmitted from `Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Musa and Husayn ibn Ibrahim ibn Ahmad al-Khatib (the Scribe) [and] that they stated that they had transmitted from Muhammad ibn Abi `Abd-Allah al-Kufi through Muhammad ibn Isma'il al-Barmaki who stated that we transmitted from Musa ibn `Abd-Allah al-Nakha'i who stated that `I communicated through [Imams 1-10], from `Ali [al-Hadi = 10th Imam] ibn Muhammad [al-Taqi = 9th Imam] ibn `Ali [al-Naqi= 8th Imam] ibn Musa [al-Kazim = 7th Imam] ibn Ja`far [al-Sadiq = 6th Imam] ibn Muhammad [al-Baqir = 5th Imam] ibn `Ali [Zayn al-`Abidin = 4th Imam] ibn Husayn [= 3rd Imam] ibn `Ali [ibn Abi Talib, d. 40/661) (upon them [all] be peace) [who entreated saying]`Teach me, O Messenger of God [Muhammad] an utterance (qawlan) among His sayings which is profoundly eloquent (balighan) and completely perfect (kamilan) when I perform a visitation [at a time when I am] separated from you! He replied, `When you determine to approach the gate [threshold of a sacred shrine] (al-bāb) then stand upright! and bear witness by twice uttering the shahāda (the `testimony of faith' = `I bear witness that there is no God but God and that Muhammad is His Messenger') then perform an appropriate ablution (ghusl). Then, when you have entered [the shrine] stand erect and say, Allāh akbar (الله أكبر =`God is the Greatest), Allāh al-akbar (`God is the Greatest) thirty times. Then proceed a little such that you attain the peaceful repose (sakinah) and with dignified deportment (waqar) draw closer with your pacing then stand and magnify God, exalted and glorifed be He, [another] thirty times [saying Allāh al-akbar (`God is the Greatest)]. Then draw yet closer to the grave (al-qabr) and [further] magnify God with a forty [times recitation of] `God is Greatest' ( الله أكبر Allāh Akbar = takbirs) which may be completed to the one hundred times, and recite [the Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-kabīra] :
Peace be upon you,
O people of the House of the Prophet!
(ahl bayt al-nubuwwa)
 You [Imams+] are embodiments of the sent message (mawḍi` al-risālat),  loci for the circumambulatory visitation of the angels (mukhtalaf al-malā'ikat),  and the locale for the realization of divine revelation (mahbiṭ al- waḥy)  You are lodestones of the Divine Mercy (ma`din al-raḥmat),  treasuries of knowledge (khazā'in al-`ilm)  and uttermost apexes of fortitude (muntahā al-ḥilm).  You are the foundational bases of generosity (uṣūl al-karam),  leaders of the peoples [nations, religious comunities] (qādat al-umam),  and saintly patrons of the divine Bounty (awliyā' al-na`im).  You are the foundational bases of pious virtue (`anāsir al-abrār),  buttresses of the excellences [excellent ones] (da`ā'im al-akhyar)  and directors of the servants [of God] (sāsat al-`ibād).  You are pillars of the nations (arkān al-bilād),  gates to secure faith (abwāb al-aymān)  and trustees of the All-Merciful (umanā' al-rahman).  You are the progeny of the prophets (sulālat al-nabiyyin),  the quintessence of the sent Messengers (safwat al-mursalin)  and kinfolk [of the household] of the excellent one of the Lord of all the worlds (`itrat khayrat al-rabb al-`ālamin = Muhammad).  May the Mercy of God (rahmat Allah) and His Blessings be upon thee.
 Peace then be upon the Imams of Guidance (a'immat al-huda)!  You are Lamps for [an era of] darkness (masabih al-duja),  tokens of God-fearing piety (a'lām al-tuqā')  and such as are endowed with intelligence (dhawiyy al-nuhā).  You are persons foremost in thought (uliya al-hija),  a sheltering cave for humankind (kahf al-wara)  and the legacy of the prophets (warathat al-anbiya').  You are supreme exemplars (al-mathal al-a`la),  choice expounders (da`wat al-husna) and  proofs of God (hujjat Allah) unto the people of this world, of the world hereafter, and that preceding everything (ahl-al-dunya wa'l-akhira wa'l-ulya).
 May the Mercy of God (rahmat Allah) and His Blessing (barakat) and peace be upon you who are the loci of the gnosis of God (mahall ma`rifat Allah),  the dwelling-places of the blessing of God (masakin barakat Allah) and  the mines of the wisdom of God (ma`adan hikmat Allah).  You are the preservers of the mystery of God (hafazat sirr Allah),  the bearers of the Book of God (hamalat kitab Allah) and  the successors of the Prophet of God [Muhammad] (awsiya' nabi Allah).  You are the progeny of the Messenger of God (dhurriyya rasul Allah), may the peace of God be upon him and his family, as well as the Mercy of God and His Blessing (rahmat Allah wa barakatuhu).  And may peace be upon the summoners unto God (al-du`at ila Allah) and upon you who are  testimonies unto the good-pleasure of God (al-adilla' `ala mardat Allah) and ones steadfast in the Cause of God (mustaqirrin fi amr Allah).  You are complete in the love of God (mahabbat Allah),  sincere propounders of the Oneness of God (al-mukhlisin fi tawhid Allah) and  clarifiers of the stipulations of God (amr Allah) as well as His prohibitions (muzhirin li-amr Allah wa nahiyihi).  Thou art His noble servants (`ibadihi al-mukrimin) who speak not until He hath spoken and who do His bidding [see Q. 21:27].  May the Mercty of God and His blessing be upon thee.
 Peace then be upon the Imams of Guidance (al-a`imma al-du`at) who lead towards guidance (al-qadat al-hudat),  the masters of providential leadership (al-sada al-wulat) and  protectors of the such as proffer protection (al-dhadat al-humat).  You are the people of the Remembrance [recollection] (of God) (ahl al-dhikr),  the custodians of the Cause [Command of God] (uwliya al-amr) and  the remnant of God (baqiyyat Allah) as well as  [expressions of] His Goodness (khayra) and His [Shi`i] faction [party] (hizb).  You are the storehouse of His Knowledge (`aybat `ilmihi),  His proof (hujjat) and  His Pathway (sirat),  His Light (nur) and  His Evidence (burhan).  May the Mercy of God and His Blessing be upon you.
 I testify that there is no God but God alone, with whom is no partner.  This just as God testifies by virtue of His own Self (li-nafsihi).  So likewise do His angels (malaika) testify unto Him  and such of His creatures as are characterized by knowledge (ulu al-`ilm).  No God is there except Him, the Mighty, the All-Wise (al-`aziz al-hakim).  And I bear witness that Muhammad is His righteous servant (`abd) and His chosen Messenger (rasul).  He sent him with the [divine] guidance (al-huda) and the religion of the Truth [True One] (din al-haqq) such that this religion (al-din) might be made manifest before all religions  even should the Infidels (al-muskrikin) abhore it.
 And I do testify that you are the Imams who are guided aright (al-a`imma al-rashidun),  the guided ones [Mahdis] (al-mahdiyyun) and  the infallible ones (al-ma`sumun);  ones especially noble and  ones who are nigh unto God (al-muqarrabun),  pious ones (al-muttaqun),  persons characterized by righteousness (al-sadiqun),  chosen ones (mustafawn) and  ones submissive before God (al-muti`un).  They [the Imams] are upright in His Cause (qawwam bi-amrihi),  act in accordance with His Intention (al-`amilun bi-iradatihi) and  attain unto His miraculous favours (al-fa'idun bi-karamatihi).  He selected you for the sake of His knowledge (`ilm),  singled you out for His hiddenness [occultation, inward dimension] (ghayb) and  chose you to be expressive of His mystery (sirr).  He elected you [Imams] to be expressive of His Omnipotent Power (qudrat),  strengthened you by virtue of His Guidance,  and distinguished you to be evidences of His Proof (burhan).  He chose you for the sake of His Light (nur),  aided you by virtue of His Spirit (al-ruh) and  selected you to be caliphs (rulers) (khulafa') upon His earth,  proofs (hujja an) unto His dusty realm (bariyya) and  helpers of His religion (din).  He made them [the Imams] to be a preservation (hafazat an) of His Secret (li-sirr-ihi),  a treasury for His Gnosis (khazanatan li-`ilm-ihi)  and a repository (mustdawda`an) for His Wisdom (hikmat).  He made them [the Imams] to be interpreters of His divine revelation (tarajimat an li-wahyihi),  pillars of His divine unity (arkan an li-tawhid-ihi),  and witnesses (shuhada') unto His creation (khalq).  He made them [the Imams] to be portents [signs] (a`lam an) for His servants,  lighthouses (manar an) in His countries and  and guides upon His Path (adila' an `ala sirat-ihi).
 God preserved you all [the Imams+] from error,  safeguarded you from tribulation (al-fitan), and  purified you from pollution.  He expelled from you the filth of squalor,  purified you with a total cleansing  to the end that you might magnify His Glory (jalal).  This also that you might glorify His Gravitas [mode of Being] (sha`n),  magnify His Eminence (karam) and  perpetuate His remembrance (dhikr).  You have confirmed His testament (mithaq),  consolidated a pledge of obedience to Him and  for His sake have, both publicly and in secret, proffered counsel.
 You all [Imams+] have summoned unto His Pathway (sabil) with wisdom (hikmat) and wise admonition (al-maw`ida al-hasana),  have sacrificed yourselves in the way of His good-pleasure and  exercised patience regardless of whatever befell you in His way.  You have observed the obligatory prayers (al-salat),  proffered the mandatory zakat (property tax), and  have commanded the lawful (al-ma`ruf) and interdicted the unlawful (al-munkar).  You have striven for the sake of [in] God, the True One, through His striving (jihadihi),  until, that is, you made evident His proclamation (da`wat)  and did clarify His determinations (fara'id).  You did set forth His stipulated limits (hudud),  communicated the legalities of His determinations (shari`a al-ahkam)  and demonstrated His rule of tradition (sunna).  You determined matters in this respect in contentedness (al-rida') by virtue of Him,  were in peace before Him regarding His Decree (al-qida'), and  confirmed the veracity of His Messengers (rusul) of times past (mada).
 Whoso turns aside from you [Imams] is of such as deviate (mariq)!  Whoso is ever committed to you is indeed of the Truth!  Such as are compelled (muqassar) regarding your Reality are on the way to destruction (al-zahiq)!  The Truth (al-haqq) is ever with you, within you, of you, and directed towards you (ma`akum wa fi-kum wa minkum wa ilaykum)!  Thou are its devotees (ahlihi) and its very quintessence [treasury] (ma`din)!  The legacy of prophethood (mirath al-nubuwwa) is yours.  With you is the destination [return] of all creation (`iyab al-khalq)  for their ultimate reckoning (hisab) revolves around you!  The criterion of explication (fasl al-khitab) is yours and  the very signs of God (ayat Allah) are nigh unto you!  His determinations (`aza'ima) are with you!  His Light (nur) and His Proof (burhan) are of you.  His command (amr) revolves around you!  Whosoever is your intimate (wali) in indeed an intimate of God (wali Allah)!  Whosoever is your enemy (`ada) is of the enemies of God (`aday Allah)!  Whosoever loves you is especially beloved of God (ahabb Allah).  Whosoever hates you is especially detested by God!  Whosoever finds refuge with you has indeed found refuge in God!
 You [Imams+] are the Upright Path (al-sirat al-aqwam),  the supremely great Pathway (al-sabil al-a`zam) and  the witnesses (shuhada') of the abode of nullification (dar al-fana')  as well as the intercessors (shufa`a) within the abode of subsistent Eternity (dar al-baqa')!  You all are the sustained Divine Mercy (al-rahmat al-mawaula),  the Treasured Exemplar [Sign] (al-ayat al-makhzuna) and the  faithful preserver (al-imana al-mahfuza).  You are the gate of heroism (al-bab al-mubtala) by means of which such people as approach you are saved.  And whosoever fails to approach you is for destruction (halak), unless, that is, you direct them towards God.  You demonstrate the way unto Him  for through him persons shall find faith, surrender [in Islam] before him  and act in accordance with his command (amr).  Then shall they be guided unto His path,  and through his utterance you all judge aright.  Happiness (sa`id) shall be the lot of whosoever is of you [Imams] while lost shall be whosoever stands among your enemies.  Suitably concealed is whosoever strives for your sake.  Deluded is whosoever is separated from you.  Whosoever attains hath held fast unto you.  Whosoever finds refuge shall indeed have attained unto you.  Whosoever finds peace shall have been confirmed by you.  Guided indeed is whosoever seeks shelter in you.  Whosoever follows you shall have attained the Paradise (jannat) of His Beatitude (marwa) [Q. 53:15b].  Whosoever turns against you shall be counted among the inmates of the Hellfire (al-nar) which becomes his lodging place (mathwa).  Whosoever wages war against you shall be reckoned an unbeliever (mushrik).  Whosoever rails against you shall find himself in the lowest (afsal) of the depths [levels] of Gehenna (dark min al-jahim).
 I do testify that these forgoing [statements] relating to you all [the Imams+] are fully in accordance with what was destined to come to pass  and will ever continue to be perpetually pertinent to you [the Imams+].  Your spirits, (arwah), thy Light (nur), and thy clay (tina) are a single reality (wahida).  You are [all] blessed and purified, [though] some above others.  God created you all [the Imams+] as Lights (anwar an) and  He fashioned you to be ones circumambulating (muhdiqin) His Throne (`arsh) until such time as we received benevolence (manna) on your account.  He made you to be active within the [celestial] houses [constellations] (buyut) through the authorization of God (idhn Allah), to the end that you lift up and make mention therein of His Name.  He made our salutations [prayerful devotion] (salat) upon you and in whatsoever manner we distinguish you, to be generated through your [imamological] walaya ("providence", "guardianship").  Such [walaya] is a beatitude [goodness] (tayyib an) distinguishing our [world of] creation,  a means of purifying our souls (nafs),  a sanctification for us all,  as well as an atonement (kaffara) for our shortcomings.  Hence do we stand before you [Imams+] submitted Muslims on account of your grace (fadl),  persons numbered as initiated (ma`rufina) by virtue of our veracity (tasdiq) on your account.  God Himself thus expressed through you all the noblest of illustrious conditions,  the supremely transcendent waystations befitting such as are nigh unto God [the cherubim] (a`la manazil al-muqarrabin)  as well as the most elevated positions of the sent Messengers (arfa` darajat al-mursalin)!
 It is as above mentioned though it is utterly impossible that anyone of themselves assume such a position, let alone surpass it by making themselves superior (fa'iq)!  It is likewise utterly impossible that any person assume precedence over you all [the Imams+] imagining themselves foremost (sabiq).  No one can ever knowingly aspire to this position, evincing covetousness (tama`), even should this apply to an eternal angel brought nigh (malak muqarrab).  Neither could this be the case with a sent Messenger (nabi mursal), with a righteous soul (sadiq) or a martyr (shahid)!  Neither, in fact with a learned person (`alim) or an ignorant one (jahil);  with a lowly one or one prestigious (fadil)!  Nor indeed with a believer of sound faith (mu`min salih) or a depraved debaucher (fajir talih).  Nor, furthermore, with a deviant tyrant (jabbar `anid) or a rebellous satan (shaytan marid).
 Nay indeed! No created being could ever evince such a [Imam like] status!  Except, that is, such a person as hath been made deeply aware of the gloriousness of your [Imami] authority (jalala amrikum),  the might of your gravitas (khatir),  the sheer power of your mode of being (sha`n),  the completeness of your Light (nur),  the veracity of your retreats (maqa`id),  the durability of your station (maqam),  and hath thus enobled your status (mahall)!  They should, furthermore, acknowledge that your rank [of Imam] is of Him [God] (manzila `indahu),  your miraculous powers derive from Him (karamat `alayhi),  your intrinsic nature (khass) is of Him  and [they should acknowledge that] the [divine] proximity of your rank also derives from Him [God].
 My father, my mother, my family, my estate (mal) and my kinsfolk (usrat) are all at  your [the Imams+] service.  I beseech God and I call upon you [the Imams] to witness my faith in you and in that which you have believed.  I declare infidelity (kafir) upon your enemies and upon whatsoever you all consider heretical.  This as one fully conscious of your magnitude (sha`n) and of the erroneous nature of such as act contrary to your purpose.  I consider myself your companion (muwal in) and that of your chosen ones (awliya').  I dislike your enemies and detest (mu`ad) their machinations.  I am peaceful towards whosoever is peaceful towards you.  I wage war against whosoever declares war against you.  I am one who verifies (muhaqqaq) whatsoever you deem reality.  I consider falsehood (mubtil) anything that asserts [declares] your falsity.  I am indeed obedient to thee (muti`la-kum)!
 One fully aware (`arif) am I of your reality [truthfulness] (haqq)!  I am assertive in confessing (muqqir) your graciousness (fadl).  One supportive am I (muhtamil) of your Knowledge (`ilm).  I am under the protection (muhtajib) of your custodianship (dhimma).  One who confesses ]the truth of] you all [Imams+] am I (mu`atrif bi-kum) for I am a believer (mu`min) in your [second, eschatological] reappearence [parousia] (bi-iyabi-kum).  Assured am I (musaddaq) of your eschatological] return (bi-raj`ati-kum).  I am one expectant (muntazir) of your [future religious] Cause [order, authority, command] (amr).  Ever watchful am I (murtaqib) for your coming government [state] (dawlat).  I am one who takes firm hold of your utterance(s) (qawl)  and am active in carrying out your behest (amr).  I am one who seeks protective asylum (mustajir) through you and who performs visitation (za'ir) unto your [persons, shrines].  For me your sanctuaries [tombs] (qubur) are indeed places of refuge and benefit (la'idh `a'idh).  I am one seeking intercession (mustashfi`) before God, exalted and glorifed be He, through you!  Through you do I seek nearness (mutaqarrab) unto Him [God].
 You [Imams+] take precedence (muqaddam) in my [religious] quest, over my concrete needs (hawa'iji) and my various desires (iradati).  Under all my circumstances (ahwal), and relative to my worldly concerns (umuri), do I remain a believer (mu`min) in your secret mystery [unseen nature] (sirr) and in your public personae (`alaniyyat).  This relative to your evident nature (shahid) and your deep hiddenness (gha'ib), to your primal state (awwal) and your final nature (akhir).  Unto you do I entrust (mufayyid) the totality of all that pertains to myself.  I am in complete submission (musallam) to whatsoever you consider appropriate for me, for my heart is wholly submitted (musallam) unto you.  My own opinion (ra'i) is consonant with yours.  My victory for your sake is set in motion (mu`add) until God, exalted be He, for your sake breathes life into His religion (din).  Then also will He bring you back during His latter days [the eschatological Day]  and will manifest you for the sake of His justice (`adl) and firmly establish you upon His earth.  In this connection I am indeed with you, totally with you, and not with anyone other than you.  In you do I have complete trust (amanat) for I am lovingly disposed towards the last of you, just as I am lovingly disposed towards the first of you.
 In approaching God I expuclate myself from your enemies, from [the idols and evil beings, [namely] Jibt and Taghut [see Q. 4:51], as well as from satanic beings (shayatin) and their coterie [party, faction] (hizb) who acted tyrannically (al-zalimin) towards you [Imams+].  [For your sake I disassociate myself from] such as strive against your assured position [reality, truthfulness] (haqq), from such seceders (mariqin) as deviate from your wilaya (imamological authority) and from such as usurped your rightful heritage (irth).  So too [do I disassociate myself] from such as have misgivings regarding you,  from those who have deviated from you and turned away from every other intimate confident (walija) of yours.  [I disassociate myself] from any obedient allegiance (muta`) aside from unto you, from any Imam-type leadership role (a'imma) of such as [really] summon unto hellfire (al-nar).  May God keep me ever firm that I may live in attachment unto your authoritative custodianship (muwalat), your loving kindness (mahabbat), and your religion (din).  May I be well-disposed in terms of obedience unto you,  one provided for through your intercession,  and one made to be among the choicest of your devotees (mawla).  May He make me to be among such as follow your directives,  among such as faithfully relate your [written] traces (athar),  and are numbered among those who follow in your pathway (sabil).  May He make me to be one guided through your guidance (huda),  one gathered up [resurrected] within your troop (zumra),  one who comes back at the time of your [eschatological] return (raj`at)  and one who rules within your [end-time] dominion [government] (dawlat).  May He make me to be one who is honored with your protection,  one who dwells during your latter [eschatological] days,  solaced of eyes and sustained through the vision of you [all] (ru'yatikum) [the Imam(s)].
 My father is at your disposal, my mother, myself, my people and my kinsfolk (usrat) are all at your service.  Whosoever desires God is eternally with you [the Imams+]  and whosoever professes the Divine Oneness (wahda) is an associate of you.  Whosoever abides [is seated] nigh Him [God], turning towards you.  O my masters (mawla)! Never can I befittingly enumerate your laudation (thana') nor disclose a fitting eulogy (al-madh) for your true nature (kunh).  Never can I befittingly disclose any depiction of your Power (al-wasl qudrati-kum) for you are the light of such as are foremost (nur al-akhyar),  the guide of those given to piety (hudat al-abrar)  and the proofs of the All-Powerful One (hujjat al-jabbar).  Through you God initiated matters and through you God sealed things in conclusion.  Through you He sent down succour (al-ghayth)  and through you He established the heavenly realm (al-sama') in such manner that it might remain fixed and not, save with His permission, cascade down to earth.  Through you He removes distress (al-hamma) and dissipates loss (al-durr)  for nigh unto you [Imams+] is that which He revealed through His sent Messengers (rusul).  So too that with which His angels descended.  For the sake of [the son of] your forefather (jaddakum) [Muhammad / Imam `Ali] was the faithful Spirit (al-ruh al-amin) commissioned.
 God has bestowed upon you [Imams+] that which He has never given to anyone in all the worlds (al-`alamin).  All of noble status (ta'ta') are humbled before your nobility (sharaf).  The rage of any haughty tyrant (mutakabbir) is nullified before you (li-ta`atikum).  Every prideful one (jabbar) is humbled before your graciousness (fadl)  and everything rendered insignificant (dhall) before you.  The earth is made resplendent on account of your Light (nur).  Whosoever succeeds has attained by virtue of your wilaya (imami/Islamic providence).  Through you is the attainment of Ridwan [the Paradise of beatitude]  while it is the contrary for such as renounce your wilaya [Imami postion of authority] for they deserve the wrath of the All-Merciful [God].
 My father, my mother, myself, my family (ahl) and my estate [possessions] (mal) are all at your service.  While the latter make mention of you [Imams+] in their devotional remembrances (dhakirin),  of your names among other names,  your human temples [bodies] (ajsad) among other embodied individuals (ajsad),  your souls (arwah) among other souls,  your persons (anfus) among other individuals (al-nufus),  your [written] traces [traditions] (athar) along with other traditions (athar),  your sepulchres [tombs] (qubur) alongside other sepulchres [tombs] (al-qubur),  by far the most precious (ahla) are your names (asma'),  the most renowned (akram) your persons (anfus),  supremely great (a`zam) your own mode of being (sha`n)  and the most sublime your very own gravitas [importance] (khatar)!  Your covenant (`ahd) is the most faithful (awfa),  your promise (wa`d) the most veridicle [reliable] (asdaq),  your speech (kalam) is Light itself (nur),  your command (amr) is guidance (rushd),  your guiding counsel [testamentary position, successorship] (wasiyyat) is pure piety (al-taqwa),  and your actions (fa`l) expressions of goodness (al-khayr).  Your customary ways (`adat) are exquisite (ahsan)!  Your disposition (sajiya) is honorable (al-karam)!  Your mode of being (sha`n) is an expression of truth (al-haqq), righteousness (al-sidq) and gentleness [kindness] (al-rafq)!  Your converse (qawl) is regulative [decisive] (husn) and sealing [final] (khatm)!  Your opinion (ra'i) is [rooted in] knowledge (`ilm), clemency (hilm) and resoluteness (hazm)!  If there be reference to what is good (al-khayr) you are indeed its genesis (awwal), its basis (asl), its extension (far`), its treasury (ma`din),  its refuge (mawa) and its ultimacy (muntaha).
 My father, my mother and myself are at your [Imams+] disposal.  How can I possibly depict the loveliness [excellence] (husn) involved in your laudation [praise] (thana')?  And how can I possibly specify the beauty surrounding [the circumstances of] your tribulation (al-bala')?  Through you God rescues us from the depth of humiliation (dhull), liberates us from the [overwhelming] deluge of distress (ghamarat al-kurub)  and safeguards us at the apex [edge] of the precipices of perdition (shafa' juruf al-halakat), as well as from hellfire (al-nar).
 My father, my mother and myself are at thy [Imams+] disposal.  On account of your providential leadership (bi-muwalat) God instructed us in the distinguishing hallmarks of our religion (ma`alim dinina).  He thereby set aright what was corrupted (fasad) in this our world (dunya').  On account of your providential leadership (bi-muwalat)  the Word (al-kalimat) was completed,  good-pleasure (al-na`ma) was magnified,  and factionalism (furqa) was done away with [annihilated].  It is on account of your providential leadership (bi-muwalat) that [religious] obedience is prescribed (al-ta`at al-muftarada).  On your account is loving devotion (al-muwaddat al-wajib) rendered obligatory.  Such is expressive of an ascending [elevated spiritual] stairway (al-darajat al-rafi`a),  [leading to] a praiseworthy station (al-maqam al-mahmud),  a status which is acknowledged (makam al-ma`lum) as nigh unto God, may He be exalted and elevated!  Such is indeed a mighty honour [prestigious position] (al-jahu al-`azim),  a great office (al-sha`n al-kabir) and an acceptable position for intercession (al-shaf`at maqbula).
O Thou our Lord!
We have come to faith in that which Thou hast sent down [revealed] and we do follow the Messenger [of God] (Muhammad), wherefore inscribe us down as being amongst the witnesses (shahidin).  O our Lord! Permit not our hearts to falter since Thou guided us and endowed us as a mercy (rahmat) on Thy part for Thou indeed art the Bounteous (al-wahhab).  Then glorified be our Lord in that what He hath promised shall indeed be realized (maf`ul an).
O Representative of God (wali-Allah)!
If between me and between God, exalted and glorified be He, there be offensive behavior (dhunub an), this could in no wise be transcended save by the attainment of your [Imams+] good-pleasure (al-rida')!  So by the Reality of such as have earned your trust in their inmost being (sirrihi), delegated unto you the affairs of His creation (amr khalqihi) and reckoned obedience (ta`at) to you, the equivalent of obedience (ta`at) to Him,  will you now pardon my shortcomings (dhunub) and be my intercessors (shufa`i)!  I am one obedient (muti`) before you [all]!  Whosoever is obedient to you has indeed been obedient to God Himself  and whosoever opposes you has indeed opposed God Himself.  Whosoever shows love (hubb) towards you has indeed become one most beloved (ahabb) of God!  Whosoever hates you [all] has indeed been especially hateful (abghad) towards God!
O our Lord!
Had I been able to discover intercessors (shufa`) who are closer to Thee [God] than Muhammad and the people of his household (ahl al-bayt) possessed of goodness (al-akhyar), the Imams given to piety (al-abrar), I would indeed have made them my intercessors (shufa`)!  Wherefore, on account of their evident reality, Thou hast made it incumbent upon us to turn towards them [the Imams+].  I therefore beseech Thee [God] to number me amongst the pleroma [totality] of those deeply learned (jumlat al-`arifin) in relation to them [the Imams] and their evident reality (haqq).  [Would Thou] Include me, furthermore, among the initiates accorded [Divine] Mercy (zumrat al-marhumin) on account of their intercession (shafa`at).  Thou art indeed the Most Merciful of the merciful ones (arham al-rahimin)!  May the peace from God be upon Muhammad and his purified family and may, furthermore, many peaceful beatitudes be upon them (taslim an kathir an)  for God suffices us [aright] being a Superlative Agent of Trust (ni`ma al-wakil).
For an indication of the volume and page references to the above Ziyara text in the ongoing commentary of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i, in his (4 volume) Sharh al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-kabīra, see the details and extracts in translation on this website at : http://hurqalya.ucmerced.edu/node/675/
On other twelver Shi`i commtaries see : http://hurqalya.ucmerced.edu/node/676