HOLY CITY OF KARBALA, Iraq: To commemorate the supreme sacrifice of
Chief of Prophets Muhammad Al-Mostafa (p)’s grandson Al-Imam Abi
Abdellah Al-Husayn (p) rendered for defense of Shariah and safety of
human values in the burning desert of Karbala, hundreds of thousands
of mourning devotees have been arriving in the holy city.
They arrive in Karbala from across the country and some neighboring
countries on foot or by bus, some bare-footed, some alone while some
others in caravans, carrying black banners as a sign of mourning for
the death of Husayn (p).
Local residents are ready to welcome them by setting up tikyas, square
wooden kiosks draped in black, where the weary pilgrims can stop to
eat and drink before setting off again.
Daily mourning processions attended by thousands of mourners move
through the holy city culminating at the holy Husayni and Abbasi
At the same time loudspeakers retell the story of the 680 AD battle
against the soldiers of the Umayyad caliph Yazid that unjustly
martyred Husayn (p).
This year’s Ashura falls on January 30 when several million mourners
are expected to commemorate the occasion at Mashhad Al-Husayn (p), the
holy Husayni shrine, by shedding their blood from heads and chests
with sords and knives to signify their deep grief over the martyrdom
of Imam Husayn (p).