By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
Yesterday, Arba’een or the 40th day of the anniversary of history’s most heartrending tragedy was observed peacefully in its heartland Karbala with an estimated 14-to-15 million pilgrims, mostly from Iraq.
It means there is still room for another 10 million pilgrims at the shrine of Imam Husain (AS), and could be easily and constructively filled up by at least five million from Iran and the other five million from all over globe.
In other parts of the world, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan, the annual commemoration passed peacefully with no reports of any terrorist blasts at the processions or any restrictions by the ruling Taliban militia.
Throughout India, millions of mourners of Imam Husain (AS) observed Arba’een with street marches and in many places were joined by their Sunni brethren, as well as Hindus who revere the Immortal Martyr of Karbala.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, because of a day’s difference in the sighting of the crescent for the month of Safar, observed Arba’een a day before on Monday with a public holiday and commemoration ceremonies all over the country, with due observance of health and hygienic measures because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The only place from where violence was reported at these peaceful rallies was Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, where unfortunately the trigger-happy security forces opened fire without any reason on the mourners, and according to reports have so far martyred 8 Muslims.
It is indeed a matter of deep regret that an almost Muslim majority country with an elected Muslim president heading the government has no respect for religious ceremonies held by its own citizens for the Ahl al-Bayt or Blessed Household of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).
Even in Saudi Arabia, where the rulers are rather inimical to the Peninsula’s Shi’a Muslims, this year there were no reports of violence or suppression of the commemoration gatherings for Arba’een.
Imam Husain (AS) is the symbol of peace, justice, unity, brotherhood, and freedom, as all conscientious people of any religion will testify, and this is evident by the participation of Muslims of all denominations, as well as Christians, Jains, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and even the followers of Judaism in his commemoration ceremonies.
In Iraq, people converge on Karbala from all corners of the country, which means that the Prophet’s grandson, who refused to acknowledge the libertine and illegal rule of the Omayyad regime by preferring martyrdom on the battlefield in an unequal combat in order to salvage humanitarian values, is the only hope for national unity.
In other words, it is adherence to the path of Imam Husain (AS) and promotion of the values espoused by him that could bring all the people of Iraq on a single platform (in view of the forthcoming general elections), irrespective of their ethnic, political, and sectarian differences.
To be more precise, Imam Husain (AS) is the bulwark against treason and the treacherous plots of the traitors who want to sell Iraq to the Zionists and who like to keep the country under American military occupation.
Iran has showed to the world that the key to the victory of Islamic Revolution in 1979, the thwarting of the Ba’thist invasion during the 8-year war, and the defeat of all American plots against the power and prestige of the country and the unity of the nation, is treading the path of the Immortal Martyr of Karbala and promoting his values in society.
We earnestly hope that Iraq and other countries will follow suit. Then only will the dignity and independence of the Muslim Ummah will be ensured and the struggle for liberation of Islam’s former qibla, Bayt al-Moqaddas, and the whole of Palestine, will bear fruits.