Why we trek – By Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky
At the grand Arba’een commemoration in Zaria on Saturday, Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Yaqoub Zakzaky says, the Arab’een trek has historical antecedent and religious precedence in Islam.
The fortieth day (Arba’een) commemoration after the martyrdom of Imam Husain is commemorated annually by the Islamic Movement, following a symbolic trek by millions of people from across the country.
Sheikh Zakzaky explained that, a great Companion of the Holy Prophet (S), Jabir Bin Abdullahi al-Ansari was the first person, aged and blind, who trekked barefoot with the help of a guide to where the body of Imam Husain (AS) was buried in Karbala.
He further explained that, Jabir al-Ansari while on pilgrimage to the tomb of Imam Husain (AS), was met by survivors from the Family of the Holy Prophet led by Imam Zainul Abideen (AS), son of Imam Husain (AS), where they spent days beside the tomb and mourned the killing of Imam Husain (AS) and other family members.
He pointed out that, Muslims identify with members of the Holy Prophet(S) through the trek, and in answer to the call and cause of Imam Husain (AS) in Karbala, saying “Ours is actually the 16th episode, though we started with few people and confined ourselves to a particular place and recited supplications. Now we trek in millions, and this is just the beginning. We will continue on this path until the world knows who Husain is and place him in his proper divine perspective”.
According to Sheikh Zakzaky, Christians have joined participants at the Arba’een trek in Nigeria and many of them accommodated the trekkers at different axis saying, “Arba’een has come to say and no one can do anything about it. This is Allah’s handiwork, and not the trick or influence of anybody. No one forced us to embark on the trek, it is out of free will and love for the Family of the Prophet (S)”.
He stressed that, 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 scorching desert, barefoot from Karbala in Iraq to Damascus in Syria after the killing of Imam Husain 61 years after Hijra.
The Leader further said: “Those who oppose the trek should have come and asked us why we do what we, and not to pass judgment on us over what they do not know. If you don’t like what we are doing, then keep your mouth shut, it is our legs we use to trek with, not your. If you don’t like the black attire we wear, it put it on our bodies, not your. We will never force you to trek or wear black clothes, until we do that keep your mouth shut”.
He said, Arba’een gathering in Karbala, Iraq is the greatest event in the world with an estimate population of over 40 million people in attendance this year.
Sheikh Zakzaky said, the trek has become a threat to authorities in Nigeria and the world over whereby they have plotted and set bombs along Kaduna route, but their plan was thwarted and frustrated by Allah.
The Sheikh who gave a run-down of the onslaught against the Islamic Movement said, the event also coincided with the fortieth day after the attack on Ashura commemoration in Potiskum, described it and the Kano mosque attack as the handiwork of enemies of humanity and Islam.
He said, the aim was to tarnish image of Islam through covert operations to pave way for greater onslaught on Muslims and Islam, the religion which he said has become the greatest threat to world arrogant power in their on-going conquest on weaker nations to siphon their resources.