PHOTOS: The Shiite pilgrimage Arbaeen

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Muslim pilgrims walk to the holy city of Karbala ahead of the Shiite ritual of Arbaeen, in Najaf, Iraq, on Nov. 30, 2015. Arbaeen marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for the killing of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein 13 centuries ago. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Alaa Al-Marjani 
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-ARBAEEN-PILGRIMAGE, originally transmitted on Dec. 3, 2015.

Muslim pilgrims walk to the holy city of Karbala ahead of the Shiite ritual of Arbaeen, in Najaf, Iraq, on Nov. 30, 2015. Arbaeen marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for the killing of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein 13 centuries ago. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Alaa Al-Marjani *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-ARBAEEN-PILGRIMAGE, originally transmitted on Dec. 3, 2015.

(RNS) It’s described as one of the world’s largest pilgrimages. Drawing an estimated 17 million Muslims to the Iraqi city of Karbala, the Shiite ritual known as Arbaeen dwarfs even the hajj in Mecca. Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning period after the anniversary of the seventh-century slaying of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein, which engendered the Sunni-Shiite schism.  All photos courtesy of Reuters

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  • Adam

    Amazing..must be one of the largest gatherings of humanity on the planet. What makes people gather with such devotion. Sad I don’t know …but I will find out.

  • speaker

    I read some quotes about Hussain from famous figures in history like Ghandi and others of his standing. Here’s one;

    “I learned from Hussain how to be wronged and be a winner, I learnt from Hussain how to attain victory while being oppressed.”

    “The best lesson which we get from the tragedy of Cerebella is that Husain and his companions were rigid believers in God. They illustrated that the numerical superiority does not count when it comes to the truth and the falsehood. The victory of Husain, despite his minority, marvels me!” – Thomas Carlyle