HOLY CITY OF KARBALA, Iraq: Ziyarah Ash-Shabaniyah or the
Shabaniyah festival, which climaxes on Wednesday Shaban 15 July 28,
marks the birth anniversary of the Imam of Era Al-Imam Mohammed
Al-Mahdi (A), the 12th infallible descendant of Prophet Mohammed (S)
and the Last Proof of Allah, who disappeared in the 9th century.
Amid tight security, millions of devotees are flooding to the holy
shrine of Al-Imam al-Hussein bin Ali bin Abi Talib (AS) in the holy
city of Karbala to observe Ziyarah Ash-Shabaniyah, which is the best
amal (deed) of the blessed night of 15 Sha’ban.
Atmosphere in the holy city is filled with further spirituality, bliss
and happiness. Wholecity is beautifully bedecked with lights, colorful
buntings and flowers.
Since the beginning of the month of Shaban, devotees from across
the country and other parts of the world – young and old, men and
women, mostly on foot, some individually, some in caravans -, carrying
white, green and red banners inscribed with ‘Al-Ajal Ya Imam Al-Asr
(AS)’ were heading to the holy city to achieve the honor of visiting
Imam Al-Hussein (AS) marking 15 Sha’ban.
Narrations from A’immah Ahlul Bayt (AS) tell that fifteenth night of
Sha’ban (night between 14 and 15 Sha’ban) is the best after the night
of Qadr. The birth of Prophet Muhammad (S)’s last descendant Al-Imam
Al-Hujjah bin Al-Hassan Al-Mahdi Al-Montadhar (AS) in Sorra Mann Ra’a,
Iraq, in 255 AH, further increased the honor and excellence of this
According to a saying of Chief of Prophets Prophet Muhammad (S),
Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (AS) will return to deliver humanity from darkness
and strife, and he will fill the earth with justice and equity as it
would have been filled with oppression and injustice.
The fifteenth Sha’ban A’maal will culminate with the floating of
thousands of candles and scented letters to Imam Al-Mahdi – Imam of
the Era (AS) - on a river in Holy Karbala at 15 Sha’ban pre-dawn.
Residents of holy Karbala cook unique meals in giant pots at open
places for the devotees outside the Al-Imam Al-Hussein (AS) shrine.
Food and drink stands have been set up for the pilgrims.