Day of Arba'een Observed in Grand Prairie

More than 100 Shia Muslims walk in remembrance of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Shia Muslims in North Texas observed the Day of Arba'een, commemorating the martyrdom of Hussein bin Ali, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. (Published Thursday, Jan 3, 2013)

    The Shia Muslim community in North Texas participated Thursday in one of the largest pilgrimage gatherings taking place around the world.

    The Arba'een marks the end of a 40-day period of mourning over the death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Hussein bin Ali.

    More than 100 Shia Muslims gathered to walk from the Six Flags Mall in Arlington to the Imam Ali Islamic Center in Grand Prairie.

    "That's why everybody wear black," Fadia Ibrahirm said. "And we try to show -- just like you love somebody -- you want to show how much you love them, so you're trying to feel sad with these dark days that they've gone through."

    Members of the Islamic Center said they were remembering a martyred leader who died to protect their religion.

    "This is a turning point in Islam, as Imam Hussein came in and he said, 'I will not accept oppressor or any unjust ruler to control the world," Imam Muhammad Abu Jassim said.

    Camille Alherbi said walking along with her friends gave her the opportunity to honor the man who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

    "It's peace; it's peace," she said. "It's supplication. It's guidance to me. I use Imam Hussein as an idol to me for my everyday life as well."

    Ibrahirm said Muslims all around the world were walking with a purpose.

    "We can't reach our imam, but we are trying to remember him by walking, like we are going to visit him and to keep his name alive," she said.

    Those taking part in Thursday's event said they hoped that people not familiar with their religion would understand that Islam is about peace, not war.

    "Islam is for everyone, and Islam is, basically, do not accept or tolerate any terrorism or hurting or committing any violence against anyone," Imam Muhammad Abu Jassim said.

    About 10 million people are estimated to have made the pilgrimage over the course of one week to the city of Karbala in Iraq.