Millions of Shia Muslims from across the globe are making their way toward the holy city of Karbala in Iraq to commemorate Arba’een.
Arba’een marks 40 days after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad and the third Shia Imam.
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 killed after he refused to pledge allegiance to the tyrant ruler.
Pictures coming out of Iraq show mourners clad in black, walking toward Karbala, where they will take part in the mourning ceremonies around Imam Hussein’s shrine next weekend.
Iraqi forces have tightened security to protect pilgrims against terrorist attacks ahead of the mourning rituals.
The annual mourning services to mark Imam Hussein’s martyrdom are held worldwide since the beginning of Muharram.
Ashura ceremonies symbolize eternal and unwavering stance of truth against falsehood and humanity’s struggle against injustice, tyranny and oppression, the cause for which Imam Hussein was martyred.