The Arbaeen Walk has been widely described as the biggest annual gathering with participants from across the globe. The crowd has been swelling each year. The whole journey of about 50 miles from Najaf to Karbala is marked with 1,452 poles.
According to some scholars, Shaikh Murtuza Ansari, who passed away in the year 1281 AH was the one to start this tribute to Imam Hussain (‘a). After this, there was a gap and later Muhadith Mirza Hussain Noori resumed it again and it continues till today.
In Najaf, where the walk begins and along the way till Karbala, streets teem with people who come from different parts of the world. Locals set up stalls, serving visitors sweetened drinks, fruits and food ensuring that no guest goes hungry or thirsty.
There are small makeshift tents lined with foam mattresses and woolen blankets for people to rest or sleep. For those tired, there are masseurs to give them quick and revitalizing massage. There are also mobile bathrooms for a quick shower and mobile ambulances in case of a medical emergency.
It’s remarkable the way the guests are treated during the Arbaeen Walk. The host takes honor in serving his guests who are complete strangers to him with different nationalities, different cultures and different languages. What unites them all is the common cause – Enlightenment and Service to Humanity at large.
On 11th October 2020 (Safar 1442), the Development Society of the Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Dar es Salaam organized a model Arbaeen Walk – Labbayk in Action 3.0. The objective of the walk was to attempt to recreate the feeling of being a Zawwar of Imam Hussain (a’). During the walk the Zawwar walked through various landmarks created including Najaf and Kerbala. The walk included guides who educated the Zawwar on the importance of each landmark, reciters who recited the heart wrenching musibah of the Imams and the Martyrs of Karbala, as well as speakers who spoke to the Zawwar on how we can use the experience of Karbala to improve ourselves, get close to our Imams and pave way for the coming of Imam Al Mahdi (a.t.f.s).
As the Zawars from different parts of the world are presently walking towards the land of Karbala, we send our salutations to the Imam of our time, Alhujjah Al Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) and the Martyrs of Karbala on this sad occasion of the Arbaeen of Aba Abdillahil Hussain (‘a) and the Martyrs (Shohadah) of Karbala. Our salutations to Sayyedah Janabe Zainab bint Ali (sa) and the noble women and children of the household of the holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) who were taken prisoners by the evil forces of Yazid ibn Muawiya ibn abi Sufiyan in 61 A.H. after the tragic event of Karbala.
We pray for the safety and successful walk by all the Zawars of Aba Abdillahil Hussain (‘a), and safe return to their countries, Aameen.
Photos Courtesy of Development Society of the Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Dar es Salaam
ARCHIVES SECTION OF THE AFRICA FEDERATION
25th September 2021 / 17th Safar 1443 A.H