First of all we should say that none of the Shia Ulema (religious authorities) have decreed in the history that you can say prayer turning to the tomb of Imam Hussein or the other Imams (AS) and it is not necessary to turn to Kiblah; but on the contrary, they all said that you should say prayer while Imam’s (AS) tomb is between you and the Kiblah. It means that you should say prayer while you are behind Imam’s (AS) tomb and in this situation Imam’s tomb is between you and the Kiblah.
Unfortunately, as Sunnis fail to blame Shias with the use of documents, they try to fabricate Shia Ulema’s narratives and speeches and they propose them selective.
It is mentioned in Vasael Al-Shia Book about the above issue that the meaning of turning to the tomb for saying prayer is:
I wish the proposer himself took a look at the book:
69 - باب استحباب كثرة الصلاة عند قبر الحسين ( عليه السلام ) فرضا ونفلا عند رأسه وخلفه
Chapter: saying many prayers when you go on a pilgrimage to Imam Hussein’s (AS) shrine; whether the obligatory prayers or the Mustahabb (those prayers which are not obligatory but it is better to do them) ones, next to his head [in the position of the tomb] (not turning to his tomb) or behind his back [again in the position of the tomb].
This issue itself describes how to stand while saying prayer. Because when you go to a tomb and are behind his head, therefore if you say prayer turning to the tomb, you will be turning to Kiblah in all circumstances.
Now here are some narratives which were quoted and are related to our issue:
( 19730 ) 5 - وعن أبيه ، وجماعة مشايخه ، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى ، عن محمد بن خالد ، عن جعفر بن ناجية ، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال : صل عند رأس قبر الحسين عليه السلام .
It is quoted from Imam Sadegh (AS) that: Say prayer while you are next to Imam Hussein’s (AS) head of tomb.
This narrative does not mention to what they claim in any ways.
( 19731 ) 6 - وعنهم ، عن سعد ، عن موسى بن عمر وأيوب بن نوح ، عن ابن المغيرة عن أبي اليسع قال : سأل رجل أبا عبد الله وأنا أسمع قال : إذا أتيت قبر الحسين عليه السلام أجعله قبلة إذا صليت ؟ قال : تنح هكذا ناحية وعن علي بن الحسين ، عن علي بن إبراهيم ، عن أبيه ، عن ابن أبي نجران ، عن يزيد بن إسحاق ، عن الحسن بن عطية ، وذكر الحديث الأول .
Someone was asking Imam Sadegh (AS) and I was hearing that he asked: shall I turn to Imam Hussein’s (AS) tomb for saying prayer when I go on a pilgrimage to him? Imam Sadegh (AS) answered that go to that part (and then say prayer turning to the tomb).
This narrative also does not prove the claim because that person asked that shall I say prayer turning to the tomb and Imam Sadegh (AS) answered yes, if you are in that place. It means exactly what Shias say.
( 19732 ) 7 - وعنه ، عن علي ، عن أبيه ، عن ابن فصال ، عن علي بن عقبة ، عن عبيد الله بن علي الحلبي ، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال : قلت : إنا نزور قبر الحسين عليه السلام فكيف نصلي عنده ؟ فقال : تقوم خلفه عند كتفيه ، ثم تصلي على النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وتصلي على الحسين عليه السلام
I asked Imam (AS) how we shall say prayer when we go on a pilgrimage to Imam Hussein’s (AS) shrine. He answered: stand behind his tomb while you are next to his shoulder (in fact turning to Kiblah as the tomb is between you and Kaaba) and then say prayer for the sake of (به نیت) Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and Imam Hussein (AS).
( 19733 ) 8 - وعن محمد بن جعفر ، عن محمد بن الحسين ، عن أيوب بن نوح ، عن ابن المغيرة ، عن أبي اليسع ، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام أن رجلا سأله عن الصلاة إذا أتى قبر الحسين ( عليه السلام ) ؟ قال : اجعله قبلة إذا صليت ، وتنح هكذا ناحية.
Someone asked Imam Sadegh (AS) about saying prayer around Imam Hussein’s (AS) tomb and he answered that you should stand facing to Kiblah as the tomb is in front of you and go to that place.
As it was mentioned in all the related narratives about saying prayer around the Imam Hussein’s (AS) tomb, what they claim is mentioned in none of them.
Of course we will mention to an issue which is in Behar Al-Anwar and related to our project to complete it: It is narrated in Behar Al-Anwar whether we can stand in front of the tomb (facing the Kiblah) and say prayer.
ولو استدبر القبلة وصلي جاز وان کان غير مستحسن إلا مع البعد
It is permissible for someone to say prayer while Kiblah is behind him, but it is not good unless he is far.
It is also mentioned in Doroos:
ولو استدبر القبر وصلي جاز
It is permissible for someone to say prayer while he is standing and the tomb is behind him.
We can understand that it is wrong by reading the expression from Behar; because it is mentioned there that it is not good unless he is far, this situation does not happen about Kiblah.
Answering to the doubts Group
Research institute of Vali Asr