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Chehlum (Arbaeen) in Pakistan 2023: Commemorating Tradition

September 4, 2023

In Pakistan, Chehlum or Arbaeen falls on September 6, 2023. According to the Islamic calendar, it occurs every year on the 20th of Safar. The 40-day period of mourning for the Karbala War martyrs comes to an end on Arbaeen. The 20 Safar date in the Arabic world is September 6, 2023, whereas it falls on September 7 in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and certain other regions.

In Pakistan, Chehlum, also known as Arbaeen, is a prominent Islamic celebration that marks the conclusion of the 40-day period of mourning that began after Ashura, the anniversary of Imam Hussain’s martyrdom. The Shia Muslim community in Pakistan regards this solemn day as having outstanding cultural and religious significance, and the entire nation observes it with respect and devotion.

The primary purpose of Chehlum is for religious purposes. Mosques, imambargahs, and other places of worship host Shia Muslims’ unique prayers and gatherings. These gatherings frequently feature speeches that recount the tragedy of Karbala and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, as well as the reading of marsiyas (elegies), nohas (lamentations), and other mournful poetry.

Processions are organized on Chehlum in various Pakistani cities, including Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad. Participating are thousands of mourners who wear black and carry banners and miniatures of Imam Hussain’s sacred mausoleum. Participants in these processions beat their chests and mournfully recite elegies.

Chehlum is also a period for deeds of benevolence and generosity. Numerous Shia Muslims offer free food and water to anyone in need, regardless of their religion, as an act of charity and in remembrance of Imam Hussain’s martyrdom.

Shia Muslims observe Chehlum as a time to consider the values of justice, selflessness, and resisting injustice, as illustrated by Imam Hussain’s position at the Battle of Karbala. It is a time when Shia communities join in harmony and support, deepening their relationships with other believers and demonstrating their steadfast devotion to their religion.

Although Chehlum is essentially a Shia celebration, it also offers a chance for interfaith conversation and understanding because non-Shia Muslims frequently participate in the event, displaying harmony and respect.

In conclusion, Chehlum is a religious celebration and a potent symbol of social responsibility, solidarity, and faith in Pakistan. It is a significant cultural and sacred occasion in Pakistan’s rich tapestry because it serves as a reminder of Imam Hussain’s ongoing legacy and his message of fight against tyranny.

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