Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the mass march toward the Iraqi city of Karbala to mark Arba’een (which marks 40 days after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the third Shiite Imam) is a show of faith and devotion.
Ayatollah Khamenei, who was addressing a group of Iranian clerics on Monday, described Arba’een as a “lasting privilege”.
The Leader said that the massive turnout of people from around the world and Iran for the march toward Karbala is a manifestation of the prominent features of the school of Prophet Mohammad’s Household.
“The combination of devotion and faith and wisdom and affection is among the unique features of the school of Prophet Muhammad’s Household,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Imam Hussein and 72 of his loyal companions, including family members, were martyred on Ashura, the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram, in the battle of Karbala against the second Umayyad caliph, Yazid I, in 680 A.D. Imam Hussein was killed after he refused to pledge allegiance to the tyrant ruler.
Five million of these pilgrims are estimated to be coming from Iran. The pilgrims, among them Sunni Muslims and Christians, showed their commitment to Imam Hussein by walking tens of miles barefoot to reach his shrine.