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Home Culture Cultural News Shia Muslims hold Arbaeen mourning rituals

Shia Muslims hold Arbaeen mourning rituals

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Shia Muslims hold Arbaeen mourning rituals

Arbaeen of Imam Hussein (PBUH) is the 20th day of Safar in the Hijri Lunar calendar and the anniversary of the 40th day after the Battle of Karbala when Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his companions were martyred on the Day of Ashura, (Muharram 10, 61 AH/October 10, 680). It is reported that the Captives of the Battle of Karbala came to visit Imam Hussein in Karbala on Safar 20, 61/November 19, 680) on their return from Syria to Medina.

In a hadith from Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (PBUH), ziyarah of Arba'in is considered among the sings of the faithful.

This day is a national holiday in Iran. Shia mourns on the day of Arbaeen and mourning groups rally on the streets. In recent years, the great procession of Shia who tries to arrive in Karbala on the day of Arbaeen has become one of the most important mourning ceremonies of Shia around the world and it has even turned into one of the largest religious processions on a global scale. Currently, the majority of foreign pilgrims in this procession are from Iran.

Shia Muslims hold Arbaeen mourning rituals

In Arabic, Arbaeen means the 40th day and 20th of Safar, which is 40 days after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH) on the Day of Ashura, which is called Arbaeen al-Husseini or simply Arbaeen. The importance of this day lies in the fact that based on historical accounts, Jabir b. Abd Allah al-Ansari visited the grave of Imam Hussein on this day as the first pilgrim ever visiting this grave. In some sources, it is reported that, in addition to Jabir, remaining members of the Imam Hussein family returned to Karbala on this day and visited the graves of Imam Hussein and other martyrs of Karbala.

Procession of Arbaeen is a great march of Shia in Iraq from different parts of the country towards Karbala on the occasion of Arbaeen to pay a visit to the shrine of Imam Hussein and perform ziyarat al-Arbaeen.

Millions of people participate in this annual procession. Many people from other countries travel to attend the event as well.

Shia Muslims hold Arbaeen mourning rituals

Shia Muslims in Iran observe several rituals during the Arbaeen event including, gathering on the streets and marching in long processions and beating their chest, preparing food for the poor, as well as attending Ta’ziyeh which is a kind of street theater in a costume inspired by historical events that happened in Karbala battle.

Arbaeen pilgrimage is a large congregation of people and not just a specific group of people, everyone is welcomed to join. Toddlers, elderlies, even people with disabilities in wheelchairs participate in the march.

Thousands of mawkibs, stalls providing free of charge foods, beverages, accommodation, and medicines, are set up along the way to Karbala and the holy shrines as many believe that taking care of pilgrims of Imam Hussein and serving them is a religious duty.



Mount Damavand is the highest peak in Iran and the highest volcano in Asia.

Travel tips

Things to Know Before Trip
One of the most important things to remember is that Iranians aren’t Arabs, they’re Persian. They speak Farsi (and other dialects), not Arabic, and some people might feel offended if you great them with Arabic words.
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