We present condolences on the Arbaeen, marking end of a 40-day mourning period after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Husain Bin Ali (AS), the third Imam of prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.W)’s infallible household.
Why 40 Days of mourning? Arbaeen of Imam Hussein (A.S.)
Arbaeen, or fortieth, as it is known by Urdu-speaking Muslims, is a Shi’a religious observation that occurs 40 days after the Day of Ashura, the commemoration of the martyrdom by beheading of Husain bin Ali (A.S.), the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) which falls on the 20th day of the month of Safar.
Imam Husain and 72 supporters martyred in the Battle of Karbala in the year 61 AH (680 CE). Forty days is the usual length of the time of mourning in many Islamic cultures.
The occasion reminds the faithful of the core message behind Husain (A.S.)’s martyrdom: establishing justice and fighting injustice, no matter what its incarnation—a message that strongly influenced subsequent Shi’a uprisings against the tyranny of Umayyad and Abbasid rule.
Number forty is mystic in Theosophy. According to the Islamic culture if someone practices a good deed constantly during forty days, it would be his inseparable attribute and lead to descending of God’s blessing. In some religions forty days and forty nights praying has special position.
When Moses (A.S) prayed forty nights; found the ability to hear the words of God.
"And remember when we appointed for Moses forty nights, and (in his absence) you took the calf (for worship), and you were polytheists and wrong-doers." [Holy Quran1:51]
The holy prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) said:
"If someone devotes him only to god forty days; the springs of wisdom found in his words"
Commemorating of the fortieth day of deeds by their family and giving alms is one of the common customs among some of the Muslims. The fortieth day of Imam Husain (A.S.)’s martyrdom is called Arbaeen. In this day Shiites commemorate Imam Husain’s revolution. These forty days are a suitable opportunity for people to develop the love of Husain (A.S.) and hate his assassins, in their hearts. Forty consecutive days, from Ashura up to Arbaeen, also is a national ceremony of aversion announcement from oppressors of the history.
In the first Arbaeen, Jabir bin Abdullah and "Atieh Ufi were the persons who pilgrimaged the holy tombs of Imam Hussein (A.S.). According to some narrations, captive family of Imam Hussein (A.S.) In the way of returning to Medina from Sham, visited Jabir and pilgrimaged tombs of Ashura’s martyrs.
Pilgrims walking to Karbala, on Arbaeen
As it was mentioned before, in the first Arbaeen gathering in the year 62 AH, Jabir bin Abdullah, a companion of the Prophet, was one of the people who performed a pilgrimage to the burial site of Husain (A.S.). Due to his infirmity and probable blindness, he was accompanied by Atiyya bin Saad. His visit coincided with that of the surviving female members of the Prophet’s family and Hussein’s son and heir Imam Zain-Ul- Abidin, who had all been held captive in Damascus by Yazid I, the Umayyad Caliph.
Imam Zain-Ul-Abidin had been too ill to participate in the Battle of Karbala. He later devoted his life to mourning and spreading the message of Imam Husain (A.S.)’s supreme sacrifice.
The city of Karbala in Iraq, the third holy place of Shi’a Islam, is the center of the proceedings where, in a show of humility, many crawl through the streets of the city while others fall on their hands and knees as they approach the Shrines of Hussein and his brother Abbas bin Ali.
Observance of Arbaeen in Karbala was banned for many years when Saddam Hussein was president of Iraq. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the observance in April 2003 was broadcast worldwide.
Poem Written on the occasion of Arbaeen Imam Husain (A.S)
Look at the heads atop the spear
And the eyes that are full of tears.
Husain has gone and his sister is alone,
And her lonely sight is so hard to bear.
It will touch so many hearts of stone
But her suffering, so few shall share.
The daughter of Fatima is full of sorrow.
In her path, so many woes have been steered.
She doesn’t know what will happen tomorrow.
She hasn’t finished wiping her tears.
The world has seldom seen such a bold woman.
So courageous and without a speck of fear.
She is so strong, that she can’t be broken.
Even by her loved ones" heads, on the spears.
Her parents are Fatima and Ali, none other,
And to the Prophet Muhammad, she is so dear.
But this day, she is without her brother.
And no comfort seems to be near.
There is no one relieve them of their agony.
The indifference of these "Muslims" is so severe.
Nobody cares for the Prophet’s progeny.
For the victims, everyone should shed tears.
Don’t all the people present, understand,
The noble family of the Prophet, has no peers?
Everyone’s salvation is verily in their hands.
Why are they being driven, to the verge of tears?
This lady is not afraid to lose her life.
She speaks out against cruelty, without fear.
To spread her brother’s message, she strives,
Breaking everyone’s heart with her silent tears.
On hurting the innocent, the cruel are bent.
But these wicked plots fail and she perseveres.
She faces calamity with her spiritual strength.
She is anguished, but holds back her tears.
The tyrants wanted to crush the struggle
But it shall never end and also our tears.
Everyone is moved, on hearing her troubles.
Karbala is and will be remembered each year.
In the stormy seas we’ve not yet set ashore,
Many evil minds would want to stop our tears.
But this mourning will continue forever more,
with cries of Ya Husain ringing in our ears.