SHAFAQNA – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the mass march towards the Iraqi city of Karbala to mark the Arba’een ritual is a show of the combination of faith and devotion.
Ayatollah Khamenei, who was addressing a group of Iranian clerics during a post-jurisprudence course on Monday, described as a “lasting privilege” the Arba’een, which marks 40 days after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shia Imam, who is the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The Leader said that the massive turnout of people from around the world and Iran in the march toward Karbala is a manifestation of the prominent features of the school of Prophet Mohammad’s Household.
“The combination of devotion and faith and wisdom and affection is among the unique features of the school of Prophet Mohammad’s Household,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Imam Hussein and 72 of his loyal companions, including family members, were martyred on Ashura, the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram, in the battle of Karbala against the second Umayyad caliph, Yazid I, in 680 A.D. Imam Hussein was killed after he refused to pledge allegiance to the tyrant ruler.
According to Press TV correspondent in Karbala, Altaf Ahmad, black-clad mourners from various countries including Iran, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and India, are traveling to Karbala not only to mark the occasion but also to reaffirm their allegiance to Imam Hussein.
Five million of these pilgrims are estimated to be coming from Iran.
The pilgrims, among them Sunni Muslims and Christians, showed their commitment to Imam Hussein by walking tens of miles barefoot to reach his shrine.
Iraqi forces have tightened security to protect pilgrims against possible terrorist attacks ahead of the mourning rituals, which falls on December 2 this year.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists began their campaign of terror in the country in June 2014. Army soldiers and Popular Mobilization units have joined forces and are seeking to take back militant-held regions in joint operations.