Verily Allah gives succor to this community only as a result of [the presence of] the weak among them, their supplication, their prayer and their sincerity

Arbaeen of Imam Husain a.s

November 20, 2016

World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League WABIL offers its sincere condolences to Imam Mahdi atfs, and all believers on the sad occasion of the 40th day Arbaeen - Chehlum commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husain a.s and his 72 followers. It is a tradition amongst Muslims to commemorate the passing of dear ones on the fortieth day -Arbaeen meaning 40 in Arabic. However no-one is more deserving of such remembrance than Imam Husain a.s who indeed sacrificed everything to preserve Islam from the distortions of the Umayyads.

A hadith of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq a.s tells us to visit Imam Husain a.s on this day and to recite Ziyarat e Arbaeen, a particular visitation that recounts Imams oppression, martyrdom and that renews our pledge to his mission. Therefore to travel to Karbala to be with Imam Husain on this day is a most virtuous journey and one which will be rewarded by Allah with untold blessings. The tradition of travelling to Karbala for Arbaeen began from the very first year after Imam's martyrdom when the Prophet's companion Jabar ibn Abdullah travelled all the way to Karbala to visit Imam's grave and remember him. This coincided with the visit of the women of the Ahlul Bayt a.s who had been taken captive the previous year.

Throughout the following centuries lovers of Imam Husain a.s visited to varying degrees: more often than not tyrannical rulers prevented the Visit - Ziyarat. In fact some of the rulers allowed the visit but at the cost of the amputation of a limb. There are many recorded incidents of people suffering willingly just to visit Imam. Such pure unfettered love is a miracle.

uring the tyrannical rule of Saddam Takriti, visits were very much curtailed. However over the last few years, pilgrims have been free to visit Karbala. Each year the numbers increase. Two years ago the figure was around 10 million. Last year it was 20 million. This year it is estimated between 25 to 30 million. People walk for miles over days to visit Karbala. The love for Imam Husain is so great that men women and children, able-bodied and disabled, are present in the millions without care of car bombs and sucide bombings which are a daily occurrence against Shias the world over and especially in Iraq. The miracle of miracles is that every pilgrim is fed and offered food 24-7 by the people of Iraq through private donations. And the entire event is hosted without any mishaps.

Not only do Shia Muslims visit Imam Husain a.s but some Orthodox Christians and Hindus also make the blessed journey. In fact, you need not even be present in Karbala to visit Imam. Every Muslim who recites the Ziyarat Arbaeen on the day is counted as a visitor. This is the most important act of worship on this day, to recall the tragedy, and to promise Imam Husain that his mission of preserving the Divine message is honoured and fulfilled by us. Further, the Imam of our time, Imam Mahdi atfs is present in Karbala on this day. Hence travelling there also puts us in his company as we join his grief and also pledge to serve him.

This largest recorded religious gathering is a miracle and a testament that Husain a.s the Prince of Martyrs lives today. WABIL prays that this Arbaeen brings all believers closer to Allah, Imam Husain a.s and Imam Mahdi atfs.

Sayed Mohammad Al-Musawi
World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League (WABIL)
ondon, United Kingdom

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