RNA – During his Friday prayer sermon delivered to a large crowd of believers and mourners at the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Husayn in the Iraqi city of Karbala, Hujjat al-Islam Sayyid Ahmad al-Safi offered thanks and appreciation to all the officials, in both the public and private sectors, whose efforts contributed to the success of the Arba’in al-Husayn pilgrimage, which reached its peak on October 30th.
The representative of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani added that this year, five axes were added to the two axes of last year to attend the holy city of Karbala and said, “We thank and appreciate all the people who were active in different parts of the world and ended in Karbala.”
He referred to the announcement of the number of pilgrims present in Karbala and said, “To count the number of pilgrims entering the holy city of Karbala, cameras were installed from the 7th of Safar [October 17th] until 12:00 am on the 20th of Safar [October 30th] and observed and counted the number of pilgrims. This is while many pilgrims were present both before and after these dates to attend the Arba’in pilgrimage.”
Hujjat al-Islam al-Safi added that this year, more than 15 million Iraqi and foreign pilgrims arrived in the holy city of Karbala to attend the Arba’in pilgrimage.
The custodian of the Holy Shrine of Hadhrat Abbas called for a solution to the problems in regard to the transportation of the pilgrims and stated, “Unfortunately, during all [large] gatherings there is a problem with the transportation of pilgrims and there must be serious and necessary measures made in this regard.”
He stated, “Serving the pilgrims and providing them with all their needs is one of the unique and excellent features of the Iraqi people. That the pilgrims were able to take care of their affairs without any incident or problem, indicates their vigilance and sincerity.”
Hujjat al-Islam al-Safi praised the mawkibs [booths which give out free food, beverages, places to sleep and other necessities] because of the importance they gave to the cleaning the pathways and called for increased efforts in this regard.
It must be noted that Arba’in marks forty days after the Day of Ashura, the day Imam al-Husayn ibn Ali, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, was martyred in the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE.
On the day of Arba’in, the Shi’ah faithful traditionally walk for several days or longer to reach the Iraqi holy city of Karbala where crowds chant and march around the Holy Shrine of Imam Husayn.