A Destination for 20 Million

It may surprise many to know that every single year somewhere in the Middle East, despite the lack of security, over 20 million people set out on a pilgrimage; Pilgrims who regardless of their different nationalities, cultures, and languages have a common goal and who walk for miles and miles with very little accommodations. That’s the biggest social gathering anywhere on earth.

Final destination? Karbala, a city in Iraq

But what’s so special about this city? And what has made this pilgrimage so appealing that these pilgrims are willing to put up with all the difficulties of the trip and even risk their lives for it.

This group of pilgrims is threatened every year by ISIS, Wahhabis, and extremist Sunnis who have murdered many pilgrims at times.

What makes this trip so special for the pilgrims is that it ends at the shrine of a great Muslim leader who lived over 1400 years ago.

Hussein was a grandson of the Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.

You have surely heard the names of various prophets such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muslims believe Muhammad to be the last one of these prophets of course they claim that the signs of his prophet hood are present in the holy (bible) Hussein is Muhammad’s grandson, a son of Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter and the apple of his eyes.

Speaking of fame, we all know celebrities, but we’ve never heard of one with so many annual visitors. So, just why is Hussein so popular among Muslims? why are so many willing to risk their lives to visit his shrine. He surely must have done something to deserve so much fame.

Most of Hussain’s fame stems from his stance against injustice and losing his life and that of his loved ones because of it. He must have o popular among Muslims and

See, 50 years after Prophet Muhammad, a person started ruling over Muslims who behaved against the very teachings of Islam. He was Yazeed, a son of Muawiyah who committed horrific crimes during his reign. And Hussein, the mentioned leader, was one who stood up against Yazeed’s divergence from Islam and lost his loved ones and his own life because of it.

Like any dictator who seeks legitimacy in the approval of the national heroes, Yazeed was trying to gain legitimacy through taking allegiance from Hussain, who was well known for his noble manners and ties to the prophet of Islam.

Imam Hussain however, refused to accept Yazeed as a Muslim leader and because of his refusal to bow to the unjust king, He was surrounded in a barren desert in modern day Karbala and attacked, where he and his followers fought bravely till their very last breath.

It’s unbelievable! Some 70 people against 30 thousand!

That is one fighter against every 400.

To stop this slaughter all that was needed was a statement from Imam Hussain. For him to say that Yazeed’s approach of Islam is correct. The sects who believe in Hussein’s version of Islam are called Shi’ites whereas Wahhabis and extremist Sunnis consider Yazeed and his father Muawieh their leader. The same Yazeed whose troops beheaded Hussain and all his men and even his six month old baby, rode their horses over their headless bodies, and took their women and children hostage.

That is why Shi’ites have no tolerance for injustice. It might be interesting to you that in a world where money has the biggest say, they are willing to put up with much hardship for not recognizing Israel.

Why?

It’s clear. Since Israel is guilty of injustice against its Palestinian citizens. The Shi’ites stand in solidarity with Palestinians because they’ve been oppressed, even though Palestinians are Sunni not Shi’ites, . The Shi’ites refuse to recognize the state of Israel.

They do so because for the followers of Hussain it’s important to defend the oppressed regardless of their faith or race.

Iran as the greatest Shi’ite country after the 1979 revolution when a Shi’ite government was elected to office ended its relationship with two countries: Israel and South Africa.

Why South Africa? Because of the prevalence of apartheid in the government: to Iranians it didn’t matter that the black people were not Muslims. It only mattered that they were oppressed.

Even now, there is only one reason for all the sanctions and propaganda against Iran: Not recognizing the state of Israel! The same reason for which Hussain was killed: refusing to recognize the oppressor.

That is also the reason for conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia the slaughter of Yemen’s civilians and the Saudi support of the ISIS, Wahhabis and Extremist Sunnis who kill people in the name of Islam .

Have you ever heard of extremist Sunnis attacking Israel? Israel’s most recent tactic was to create a sect amount the Shi’ites which has a very good relationship with Israel.

They recognize the state of Israel. They have been committing crimes in the name of Hussain imitating the backward actions of Christians in Medieval ages. Even though for every one hundred thousand Shi’ites there’s only one of these un-Islamic sects, their actions are propagated through the media.

On the other hand, every year, true Shi’ites in different countries donate their blood on the anniversary of Hussain’s martyrdom

Yes, Hussain is the leader of all who fight against injustice, regardless of their race or religion.

Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, said:

“I learnt from Hussain how to attain victory while being oppressed.”

Mahatma Gandhi’s first Salt Satyagrah was inspired by Imam Hussain’s non violent resistance to the tyranny of Yazid. Gandhi is said to have studied the history of Islam and Imam Hussain (A), and was of the opinion that Islam represented not the legacy of a sword but of sacrifices of saints like Imam Hussain (A).

Mahatma Gandhi writes:

“My faith is that the progress of Islam does not depend on the use of sword by its believers, but the result of the supreme sacrifice of Hussain (A), the great saint.”

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