SHAFAQNA – Millions of pilgrims gathered in Iraq’s holy city of Karbala amid tight security on Wednesday to mark Arbaeen, the annual commemoration of the end of the 40-day mourning period after the seventh century martyrdom of a central figure in Shiite Islam.
Iraqi state-run media said Wednesday that more than 22 million pilgrims have visited Karbala, setting a record for the annual pilgrimage.
Other sources have estimated the number of pilgrims to have reached 26 millions.
In the history of Arbaeen, in the history of Islam never before did the faithful gather in such a show of force. As millions upon millions poured into the holy city to honour their Imam and reflect on the sacrifice Ahlul Bayt offered humanity on Ashura, it is a faith which came to renew its oath of allegiance to the Words.
Iraqi officials and observers already confirmed that if not for residents’ generosity in opening up their homes and their hearts to pilgrims the state would never had been able to accommodate so many pilgrims at the same time.
Moved by love and respect for Imam Hussain, Shia Islam came together in an awe inspiring show of faith – standing defiant to those who have vowed for its destruction.
At such a time when religious communities across the region find themselves besieged by terror, Shia Muslims cried out their defiance and opposition of tyranny.
Armed with their faith an conviction, Muslims came to draw strength and hope in the holy city of Karbala, united in their love and devotion to Ahlul al Bayt.
Photos: selected by Shafaqna form Alkafeel and imamhussain.org