Arbaeen – The Walk of Love and the March to Marefat
The 40th day after Ashura is known as Arbaeen and it is on this day that we reignite our love for Imam Hussain (AS) and the Ahlul-Bayt (AS). In Islam, 40 is a number of transformation and it is on this day that we can also transform.
In this meditation, we will discuss how this transformation occurs so that this Arbaeen can be transformational for us all, in sha Allah.
Every year, the world’s largest peaceful gathering, that is even larger than hajj, takes places in Karbala on Arbaeen. Mumineen walk from Najaf to Karbala, from the haram of Amirul Mumineen (AS) towards the haram of Imam Hussain (AS).
They complete this walk because of their love for Amirul Mumineen (AS) and Imam Hussain (AS). Along the way, they are fed, given water, given a place to rest, helped and healed by many others who are serving them for one reason and one reason only, their love for Amirul Mumineen (AS) and Imam Hussain (AS). This is why it is known as the walk of love, as it is a walk that is started because of love, maintained because of love, completed because of love and supported because of love.
It is this love that is the source of all transformation. Love is traditionally connected with the heart. This is because love is the heart of everything. In the same way that our heart beats and pumps blood throughout our body and keeps us alive, our love pumps throughout our life and keeps us spiritually alive.
In the same way that our heart keeps our organs alive, our love keeps every part of our faith alive.
This is why marefat is so important in Islam. When we look at the difference between ilm (knowledge) and marefat (understanding), we see the difference between knowing in our head and understanding in our heart.
We all know in our head that salaat is important, but this knowledge does not guarantee that we will observe salaat. However, it is only when we have the marefat in our heart that we pray because of our love for Allah (SWT), it is this love for Allah (SWT) that ensures that we never miss the performing of salaat.
This is why Arbaeen is not the walk of just our feet and our body, but the walk of the heart. It is our journey of love, and this love leads to marefat, which, like our heart, pumps the love for the Ahlul-Bayt (AS) and, naturally, of Allah (SWT) throughout every part of our religious aamal and, consequently, our entire life.
Arbaeen, the 40th day, is the transformation of our heart and is the greatest demonstration of how this world can be if there was only love within it.
May this day inspire us to fill our hearts with marefat so that every thought, word, action and deed is filled with nothing but love for Allah (SWT) and every part of his creation, especially the Ahlul-Bayt (AS). Aamin.