Millions of Muslims convene in holy city of Karbala on Arba’een Day

2023-09-06 18:30:29

Millions of Muslims from around the world have made the Arba’een pilgrimage toward Iraq’s Karbala, a holy city where Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam and grandson of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), was martyred.

People take part in mourning processions on Wednesday on the occasion of Arba’een, which marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shia Imam, and his 72 companions in the Battle of Karbala in southern Iraq in 680 AD.

According to early estimates, more than 30 million people, including Iranians, have taken part in the procession in Iraq.

The on-foot journey starts days before the Arba'een as devotees take various routes toward the holy shrines in Karbala. One of the major routes is an 80-km-long one between the holy Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala.

The pilgrims pay tribute and renew their allegiance to Imam Hussein (AS), the all-time icon of fighting injustice, oppression and despotism, during the annual event.

Pilgrims are welcomed and served by Moukebs (also Mowkibs), makeshift tents erected along the paths, that offer everything that pilgrims may need during the journey for free.

The Moukebs offer free food, drinks, accommodation, medicine, and other services to the pilgrims.

According to Iraqi media reports last week, this year there are nearly 13 thousand Moukebs ready to assist the pilgrims.

Meanwhile, those who could not travel to Iraq, marked Arba'een in their cities, including in Tehran.

Iranians in the capital attend a symbolic march to the holy shrine of Hazrat Abdol Azim Hassani in the southern city of Rey. It is held under the banner of “Those left behind from Arba’een.”

Similar marches are also held in other Iranian cities, with officials predicting that 4 to 5 million people will turn out.

Iran thanks Iraq for hospitality

In a telephone conversation with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian expressed his gratitude to the Iraqi government and nation for their warm hospitality during the Arab’een procession.

Touching on the significance of the occasion, Amir-Abdollahian said that Iraq’s proper holding of the million-strong Arba’een march is indicative of power and stability in the friendly and brotherly country.

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