Muslims Mark Arbaeen in Nigeria

TEHRAN (FNA)- Muslims in Nigeria held the annual Arbaeen (40 days of mourning for Imam Hossein after he was martyred on the day of Ahoura over 13 centuries ago) mourning rituals.

Shiite Muslims on Saturday gathered in the city of Zaria to hold processions along with fellow countrymen, press tv reported.

Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, said that attendance was considerably remarkable.

According to Sheik Zakzaky, Imam Hossein (PBUH) wanted to bring change in the Muslim Ummah at a time when Islam was in need of being purified.

“It ended up with those in power killing him and members of his household and his companions. And he called for help, nobody helped him. That call for help did not die. It is still being raised today,” he said.

Millions of Muslims in Iraq who rallied from the city of Najaf to the city of Karbala arrived in Karbala city on Saturday to mark the Arbaeen.

Nearly 20 million of Muslims from across the world, including Iran, attended the 100-km rally, while hundreds of thousands more joined them on the way to Karbala and to the holy shrine of Imam Hossein (PBUH).

Analysts believe the rally is unique in terms of quality and also the number of its participants. It started from the holy shrine of Imam Ali (PBUH) – the first Shiite Imam – and ends up in the holy shrine of Imam Hossein (PBUH).

Large numbers of different student and popular groups are still joining the rally.

In November, Shiite pilgrims of Iraq and other countries, including Iran, flocked into Karbala, some 100 km South of Baghdad, and into Kadhmiyah in Northern Baghdad to commemorate Ashoura, which marks the martyrdom of Imam Hossein (PBUH), grandson of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and the third Shiite Imam.

Imam Hossein (PBUH) was martyred in the 680 A.D. battle fought on the plains outside Karbala, a city in modern Iraq that’s home to the Imam’s holy shrine.

In the battle, Imam Hossein (PBUH) was decapitated and his body mutilated by Yazid’s armies. All of Imam Hossein’s male family members, relatives, friends, soldiers who all together formed a 72-member army were beheaded in an unequal war with a 30,000-strong army of the enemy in the desert of Karbala.

The occasion is the source of an enduring moral lesson for the Shiites.

Imam Hossein’s martyrdom – recounted through a rich body of prose, poetry and song – remains an inspirational example of sacrifice to Shiites, who make up a majority of the Muslim population in Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and Bahrain.

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