Article by: En.mehrnews.com
The world's biggest feast is annually held in the Iraqi deserts in the month of Safar (the second month of the lunar-based Islamic calendar) with participating millions of people of all religions and nations.
The battle of Karbala is the most tragic event in the history of the Islamic world. The battle in which the third Shia Imam Hussein ibn Ali (AS) sacrificed his life and all his belongings, including his family and dearest friends, to stand against oppression and injustice.
Now, after nearly 1400 years, not only Shia and Sunni Muslims but all pure-hearted individuals still appreciate and mark what Imam Hussein (AS) did in Karbala.
One of the ways of marking Imam Hussein's memory and showing respect to him among Shias is to pay a visit (Ziyarat) to his holy shrine, which is located in Iraq's Karbala.
Generally, in Islam, Ziyara or Ziyarat is a form of pilgrimage to sites associated with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), his family members and descendants, his companions, and other venerated figures in Islam such as the prophets and Islamic scholars.
The greatest and biggest form of Ziyarat is held 40 days after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS) in Iraq, which is known as the Arbaeen Pilgrimage or Arbaeen Walk.
Arbaeen pilgrims start their journey by visiting the shrine of Imam Ali (AS), the first Shia Imam and the father of Imam Hussein (AS), in Najaf and then they walk 50 miles toward the city of Karbala, where was the scene of Karbala Battle and the shrine of Imam Hussein and his beloved brother Hazrat Abbas (AS) are located.
The philosophy of Arbaeen walk:
The Arabic word for the number 40 is Arbaeen and signifies the end of a 40-day mourning period for Hussein (AS) and others martyred in the Karbala desert.
According to most Islamic schools of law, a person who dies is mourned for 40 days by loved ones.
The aim of the Arbaeen pilgrimage is not just about visiting the shrine of Imam Hussein (AS). The Ziyarat symbolizes the commitment to the Imam's beliefs and manner of living. Arbaeen pilgrims renew their allegiance with Imam Hussein (AS) as they visit his shrine.
They also chant "Labaik ya Hussain" in front of the shrine of the Imam. The expression is generally associated with the commemorations of Muharram. It means, "I am answering you, O Hussain!"
The reason for chanting this slogan is Imam Hussein's call for help in the last seconds of his life. When all his companions were martyred and he, himself, was suffering from severe injuries, he shouted, "Isn't there anyone to help me?” Imam wanted to make the Yazidi Army aware of their mistake by saying this sentence.
Now today, the pilgrims of Karbala chant "Labaik ya Hussain" to show that although they were not present in the Battle of Karbala, now they are ready to help Imam by keeping his memory alive and continuing his path.