Millions of Muslims from across the world are marching toward the Iraqi holy city of Karbala to perform the rituals of Arba’een, one of the most revered religious occasions on the Islamic calendar. Arba’een marks 40 days since Ashura when Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was martyred in the desert plains of Karbala along with his 72 companions less than 14 centuries ago.

An activist and Islamic scholar1 says that the reason why there is such a huge movement of population is that Imam Hussein stood for everything that was right and just, adding that he made an “eternal stand”.

“The way the stand was, the fact that it provides a continuous inspiration for anyone who has eyes to see and who wants to liberate themselves from the shackles of a despotic tyrant or from an oppressive environment or an oppressive regime … Imam Hussein, his message, his stance, his entire story, the epic of Karbala, it moves people right inside in the heart,” Shabbir Hassanally told Press TV2.

Hassanally also noted that standing against tyrants and evil is a “huge honour” for those who follow the line of Imam Hussein.

He further argued people need to oppose the oppressors and support the oppressed of their time.

“In our time we can see that you have the people in Lebanon, in Palestine, you have the people in Yemen, you have the people in Iraq, Syria, all over the world who are oppressed, you have the oppressed people of America, you have the homeless people in England, you have the people who cannot even afford to put food on their table across the world, you have the people of Greece, everywhere in the world, all of these people are being subjugated by a tyrannical system that says that we care about the people … but their actions reflect something completely different,” he stated.

Each year, Sunni Muslims and followers of other religions such as Christians join the journey to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

The occasion has found additional significance in recent years as it has become a rallying cry for the campaign against Takfiri terrorists who have frequently targeted the pilgrims.

Footnotes

  1. This interview was conducted on Arbaeen 2016 (November 2016) by Press TV
  2. Ibid.

Written by Shabbir Hassanally

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