SHAFAQNA – “Arbaeen” means “the 40th day”
The number “40” in classic literature signifies the perfection. Among the Shiites, the 40th Day is associated with a historical event. When the grandson of the holy prophet of Islam and his household were innocently killed in the battlefield of Karbala, their killers- who had a literal interpretation from Islam like that of the present day Isis and Salafist groups, made an attempt to erase this major event from history. 40 days following this event, the household of the prophet’s grandson pay a visit to Karbala walking and disgrace their enemy by enlightening and insightful statements. Following it, the Shiites traditionally have a walk to Karbala on the 40th Day of the tragic death anniversary of the prophet’s grandson who was killed inhumanely. The Shiites annually commemorate this event with processions walking hundreds of kilometers to Karbala in order to combat against the literalist approaches to Islam and the oppressors. For years, The Salafists and literalists have done their utmost to prevent commemorating this event. Creating insecurity and terror is among their typical practices which is still ongoing. But, year by year ever- growingly more crowds of people are attracted to Karbala for paying tribute to the prophet’s grandson and his household who are a symbol for oppressed ones.
The walking of processions to Karbala on the Day of Arbaeen is indeed a demonstration by the Shiites against salafists and literalists, i.e., the very people who savagely killed the prophet’s grandson as the prophet’s second treasury after the Quran in order to separate the spirit of Islam from the Quran.
The walking of processions to Karbala on the Day of Arbaeen stands for a uprising and awakening of the oppressed people against oppressors and suppressors. It signifies a rational , merciful and peaceful Islam versus a superficial, violent and false Islam. It is a slogan by Shiites chanted for liberty and freedom.
Courtesy of the Union of Islamic Student Association in Europe