WikiShia:Featured Article/2016/42

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Karbala (Arabic: كربلاء) is a city in Iraq and among holy and important lands to Shi'a. The importance of this city is mostly due to the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions in the event of 'Ashura' in 61 AH and also the location of the two holy shrines of Imam al-Husayn (a) and Abu al-Fadl al-'Abbas there.

Shi'as come to this city form around the world in different occasions. The peak of such attendance is the mourning days of Muharram and Safar, especially in the ceremony of Arba'in when many groups come to Karbala on foot. Moreover, in the middle of Sha'ban, many Shi'as go to Karbala on foot.

There is a seminary in Karbala which has long been the education and teaching center for many scholars. Karbala has always been important to friends and enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt (a). This city has been both developed and plundered during in the past centuries.

About Karbala before Islam, there is not much information, however according to derivation of the word Karbala from Kawar Babil (meaning "villages of Babylon") it can be concluded that habitation of this place dates back to the time of Babylon; moreover, since this land is also called Nawawis and it has been a cemetery for Christians, it can be concluded that this land has been a resident of Christians.Read more...