Written Assignment For Love of Hussain

Description: In October 2018, my colleague Rev. John Shuck (PCUSA) and good friend Josh Townsley (Executive Director of the Evergreen Chapter of Habitat for Humanity) went on a pilgrimage. While both of them are Christians, they were invited by the Husayniah Islamic Society of Seattle to attend the Arba’een Pilgrimage (or the Arba’een Walk) which is the largest public gathering that is held every year in Karbala, Iraq. This annual pilgrimage occurs at the end of the 40-day mourning period following Ashura. Ashura in the religious ritual for the commemoration of martyrdom of the grandson of Prophet Mohammad in 680 AD. Anticipating Arba’een, or the fortieth day of the martyrdom, the pilgrims make their journey to Karbala on foot, where Husayn and his companions were martyred and beheaded by the army of Yazid in the battle of Karbala.

The number of participant in 2018 topped more than 30 million people (the largest ever). On the routes of the pilgrimage, food, accommodation and other services are provide for free by volunteers. Husayn is believe to transcend all cultural boundaries and be a symbol of universal freedom and compassion.

General Note: Assignments submitted after the due date will be marked 5-10 points down each day and the assignment will be closed for good 2 days following the due date.

Assignment Parameters: After watching the above video (30 minutes) and consulting the text, write at least two short paragraphs (short paragraph = 4-6 sentences) each for the following two questions (10 points each). All answers and responses must appear as complete “fully-punctuated” sentences. 

QUESTION SET 1 Have you ever heard of the Arba’een Pilgrimage (the largest annual walk in the world)? Why do you think that is? What are some of your observations and “takeaways” from watching this video? How has your view of Muslims changed?

QUESTION SET 2 In the video, an Islamic woman from Portland, Oregon named Hunan Al-Zubaidy said that there is a phrase in Islamic culture: “Every day is Ashura, and every land is Karbala”. What do you think that means? What and where are the injustices in our world today? How can people of faith bring our hands together and work toward a world of inclusivity, fairness and peace?


Using no more than one page, provide a thoughtful response to the above questions. Please label the assignment “For the Love of Hussain”. Make sure that you write complete punctuated sentences and provide depth of insight. Please use single space.