In an interview, Hujjat al-Islam Raed al-Sitri, a Bahraini cleric, referred to the Arba’in pilgrimage to the Holy Shrine of Imam Husayn in the Iraqi city of Karbala, which reached its climax on November 21st, and said that this pilgrimage has become one of the religious rituals and traditions of all Muslims.
His Eminence said that every year, millions of people from around the world participate in the Arba’in pilgrimage and this must be analyzed in order to discover the cause of the attraction to the pilgrimage and added, “The leading reason for the large number of participants in this pilgrimage is due to the character of Imam Husayn and secondly, the multi-dimensional nature of the movement of Imam Husayn is such that everyone who reflects on this movement recognizes the evolution and diversity of this global movement in all its various aspects and levels.”
Hujjat al-Islam al-Sitri explained that the principles that led to the formation of the Husayni Revolution are the same Islamic principles that all Muslims have gathered around. These are same origins that Imam Husayn brought forth – enjoining the good and forbidding the wrong and reforming the Islamic ummah.
“These characteristics, although they are the foundations of Islam, they are not limited to a specific sect, but rather they are an attraction for all Muslims,” he said.
The Bahraini revolutionary described the origins of the humanitarian movement of Imam Husayn, saying that in the humanitarian dimensions of this movement, we witness the struggle against injustice and corruption and stressed, “Despite all religious diversity and ethnic groups among the pilgrims, Imam Husayn is the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and this is another feature that draws all this love to Karbala.”
He said that some satellite networks and foreign media outlets seek to portray the Arba’in pilgrimage as a political event and added that the stated purpose of such issues by the media and the rulers of Arab countries is to create dissension in the Islamic world and to prevent the spread of the Husayni movement.
Hujjat al-Islam al-Sitri explained that this statement is in fact narrow-minded because they see that millions of pilgrims from different faiths attended have participated in this pilgrimage and it is possible that by taking the model of this great gathering, Muslims will revolt against the tyrant rulers and thus, they are fearful and are concerned over the formation of such a movement.
“Similar actions occurred during the time of the Ahlul-Bayt themselves such that Imam Husayn was accused of leaving the religion,” he said.