Shiites mark annual symbolic trek in Abuja

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The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as ‘Shiites’ on Tuesday embarked on its annual Arbaeen Symbolic Trek in Abuja.

Arbaeen is a Shiite annual religious practice usually conducted on the 20th Safar of the Islamic calendar to mark the 40th day of the murder of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammed who was killed on 10th Muharram.

The peaceful procession, which kicked off from New Nyanya Junction in Nasarawa State ended at the Mararaba Bridge area. The walk also took place in Suleja, Niger state.

The trekking will continue and end tomorrow (Wednesday) as  the 20th day of Safar

In a statement, a leader of the movement, Sheikh Sidi Munir Mainasara, said the purpose of the trek was to experience the trial and tribulation faced by the household of the Holy Prophet who was chained and dragged in the scorching desert, barefoot from Karbala in Iraq to Damascus in Syria after the killing of Imam Husain 61 years after Hijra.

“The fortieth day (Arbaeen) commemoration after the martyrdom of Imam Husain, the Grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) is commemorated annually by the Islamic movement, following a symbolic trek by millions of people from across the country. However, we started with few people and confined ourselves to a particular place and recited some supplication. We thank Allah now we trek in millions, an indication that people are gradually beginning to realize the high position of Imam Husain (AS) in Islam.

“This year’s Arba’een symbolic trek started on Sunday in Pambegua, while that of Kano, Funtua, Malumfshi, and Kaduna was held yesterday Monday and ended Peacefully. The commemoration continues today here around Abuja and is to be concluded tomorrow God willing. Thousands of people marched from New Nyanya in Mararaba, Abuja-Keffi Expressway, and also in Suleja.

“The purpose of the symbolic trek is to recall and experience the trial and tribulation faced by the Household of the Holy Prophet (AS), chained and dragged in a very hot and dry desert, barefoot from Karbala in Iraq to Damascus in Syria after the killing of Imam Husain 61 years after Hijra. It was a period of anger and anguish at the perpetrators of injustice not just in the plains of Karbala but the world over.

“The Arab’een trek has historical antecedent and religious precedence in Islam. The great Companion of the Holy Prophet (S), Jabir Bin Abdullahi al-Ansari was the first person, weak, aged, and blind, who trekked barefoot with the help of a guide to where the body of Imam Husain (AS) was buried in Karbala. It was during this pilgrimage to the tomb of Imam Husain (AS). Jabir was met by survivors from the Family of the Holy Prophet led by Imam Zainul Abideen (AS), the son of Imam Husain (AS), where they spent days beside the tomb and mourned the killing of the Imam and other family members,” he added.