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(Arabic: "visit"), in Islam, a visit to the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad in the mosque at Medina, Saudi Arabia; also a visit to the tomb of a saint or a holy person. The legitimacy of these latter visits has been questioned by many Muslim religious authorities, particularly by the Wahhabiyah, who consider ziyarah a bid'ah (innovation) that should be condemned by all true believers. The Wahhabiyah maintain, in fact, that such visits to the tombs of saints and the invocation of the names of saints in times of trouble is a form of polytheism, for God alone can grant salvation to a troubled person

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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