Press Shia – Hujjat al-Islam al-Safi announced that almost 14 million pilgrims participated in the Arba’in al-Husayni pilgrimage this year.

Press Shia – During his Friday prayer sermon delivered to a large crowd of believers and mourners at the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Husayn in the Iraqi city of Karbala on the day of Arba’in, Hujjat al-Islam Sayyid Ahmad al-Safi said, “This year, the relevant authorities said by installing closed-circuit television cameras at the entrances to Karbala, some fairly accurate data was collected regarding the number of participants in the Arba’in al-Husayni pilgrimage.”

The representative of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani added that as of 11:00 am local time on November 10th, 13,874,818 pilgrims had participated in the ceremony of Arba’in al-Husayni.

Hujjat al-Islam al-Safi praised the bravery and self-sacrificing actions of the Iraqi warriors in the fight against the Daesh Takfiri terrorists and said, “If it wasn’t for the pure blood of the warriors, we wouldn’t see such a spiritual atmosphere in Karbala. We pray to God Almighty to bestow mercy on the martyrs and to urgently heal the wounded.”

The custodian of the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Husayn added, “The purpose of the presence of millions of pilgrims in the pilgrimage of Arba’in al-Husayni is to announce their love and affection for the ‘Master of the Martyrs’ [Imam al-Husayn] and the attainment of many rewards for their pilgrimage on this great day.”

He considered the presence of the self-serving individuals among pilgrims as natural and stated, “By propagating a hate-filled sectarian and political discourse and activities for particular people and disseminating them online while attending the pilgrimage of Arba’in al-Husayni, some individuals seek to exploit this great ceremony. All these are abnormal cases and the number of such individuals is very small such that that don’t even make up one percent and ninety-nine percent don’t aim to carry out such activities.” 

Expressing that the pilgrims’ love and affection for Imam al-Husayn prevented all forms of harm from occurring and left purity and glory, Hujjat al-Islam al-Safi stated, “We thank all the security forces, service and health personnel and the camps who provided services and facilities necessary for pilgrims during the pilgrimage of Arba’in al-Husayni.”

He also thanked the people of the city of Karbala, who opened their doors to receive visitors and stressed, “No visitor has complained about food, drink or their place of rest.”

His Eminence said that the security plan, which was overseen by the operations command and was shared by most of Iraq’s ministries, was successful, considering the “bottlenecks caused by problems on the roads inside and outside Karbala.”

At the same time, Hujjat al-Islam al-Safi praised the transportation plan that accompanied the movement of visitors to take them to the nearest point of the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Husayn. 

Arba’in is a Shi’ah Muslim religious observance that occurs forty days after the Day of Ashura. It commemorates the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who was killed on the tenth day of the month of Muharram.

Shi’ah Muslims from all walks of life mark the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam al-Husayn, while millions of others have travelled to Iraq to honour the event at the third Shi’ah Imam’s shrine in the holy city of Karbala.

Large numbers of pilgrims travel to Iraq each year, walking the distance between the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, which houses the Imam’s holy shrine, so as to be able to be there by Arba’in.

This year, Iranians mark Arba’in on Thursday, but the occasion was commemorated in Karbala on Friday.