Millions of pilgrims are descending on Iraq’s holy city of Karbala to celebrate the birthday anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam and the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
People from Iraqi cities as well as Lebanon, Pakistan and Iran are gathering for the occasion, defying terrorists who have frequently targeted such events.
Mahmoud Swaidan, a Lebanese Quran reciter from southern Lebanon, said people can take lessons from Imam Hussein’s struggle against infidelity and injustice.
Tufail Shah, a Pakistani pilgrim, said Imam Hussein saved the religion by “sacrificing his whole family in the way of Islam and Allah.”
Imam Hussein and 72 of his loyal companions, including his 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.
After Imam Hussein’s death, his remaining family members, mainly women and children, were taken captive by Yazid.