Millions mark Arbaeen in Karbala, Iraq and Nigeria
Millions of Muslims across the world are observing the annual mourning rituals of Arba’een, which marks the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shia Imam.
Mourners are mainly descending on the Iraqi holy city of Karbala to partake in the annual religious event.
The black-clad pilgrims gathered at Imam Hussein’s holy shrine in Karbala on Saturday to culminate a week-long procession in commemoration of the martyrdom anniversary of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson, who was killed along with his companions during the battle of Karbala in 680 AD.
Men, women, teens and elders came together in their millions in the Iraqi city to pay tribute and renew their allegiance to Imam Hussein (AS), who is the all-time icon of fighting injustice, oppression and despotism.
The annual event, which is one of the largest religious congregations in the world, brings together a deluge of Imam Hussein’s lovers and devotees from various nationalities who undertake an 80-km walk between the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala.
Tents and special stands called Moukeb in
Arabic are set up on the path leading to the shrine to provide pilgrims
with food and other services.
For the past weeks, pilgrims from countries including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, have been arriving in Karbala, located about 100 kilometers southwest of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
Iran's government said on Wednesday that a
record number of Iranian pilgrims, more than three million, flocked
to Iraq to participate in the Arba’een commemorations.
The tradition, which attracts an average of 16 million people from across the world every year, is meant to sympathize with Imam Hussein (AS) on the pains he endured in the event of Karbala, where he and 72 of his companions were brutally slaughtered by Yazid's army.
The ceremony is also fervently observed by Muslims in their own countries across the world. Meanwhile, hundreds of Shia Muslims took to roads trekking and chanting to mark forty days since the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein and scores of members of his family and his companions in Karbala in present day Iraq.
The trekkers condemned Yazid and his army for the gruesome killing of the third Shia Imam. Men, women, and children joined millions of other Shia Muslims to participate in the symbolic trek, which was organized by Nigeria’s Islamic movement.