Rouhani: Arba’een displays Islamic unity

December 6, 2015

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a message on Saturday praising the huge participation of Muslims at ceremonies marking Arba’een, saying it demonstrated the unity in the Islamic world.

Rouhani said Arba’een bears the message of “spirituality, security, morality and altruism” to the world.

The president expressed hope that the ceremony would provide the world with an opportunity to see the “true image of Islam”.

Arba’een marks the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shiite Imam and grandson of Prophet Muhammad (S).

According to the Iraqi transport minister about 27 million pilgrims took part in the rituals in Karbala, where the shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located.

According to some estimates some 2 million Iranians attended the ceremonies.

Rouhani also thanked the Iraqi people and government for hosting the pilgrims.

On Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also issued a message thanking the Iraqi government and people for their efforts in hosting hundreds of thousands of Iranian pilgrims. Zarif said the Arba’een ceremony shows unity which is based on “seeking justice and fighting extremism”.

Imam Hussein and 72 of his loyal companions, including family members, were martyred on Ashura, the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram, in the battle of Karbala against the second Umayyad caliph, Yazid I, in 680 A.D. Imam Hussein was martyred after he refused to pledge allegiance to the tyrant ruler.

Pilgrims from over 100 countries gathered in Karbala for over a week to mark Arba’een, defying threats by Takfiri terrorists to attack them. Many of the pilgrims reached the city on foot to show their devotion to the Imam.