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Food Services During Arba’een Pilgrimage

During my visit to Karbala on the days of Arba’een a couple years ago, I met a French man who had already converted to Islam. During our conversation he said he had a different image of how Iraq was going to be.

Thinking it would be like the deserts in horror movies and he was walking into the plot of “The Hills Have Eyes” in real life, he was then surprised that he would be greeted with people begging him to eat from the food they made for the visitors of Imam Hussein (a.s) and all of a sudden that changed his mentality. 
One of the many services the Shias in Iraq give -which are all personally funded and no government or organizations give them money - is food. Every part of the day and night you can find something to eat whether it is on the road while walking or inside the city of Karbala. Many different kinds as well from Fish to cakes to fruits to rice and stew and the list goes on and on. They serve you these foods and thank you for eating as well and do not be surprised as it is all for the sake of Imam Hussein (a.s) and for them to feed their souls. Imam Ali (a.s) stated “The nourishment of the body is food whilst the nourishment of the soul is feeding others.”(1).
This action -feeding the believers- is something that is loved by Allah (swt), Imam Al-Baqir (a.s) said “Verily Allah loves feeding of food to others…”(2) and the people who are fed are loved by Allah (swt) as well, the Prophet (pbuh) stated “Allah loves whoever loves Hussein”(3).  

1.    Mishkat Al-Anwar no325
2.    Al- Mahasin v2 p143
3.    Kamil Al-Zyarat p116


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