In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Clarification Regarding the Determination of Arbaeen

بيان حول تحديد يوم الأربعين شرعاً إضغط هنا لقراءة النص

To All Believers in North America,

Peace be upon you.

The question of whether the Arbaeen of Imam Hussain (p) is the 40th day after his martyrdom, or whether it is the 20th day of Safar, is continually raised. This problem occurs as a result of the month of Muharram not being a complete 30 days. Hence, the issue is confusing to many believers. Therefore, it is important to know how to calculate the Day of Arbaeen because this date holds special importance for the believers with respect to their worship, their nadhrs to hold commemorative gatherings, their visitations, their attempts to seek blessings and pay charity, have marches, and many other activities that are contingent on being held on that specific day.

This question was sent to the office of His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Sayyid al-Sistani in the holy city of Najaf today. The response was that it is indeed the 20th day of Safar, regardless of whether Muharram was a full 30 days or not.

The 20th of Safar in 61 A.H. was the day that the honorable companion, Jaber ibn Abdallah al-Ansari, visited the grave of Imam Hussain (as) in Karbala. It is infamous among the scholars of the Imami school of thought as the day that Imam Zayn al-Abidin (p) and the Women of the Holy Household (p) returned to Karbala, carrying the head of Imam Hussain (p) with them. The reported narrations recommend visiting Imam Hussain (as) on this day. Of these narrations, one was reported by Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p), in which he said: “The five signs of a believer are to pray the 51 [rakahs], to visit [Imam Hussain (as)] during the Arbaeen, to say ‘Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem’ aloud, to wear a ring on the right hand, and to have a forehead that shows the signs of prostration (ta’feer).”

We ask Allah (swt) to bestow upon us all the honor of visiting Imam Hussain (p) and the remaining Infallibles (p), and that we receive their intercession in the Hereafter. Surely, He is All-Hearing All-Answering.

Department of Religious Affairs


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