More than 13 million gather in Karbala for Arbaeen

Shiite Muslim worshippers gather Nov. 9, 2017, in front of the holy shrine of Imam Hussein, in the background, during the Muslim festival of Arbaeen in Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad. The holiday marks the end of the 40-day mourning period after the anniversary of the seventh-century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s top Shiite cleric says more than 13 million have gathered in the holy city of Karbala to mark Arbaeen, the annual commemoration marking the end of the mourning period for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson and a central figure in Shiite Islam.

RELATED: Millions of Shiites gather in Karbala to mark Arbaeen

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani praised Iraqi security forces Friday (Nov. 10) for securing the routes in and out of Karbala for visitors traveling from across Iraq and beyond.

Sheikh Abdul-Mahdi al-Karbalai, Sistani’s representative, delivered the cleric’s message after Friday prayers.

Imam Hussein was killed in 680 A.D. in a climactic battle in Karbala that cemented the rift between Sunnis and Shiites.

Shiite communities worldwide observe the Arbaeen holiday, with large gatherings in Iran and southern Lebanon.

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  • While Christians look for the second coming of Christ, the Jews await their Messiah, the Shiites await the 12th Imam. However, of the three, Allah’s designated, Mahdi is the only one who demands a violent path to conquer the world. I remember President Ahmadinejad, and his cabinet, said they have a ‘signed contract’ with al Mahdi in which they pledge themselves to his work, which made people nervous while he was enriching uranium far beyond what was needed for peaceful purposes, according to the IAEA. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Muhammed said he was a descendant of Abraham, father of the Jewish people, and Abraham was from the City of Ur (in modern Iraq) according to Genesis 11:31. The problem is that false prophets in Arabia claim they are the offspring from a man who lived over a 1,000 years before them, and Muhammed claimed to descend from Ishmael who lived 2,700 years before him, without any historical written document.

    God spoke to Moses when he was alone, and God spoke to Jesus when he was alone, and he spoke to Muhammad when he was alone. Is there no end today to what people believe from a backward time and place? Jews were chosen by God to receive the Ten Commandments and lead to the Promised Land. What is everybody fighting about in the Middle East? At least all three religions agree on that one.

  • “Imam Hussein was killed in a climactic battle in Karbala in A.D. 680 that cemented the rift between Sunnis and Shiites.” — Jews were persecuted in Europe for centuries because of the Church dogma that said Jews were the Christ killers. Who cares if a Jew killed another Jew 2,000 years ago or a Muslim killed another Muslim 1,500 years ago. This is the 21st century and we still fight over the color of your shirt at a ballgame or sporting event. We have soccer riots because someone waves the wrong flag in the wrong section of the stadium. Should we give up or keep on trying?

  • Hussein and Karbala stands for Justice and Truth against the odd. Our world of the 21st century will do well to be reminded of what happened in Karbala as tyranny of false news and elite power still abounds. Who will be the Hussein of today and tomorrow so that the masses can aspire to live the life of a truly free person. Soccer riot is just a distraction while proxy wars and financial upheaval is fronting us !

  • ” Is there no end today to what people believe from a backward time and place? ”

    Interesting comment.

  • Read about Hussein and the history leading to the event of Karbala and you would realise that the magnitude and purity of his sacrifice has no comparison to-date. The millions of people (ever increasing) from diverse race and culture that acknowledge Hussein every year is the envy of Royalty and their lineage.

  • The Old Testament and the New Testament are full of fiction and fantasy, but few Jews or Christians are willing to admit it. After the conversion of Sunni Iran to the Shia faith, some Iranian authors composed poems and plays commemorating the battle. Most of these compositions are only loosely based upon the known history of the event. What is your primary source of absolute and circumspect facts documented during that time and place? As you know, many modern objective historic Shia scholars have protested the conversion of history into mythology. I am only asking you to provide undisputed facts that allow you to make the claim “that the magnitude and purity of his sacrifice has no comparison to-date.”???? That is just an emotional opinion.

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