The supreme religious authority issues guidelines and instructions to the visitors during the visit of the fortieth day after ‘Ashura [the occasion of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as)]
13 Safar 1439

The representative of the supreme religious authority in Karbala, Sayed Ahmed Al Safi, expressed his hope and wishes, on Friday, for the final victoryof the military forces against the terrorist group (ISIS). He reiterated and stressed ‘the need to maintain a peaceful atmosphere for the visit on the 40th. He warned against potential attacks from those “terrorists", who fled the war fronts,only to return to target the religious gatherings and charity guest services of the camps for visitors.

During the second ceremony of Friday prayer on 6. Safar, 1439 (A.H.) 27/10/2017 (AC), which was attended by the news agency (Noon), Sayed al-Safi stated that he would explain, for the audience, some matters, which are related to [Ziyarah of Arba’ain] the visit to Imam Hussain (as) on 20th of Safar.

He stated: ‘Before everything, we humbly pray to Almighty Allah (swt) to enable the Iraqi military forces and the ‘Nation Mobilised Military Unit’ (PMMU), who are fighting a fierce war against the remaining pockets of ISIS, to achieve final victory and triumph over the terrorist group.

He said: ‘We ask God, the Almighty (swt) for the success and the glorious final victory against the terrorist groups. We pray to Almighty God (swt) to shower our martyrs with His Mercy, and heal the injured and grant them health.’

Sayed Al-Safi reminded us that those partisan brothers enjoy great favour for their noblemartyrs, and for what they have achieved. Some of them were keen to participate in these rituals, wishing to be amongst their brethren visitors, but were unabletotake part, because they had to remain at the frontiers of war. We ask Almighty God (swt) togrant them multiple rewards, first, due to their current fighting against the enemy transgressors, andsecond, due to their unfulfilled desire to participate in those rituals with an unmet pure religious wish.

The representative of the supreme religious authority, al-Sayed al-Safi reminded the visitors, and drew their attention to important issuesrelated to visiting Imam Hussain’s (as) holy shrine on 20th of Safar, which is only 2 weeks away from us. He mentioned the following points:-

1- As is required,one should maintainthe spiritual atmosphere of the [Ziyarah] visit to Imam Hussain’s (as) holy shrine. One is aware and knows that the atmosphere of the [Ziyarah] ritual visit differs from other regular events. What is meant by this is that when a person plans to begin his/her journey relying solely on God, the Almighty (swt), then starts his travelingaiming for the holy shrine of the Master of Martyrs (as), s/he should retainthis special awareness and the profound emotions of this great occasion. For example,the traveller should keep all the agony, grief and the heartfelt condolence for what happened to the master of the Martyrs Imam Hussain (as), in order to gain elevated rewards. During that period of time, and when the visitor spends time around the holy shrine of the Imam (as), s/he should maintain the emotion in order to succeed in his/her efforts and reap all the benefits of those [Ziyarah] rituals.

2- One should emphasise –although there’re already known and obvious - the high moral values and virtuous ethics that have been transmitted to us through the story of Karbala. The revival of those ethical lessons requires constant collective efforts. One has witnessed some of the high morals amongst the members in charge of providing services and hospitality to the guests. While providing the service for everybody, they have very high morals, are humble and full of respect and affection. Also, one has witnessed how the sisters inthose camps deal with our female visitors, treating them with utmost morality and virtue.. We are ambitious and hopeful that this attitude of high morals will inspire us to stay with the attitude of the high morals when the time of the ritual visit has expired.. As one would come with similar advice during the month of Ramadhan! During the month of Ramadan we endure hunger and thirst; however, when the month of Ramadan has expired, one rarely tolerates a lunch delayof one hour, as s/he would be bad-tempered and intolerant of that!! This is neither right, nor a positive attitude at all! As one can be patient and have such high morals, why doesn’t one subsequently maintain the same perfect and excellent behaviour? The high morals, the perfect behaviour and the good attitudes, which some of those camp owners whoprovide services to the visitors enjoy, are -in fact- the genuine source of education and inspiration throughout those rituals. They should be kept and carried on with each and every visitor after the [Ziyarah] visit rituals have finished. Indeed this is a very good and positive outcome.

3- Imam Hussain (as) has had the honour of achieving a great and noble task. He planned the effortswell, chose accurately what to do and scored the great level of success. He selected his companions, one by one, and was speaking and dealing -individually- with each one of them. Imam Hussain (as) had organized his affairs and managed to succeed, reaching an enormous victory! We only grasp some of what was achieved by Imam Hussain (as), while the rest remains unknown, but becomes uncovered each successive year; as every year we explore new dimensions.

Let us examine the impressive organization of the Master of Martyrs (as)! He has organized his movementwell, has brought some of his family members with him, knowing that each one would accomplish the role in a perfect way! The role of SayedahZaynab (as) and the role of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, al-Sajjad (as) were well-performed. On the day of ‘Ashura, it was the excellent training of his companions, that contributed to the perfect performance, so that, in the middle of the heavy battle, whenever anyone was planning to go and fight, he sought the permission of Imam Hussain (as) saying: “Would you please allow me, O, son of the Prophet (sawas)”! Even during the heavy war, they did not leave behind this excellent form of education, which Imam Hussain (as) had conveyed to them! We also love to be educated and trained byImam Hussain (as), as he has already taught us those moral values as well! There is no doubt that the Master of all Martyrs, i.e. Imam Hussain (as) has inspired and managed to teach us all what would save us in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. We hope that this training will serve us to maintain the safety of private properties and to keep the public properties clean and tidy. The hussaini source of inspiration, leads us -while walking toward, or while visiting the holy shrine- to take the utmost spiritual benefits and inspiration from the Master of Martyrs (as), in whatever he (as) taught and preached about. Imam Hussain (as) teaches and trains the visitors of the holy shrine with some good qualities, such as maintaining the prayer on its scheduled time, and to be purely clean, whether inwardly with a purified heart, or outwardly with clean and smart clothing.

Indeed there is some recommendation that goes: ‘If one were to visit Imam Hussain (as), one should remain in a sad and sorrowful mood.’ However, this is totally irrelevant. The visitor of Imam Hussain (as) should be positively distinguished from others, and especially characterized with the special outlook! One should say that: “I am a visitor to Imam Hussain (as), and there is no doubt that Imam Hussain (as) brought us together, so that we remain organized in our affairs, and be as precise and perfect as possible. One should never be disorganised, rather move away from all that harms him/herselfand things that would harm others!

4- These rituals provide a wonderful opportunity for our dear brothers, who have legitimate questions, albeit suffer from extreme shyness. There are different types of shyness: Some are respected, for example, as someone, who, due to his respect for his father, would behave! This is a good type of shyness, and one may address him/her: “May God bless you with good rewards!’ Respecting neighbours and respecting one’s brother, due to shyness, are all good examples. However, there is a disgusting form of shyness, including being intimidated from asking about religious affairs, in order to know the practical rulings, i.e. the prohibitions and obligations. This attitude is not acceptable at all! One needs to ask about those practical rulings and should be informed about the religious matters! Especially those walking to the Holy shrine. There are many stations, throughout the way to Karbala, where a lot of religious scholars are busy teaching and preaching! This religious task is performed by the [Hawzah] Shi’ah Advanced Seminary in Najaf. It has sent more than 1000 religiousscholars, male and female, along the roads whocan answer all the enquiries and reply to the issues of a religious nature.

O, brothers and visitors, please, don’t be shy in approaching and asking your religious questions! Don’t be intimidated to ask, nor remain shy, as shyness -in this context- is a resented kind of shyness.

5- A special recommendation to dear camp owners and those volunteers working to serve the visitors; please be alert and cautious! The terrorists, who were defeated in the battle fields, might cowardly attack and retaliate, targeting you!! They have beenbadly defeated by the heroes of this nation! After having failed in the battle fields, and after their failure in those honour fields caused by the brave hearts, they may target innocent civilians, as the cowards had targeted innocent visitors in one of the restaurants and killed innocent people in the past. There are some open areas, so some of those cowards -who were defeated in the battles- they may find those areas tempting, and locate safe shelters, tomisuse the opportunity, and cowardly target the visitors. Indeed similar acrimonious acts have happened very often in the past. The supreme religious authority has emphasised for all visitors, members and owners of the camps to increase their sense of security and remain vigilant, in addition to their excellent job of providing the services! O, you, dear visitors and believers, a piece of your nails is worth more than all the ISIS terrorists as well as those who support them. As such, dear brothers, please keep alert and be extremely vigilant in order to provide secure and peaceful services! The security forces must also demonstrate the highest level of responsibility and vigilance.

At the end, Sayed Ahmed Al-Safi, said: ‘We ask Almighty God (swt) to help all those visitors, who are walking or travelling to reach their destinations! We ask that Almighty God (swt) accepts their efforts and that everything is done in full security and safety. We ask God, the Almighty (swt) to grant us in this country the best of the best, and that Allah (swt) shall bless every effort to defend it with success! And we ask God, Almighty (swt) to grant us full stability and overwhelming peace; indeed all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds (swt).