Criticizing the news boycott of the Arbaeen Walk in the world media, the professor of high levels of the Islamic seminary said, “Sometimes the occurrence of a small and worthless incident in the world is at the forefront of foreign media news, and their propaganda system magnifies and reflects that event! But the same media, whose correspondents are everywhere, censor the Arbaeen ceremony!”
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Criticizing the news boycott of the Arbaeen Walk in the world media, the professor of high levels of the Islamic seminary said, “Sometimes the occurrence of a small and worthless incident in the world is at the forefront of foreign media news, and their propaganda system magnifies and reflects that event! But the same media, whose correspondents are everywhere, censor the Arbaeen ceremony!”
The professor of the high levels of the seminary of Qom, who participated in the Arbaeen Walk this year (1443 AH - 2021 AD), and was serving the pilgrims of Imam Hussain (a.s.), said, “These are the best moments of our lives. Place all the usual and activities, educations, discussions, and media on the one hand, and that we come for a few days and serve the pilgrims on the other hand.”
“The greatness of this event cannot truly be expressed in words or even pictures. But I name the mass pilgrims of Arbaeen Walk the “rivers leading to the sea”,” said Hojat al-Islam Hossein Vahidpour, in an interview with ABNA correspondent, expressing his feelings on the passionate Arbaeen Walk.
“These people are purifying their hearts and souls inside this spiritual river. This is the path of purifying hearts. Along the way, the pilgrims are like rivers that lead to the sea. They enter the sea after entering Karbala. The water that connects to the sea becomes everlasting. If a drop of water, falls on the ground, it dries up. But if it reaches the sea, it will be a part of it. This population also connects to the sea of Karbala and makes itself sustainable,” he added, who served in the Mawkeb of the late Ayatollah Mirza Javad Tabrizi, located in pillar 299 of the main route from Najaf to Karbala.
“In previous years, when the population of Iranians was in the millions, we used to say congregational prayers three times in the Mawkeb of the late Ayatollah Mirza Javad Tabrizi, with a population of about one thousand people. We also had a preaching ceremony and answering to the religious questions. But this year, for various reasons - including the restrictions imposed by the Iraqi government due to the outbreak of Covid-19 - the presence of Iranian pilgrims is very low and is not comparable to previous years,” Hojat al-Islam Vahidpour expressed his regret for the decrease in Iranian pilgrims, considering serving the pilgrims of Imam Hussain (a.s.) as an honor.
“Along with the Arbaeen Walk, Iranian pilgrims had other effects. But we all know that the flag of Imam Hussain (a.s.) will never remain on the ground, and if some people cannot raise it, God Almighty always has people to raise this flag,” he said, expressing his feelings on the decrease in the presence of Iranian pilgrims in this year’s Arbaeen Walk.
“This year, the number of pilgrims is very large. I traveled from Najaf to Karbala twice this year and saw that the population has not decreased compared to previous years. We should not imagine that if the dear Iranian pilgrims could not participate, the Arbaeen Walk would be weakened or silenced. This is not the case, and everyone is involved. In previous years, many pilgrims came from Europe and America, and this year they are still present,” added the professor of high levels of the seminary of Qom.
“A city in the United States has only 30 Shiites, all of whom have come to the Arbaeen Walk this year. That is, the entire Shiite population of that city has been honored for this pilgrimage,” Professor Vahidpour said, as one of the wonders of Arbaeen this year.
“Sometimes the occurrence of a small and worthless incident in the world is at the forefront of foreign media news, and their propaganda system magnifies and reflects that event! But the same media, whose correspondents are everywhere, censor the Arbaeen ceremony!” he said, criticizing the news boycott of the Arbaeen Walk in the world media.
“Doesn’t this population, which is the largest human religious gathering on the planet, have the capacity to be covered?” asked the professor of the seminary of Qom.
“They know that if the world sees these scenes, it will ask, “Who is Hussain? Where is Karbala? Why are the people walking?” And this questions and their answers are not in the interests of the world powers,” stated Mr. Vahidpour on the reason for this censorship.
“I think the Arbaeen Walk is more important than the Ashura Event because it is continuous and united,” said the religious expert, “Know for sure that the Arbaeen movement will not be silenced or shut down. In my opinion, the Arbaeen Walk will be more exciting every year than the previous year. This has been experienced. This year, Iraqis felt that the population of Iranian pilgrims was not in the millions and that they had to fill this gap, and they truly did. This year’s reception and participation are nothing less than previous years. I believe even it is more than in previous years. Iraqis sincerely spend all their wealth on receiving pilgrims.”
“Iraqi pilgrims ask us where the Iranians are and why they do not come on the Arbaeen Pilgrimage?” Professor Vahidpour continued, “One of the officials of the Arabic-speaking Mawkes asked this question. I explained to him, “The Iraqi government has limited the presence of Iranian pilgrims to air flights and does not allow pilgrims to enter Iraq by land. However, the hearts of the Iranians are here and they wanted to participate in the Arbaeen Walk.”
“This ceremony is very glorious and it is one of the great acts of worship for us to come here and make the scene more glorious,” he clarified.
“The best souvenir is “Higher Marefat”. The Arbaeen pilgrim has come with Marefat. Because if he did not have Marefat, he would not have come on pilgrimage. Love and passion are the branches of the Marefat. This path only requires passion. For a person to be brought here, inner attraction is needed. Because this walk has its difficulties. It is difficult to walk eighty kilometers from Najaf to Karbala. While other routes are longer. The walk from Basra to Karbala takes about 15 days. Pilgrims come to Karbala from different cities such as Baghdad, Kadhimiya, Hilla, etc. This is nothing but love. But it should lead to more Marefat,” said the professor of the high levels of Islamic seminary, in response to the question, “What should pilgrims from different countries take with them from the Arbaeen walk as a souvenir?”
“In this way, dust may enter the mouths of pilgrims; They may get sick; They have to endure the heat of Iraq and walk all this way. These are not feasible without love. Love leads to the fountain of Marefat. If the pilgrim finds more Marefat about Imam Hussain (a.s.), he will give his life and possessions to Imam Hussain (a.s.), and if he does so, his felicity is guaranteed in this world and the hereafter,” Hojat al-Islam Vahidpour emphasized.
“The pilgrim must convey this Marefat to others and present it as a gift to his community as a “Hussaini preacher”. If the culture of society is the culture of Imam Hussain (a.s.), we will be felicitous in the world and the hereafter,” he clarified.
“By highlighting events and ceremonies such as the Arbaeen Walk, we can downplay the bad culture of the West in our country. It is true that the Iraqi government was strict and prevented the presence of more Iranian pilgrims, but perhaps our dear officials in Iran could have made more efforts to open this route. Because the presence of people in this ceremony is beneficial for the culture of the society,” he said, regarding the role of ceremonies such as Arbaeen in preserving the Islamic values of the society.
“In countries around the world, and even in non-religious European systems, religious and spiritual institutions are being helped to bring down crime rates. Officials do not care about the nature of those institutions but believe that these centers can deter individuals and young people from delinquency,” stated this professor of the high levels of the seminary of Qom.
“If we want to correct the culture of straying, the lack of hijab, paying attention to pets instead of the family, and reprehensible Western behaviors, for our society and youth to have a better life, in addition to trying to solve economic problems, we must also work hard to spread spirituality,” emphasized Hojat al-Islam Vahidpour in the end.