The day of Arafah had five million people flocking the shrine of Imam Hussain

  • Print Article |
  • Send to a Friend |
  • |
  • Add to Google |

Five million pilgrims converged at the shrine of Imam Hussain and Hazrat Abbas on the day of Arafah in Karbala. In 680 AD at this very place, once a desert plain  Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) grandson and the son of Imam Ali and Syeda Fatima Zahra - Imam Hussain was martyred. He was killed alongside all of his family.

The day of Arafah had five million people flocking the shrine of Imam Hussain. The first characteristic that distinguishes the tradition of reaching Karbala is the fact that many visitors come on foot. The first to arrive are people from Basra, who walk 500km in about 10 days.

It is biting cold, but the crowd seems to be increasing by the hour. Mothers with new- born babies and elderly people who could barely walk could be spotted across the Baynul Haramain (the road between the two shrines).

What does Karbala offer to its visitors? No city, whatever the level of its services, can absorb so many visitors. But Karbala does. The streets are filled with restaurants, so are the pavements, and free meals are served 24 hours. Everywhere groups had organized memorial service or ‘majlis' (a religious gatherings) at the shrine itself. This centres around a recital of the sufferings and martyrdom of Imam Hussain. The goal of the khateeb or orator is to evoke weeping and lamentations from his audience. After the majlis refreshments such as sweets, tea, or a full meal are served.

A common sight here is the mourning processions, with people carrying a black banner right in front. The participants march in groups and beat their chests while reciting poems for the occasion. The other marchers whip their backs with iron chains according to the rhythm of the voice of the "arradoud", or drum.

Once, during my overnight stay at the Hazrat Abbas shrine, the shoe keeper at the Gate number 4 revealed that there was one batch of American troops, when stationed in Karbala, would salute the shrine every time they crossed it. After all, Hazrat Abbas was also the commander-in-chief of a very special army. He had his hands severed trying to bring back water to the thirsty and dying children of Imam Hussain's camp. His fight was of an extreme kind as he didn't get a chance to have actual combat with the evil forces.

The mention of the name of Hazrat Abbas automatically links it to the Furat or the Euphrates river. This river is located at the entrance leading to the mausoleums of Imam Hussain and Hazrat Abbas, in the zone known as "Bab-e-Baghdad", to the right of the road from the capital, just after Maqam Al Mahdi.

An elderly man who was resting near the Furat revealed that he's been making this pilgrimage every year after the fall of Saddam in 2003. "It is a new-found religious freedom for us. The portrait of Saddam Hussein that hung on the shrine of Imam Hussain is gone. And I know who took it out," he whispered and smiled. Every year as pilgrims gather at Karbala, in Muharram, a month of mourning that immortalises a leader who refused to condone the tyranny of an oppressor.

Feroz Ahmed Bawany goal is to increase my knowledge and to understand the only civilized creations of Almighty Lord are HUMAN. He is a regular contributer to TRCB.com.

 

Grow your Social Media Friends at OpenNetworker.com

Article Rating (1 stars):
  • article full star
  • article no star
  • article no star
  • article no star
  • article no star
Rate this Article:
  • Article Word Count: 526
  • |
  • Total Views: 315
  • |
  • permalink
  • Print Article |
  • Send to a Friend |
  • |
  • Add to Google |
>