Arbaeen trek showed Muslim unity against enemies: Baqeri

October 22, 2019 - 19:3

TEHRAN – The Arbaeen march demonstrated the Islamic Ummah’s unity in the face of enemies, says Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, the Armed Forces Chief of Staff.

Presence of millions of pilgrims in the Arbaeen march was against the desire of hegemonic and anti-Islam powers, especially the terrorist regime of America and its regional and trans-regional allies, General Baqeri said, Mehr reported on Tuesday.

He made the remarks in a message to his Iraqi counterpart, Othman al-Ghanmi.

In his message, Baqeri thanked the Iraqi people for their warm hospitality to the Arbaeen pilgrims, and expressed his gratitude to the Iraqi government and armed forces for their services to the pilgrims.

The Arbaeen pilgrimage, which is one of the largest religious gathering in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Imam of Shia Muslims and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Each year, a huge crowd of people flock to Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rituals.

This year, Arbaeen fell on Saturday, October 19.

Many Iranian officials have thanked the friendly neighboring country, Iraq, for its hospitality during the Arbaeen season.

In a message to Iraqi leaders, Presdient Hassan Rouhani described Arbaeen pilgrimage as a “miracle” and thanked the Iraqi officials for making it possible.

“This gathering shows that Arbaeen is not just an occasion on calendar, but a lasting historic miracle and a most powerful media to introduce Imam Hussein (AS) culture and Ashura,” he said.

He added that the Arbaeen march shows unity and solidarity between the Iraqis and the Iranians and is an example of forming a “united front against violence and discrimination”.

According to reports, more than three million Iranian pilgrims traveled to Iraq this year to attend the mourning rituals.

As a positive step, this year Iraq removed visa requirement for Iranian pilgrims, thereby paving the way for more Iranian citizens to visit the neighboring country to perform Arbaeen ritual.