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Arbaeen in Zaria: Commemoration Comes to Stay S. Zakzaky

By K. Isah
Arbaeen Commemoration in Zaria took place on Satruday  (13/12/14) the 20 of safar 1436 beside the field adjacent to Husainiyyah Baqiyyatullah Zaria, the meeting point of millions of people who trekked distances ranging from 100- 160 km from different directions.

Prior to completion of flocking of the people to Husainiyyah to listen to the lecture of the Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, there were songs of various tones and themes on the tragedy of Karabala by Shura’a group.

One can only see sea of heads with flags of various colours and inscriptions- mainly ‘Ya Husain’ and his brother Abulfadl Abbas.

The episode of Karbala was also dramatized by the drama group for few minutes as they dressed like Yazid’s armies when they dragged the families of Imam Husain(alaihis salam), barefooted,  to Damascus. in the drama, what transpired between Yazid and families of Imam Husain was shown including the sermon of Sayyidah Zainab (aqeelatu bane Hasheem) in local Hausa language amids tears by audience.  Also, the sermon of Imam Zainul Abdin (alaihis salam) was delivered in Hausa language.

After normal salutation Sheikh Zakzaky(H) started his lecture by expressing today as day of commemoration of Imam Husain (alaihis salam) who was killed 61 AH- the commemoration which continued yearly to date since his martrydom. The first visit of Arbaeen was  conducted by Jabir Ansari (RA) from madina. During his visit,  Ansari took birth and put perfumed and  trekked barefooted to the grave of Imam Husain calling “yah Husain” at the top of his voice.

He recited some words to Imam and sent greetings to those martyred with him(AS). Jabir Ansari described the Imam as one who established prayer and paid Zakat. The Sheikh said establishing prayers means that the prayer is established to date because of the sacrifice of the holy Imam, in contrast with what most people view its meaning.

Jabir Ansari who visited the Imam in Karbala set his slave free (Auti) for giving him acknowledgment of the arrival of Imam Zaynul ABidin (alaihis salam) to Karbala from Damascus. Together they held 3-day mourning at the spot.

Who ever loves someone will be raised with him

The Sheikh further said  the  gathering today is done to be in partnership in the  deed and sacrifice of the holy Imam so that to be raised together with them on the day of Judgment.

As reported in Hadeeth one of five signs of believers is 40 day Ziyara of Imam Husain (alaihis salam). The Ziyara continued to be commemorated every year and since then it came to stay. Pligrims visit Karbala , where Yazid’s armies of hundreds of thousands killed less than 100 and took the families of the Imam as  captives under sunny day, barefooted,  to Damascus while passing trough towns.

Even in this part of world the gathering kept going up as  the previous years, only few of tens of people  commemorated the Arabeen here in Zaria, and now it’s the largest gathering.

Also this year in  karbala,  more than 200 Nigerians joined over  40 millions world wide( according to report) to commemorate Arbaeen.

As awareness continue to spread among people of the path of Ahlulbyat the figure shall surely shoot in coming years.  For example, a report from Pambagua axis said there were over 800,000 who participated in the trekking to Zaria; from Kano direction an estimate of 1,800,000 is reported, while from Kaduna axis a camera counted  an estimate of over 1,100,000.  Other directions runs similar figure too. So, the gathering today, weather one likes or not, runs into millions. And with this success,  we prayed for others who don’t know Imam to know and follow him.

Answering Imam’s call

Our gathering today is to answer Imam’s call. The Imam has said to his brother Muhammad Bn hanafiyah that  ‘ I set out to bring about reform in the nation of my grandfather’. As he set out the Imam called for help, however only few answered and they were indeed few, as vast majority turned deep ears.  As he set, the Imam and his companions were circled in Karbala and martyred there. Though, Hur and few others answered at the plain Karbala.

At the plain of Karbala, The Imam, when everyone was killed  including AbulFadl Abbas, called at the toip of his voice saying’ is there anyone to came to our help”  today we are answering the call of Imam’ we say ‘ labbayka ya Husain”.

Whoever sees this gathering and attributed it to anything other than the work of God, cannot even believe in the holy Prophet should he lived his time.

Our trekking is to symbolize the Karbala trekking where millions trek to visit the holy Imam. Our gathering to today is in solidarity with Imam’s call over 1300 years ago.

We also trek  to symbolize the trekking of families of Imam Husain when they were dragged to Damascus from Karbala barefooted- including all the sufferings they underwent under the heat of the sun on that day.  Our trek is out of shear love for the Imam (AS)-  trekking which some Christians joined to commemorate with us – some from Kaduna axis and about 11 Christians from Malumfashi.

 Elderly people also joined the trek as along Kano road, an 83 old woman,  who saved her money upto  three thousand Naira to help trekkers, changed her mind and joined the trek and she arrived in the gathering safely.

The enemies cannot frustrate God through killings. Also, today we also remember our brothers killed by Nigerian armies in Potiskum by bomb blast and shootings this year. Today is 40 day since the incidence. They killed 29 people instantly. Later, one boy died of injuries making the number of martyred to 30.

The enemies targeted our trek along roads

 The issue of suicide bombing, is a mere deception as no one can kill himself in this situation. What they do is that they tied bomb on the victim who is not in his sense by drugs they infuse in him and remotely detonate the bomb. They have been doing this in Iraq for long. The killers are lower in status than wild beast, as even Lions only kill to feed.

The death of Kano bomb blast is over 1000. Does this mean masque is Haram, park is Haram and  market place  is also Haram?!!!.

Our gathering today was about to be targeted too along Kaduna-Zaria road. So In Jaji, the trekkers bypassed the spot through bush. Later, it was reported that some soldiers were seen removing what they planted along the road.

All perpetrators and killers,  will have the same fate of Yazid who died in a bad manner. All the criminals will have the same fate. We shall continue to pray against them.

In conclusion, we pray for all the trekkers for Allah’s  forgiveness with any step, increase in health and wealth, protection from enemies and reward in manifold. We also pray for all the trekkers to be included among the karbala trekkers.

 Funeral prayers for 4 children were conducted who died of illness along the way.