Baghdad | WTNS | Sep 18:Through years, the Arbaeen has become a deeply rooted event in the traditions of lovers of Ahlul-Bayt, who yearly mark the occasion by flocking in to the holy city of Karabala and by practicing different forms of mourning, including the well-known Arbaeen Walk which is pilgrimage on foot between Najaf and Karbala.
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 Mawakeb in Arabic are set up on the path leading to the shrine to provide pilgrims with food and other services.
Dressed in black, 21 million pilgrims from around the world massed in the Iraqi city of Karbala on Saturday for the Arbaeen commemoration, against the backdrop of a political crisis.
Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning period for the 7th-century martyrdom of Imam Hussein by the forces of the Umayyad Caliph Yazid.
The annual festival sees men and women from across Iraq and beyond travel to Karbala, where Imam Hussein and his brother Abbas are buried, for one of the world’s largest religious gatherings.
As per the reports of Wilayat Times, after two years marked by the Covid pandemic and border restrictions, 21.2 million pilgrims have flocked to the city in central Iraq this week, said the organisation that manages Abbas’ mausoleum.
Among them are five million foreigners, including a record of more than three million from neighbouring Iran, according to authorities in the two countries.
On the esplanade linking the mausoleums of Imam Hussein and Hazrat Abbas, worshippers recited prayers on Saturday.
Groups of men beat their chests to the rhythm of religious chants and the din of loudspeakers, some of them slowly making their way around the two mausoleums.
The pilgrims waved black flags and banners bearing the sayings of Imam Hussein.
In the last few years, people from all over the world throng to Karbala, regardless their nationality, color, religion or sect. Lovers of Imam Hussein (AS) from Pakistan, India, Afghanistan Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Bahrain, Kuwait, Russia, South Africa and many other countries head for the holy city on the Arbaeen to pay tribute for the Prophet’s grandson who stood firmly ad honorably against oppression of the Umayyad rule.
Karbala this year hosted the grand sons of Indian pro-democracy activist Mahatma Gandhi, South African anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela and Russia’s Mufti. The three men, among other prominent activists in the world took part in the International Conference of Al-Aqsa Call.
The conference was aimed at offering support to Palestinian people and their legitimate cause, taking aspiration from the uprising of Imam Hussein (AS) against oppression.
Najaf and Karbala hosted a number of Sunni scholars this year. As showed in the video, the clerics held congregational prayers at the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS).