The Arbaeen trek is a solemn walk undertaken exactly 40 days from the date that Imam Hussein, the grand son of the Prophet was brutally martyred in Karbala (now in Iraq). The Imam had set out for good leadership and justice, in opposition to tyranny and oppression of the time. He was met with a brutal force that gave him no choices beyond surrender in humiliation or be martyred. Imam Hussein chose to be honoured by martyrdom.
Following that murder of Imam Hussein and over seventy of the children, grandchildren of the Prophet (S) as well as the companions of Imam Hussein, the entire surviving family members of the prophet, mostly women and children were taken captives and were driven barefooted in chains on the scorching dessert from Karbala to Damascus (Syria).
The Arbaeen Trek is reenactment of that trek and symbolises the tribulations they underwent in the hands of tyrants. We are all usually clad in black, because it is a mourning procession. It is a symbolic religious duty you would see Shi’as do worldwide. For those who can make it, they trek to Karbala (mostly from Najaf). Others trek various distances to varying places according to their abilities.
Christians also align themselves with the Imam Hussein Movement
A lot of Christians are known to align with the message of Imam Hussein of not surrendering to tyranny and oppression. Imam Hussein has inspired many great freedom fighters – old and new, now and in the past.
For instance, the renown liberation giant of Africa, Nelson Mandela was quoted as saying, “I have spent more than 20 years in prison, then on one night I decided to surrender by signing all the terms and conditions of government. But suddenly I thought about Imam Hussein and Karbala movement and Imam Hussein gave me strength to stand for right of freedom and liberation and I did.”
Literature is replete with quotes about Imam Hussein by Mahatma Gandhi (Father of the Nation – India), who was quoted to have said: “I learnt from Hussein how to achieve victory while being oppressed,” and at some other time he said, “If I had an army like the 72 soldiers of Hussein, I would have won freedom for India in 24 hours.”
Such was the inspiration of Imam Hussein and Karbala.
Another interesting thing is that in other places, the Arbaeen trek is done by non-Muslims as well. In Karbala, it is a rallying call for global good leadership and justice against oppression and tyranny. The Arbaeen gathering in Karbala (after the trek) is one of the largest gathering of humans in one place recently with tens of millions participating. Christians involvement in the Arbaeen trek in other parts of the world is significant. In Nigeria, Christians and particularly the freedom fighters among them have been kept in the dark about the inspirational nature of Imam Hussein’s message and movement. Only a handful participate in the #ArbaeenTrekNigeria 🇳🇬
Even then, a lot of admirers and critics of #ArbaeenTrekNigeria 🇳🇬 keep asking why the involvement of Chritians in all this? Sheikh Zakzaky had offered an explanation why Christians are involved in the Arbaeen trek. 👇
Imagine what it would be should Muslims and Christians alike rise in unison to participate in the #ArbaeenTrekNigeria 🇳🇬 2017 I forsee the end of tyranny and oppression.
Be prepared therefore to be part of #ArbaeenTrekNigeria 🇳🇬 2017
See you there!
©#FreeZakzaky Campaign Committee, October 2017