The fourteenth Candles Festival was held on Thursday evening 13th Sha'ban 1435 corresponding to 12th June 2014, in the road of “Bab Al-Qiblah” of the shrine of Al-Abbas (peace be upon him), during which 1180 candles were lit for the 1180th birthday of Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hasten His holy reappearance), writing with them "where is the owner of the conquest's day".
This year the festival witnessed a great media coverage, from the different audio, visual and print media, with the presence of representatives of both holy shrines of Imam Al-Hussayn and Al-Abbas (peace be upon them) as well as a number of religious, cultural and political personalities.
The ceremony started with reciting verses from the holy Quran by the International reader Sayed Hassanein AlHelo, then the audience stood up for the Iraqi National Anthem which was followed by the word of general secretaries of the two holy shrines, delivered on their behalf by the Head of the Media Department at Al-Hussayn's (p) holy shrine Mr. Ali Kadhem Sultan where he stated that at this time, the most important things that the followers of Ahl Al-Bayt (peace be upon them) may offer to their awaited Imam (may Allah hasten His reappearance) are the reform, supplications and prayers.
Followed by the intervention of the great poet Abu Mohammed Al-Mayahi who recited many of his poems about this special occasion. The group of Al-'ameed School presented a number of Theatrical performances about the conflict in the Islamic Nation because of Satan's whispers, and about the fact that the awaited Al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance) will unify it under His flag, preceded by the Chanting's group of the Al-Hussayn's (p) Holy Shrine that presented religious Muwashshah, followed by a seminar about the personality of the Imam Al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten His holy reappearance).
At the end of the festival, a number of appreciation certificates were distributed to those who participated in the success of this festival's edition.
It is noted in History books that Al-Mahdi (peace be upon him) was born on the night of the 15th of the month of Sha'ban in the year 255 A.H. At the time of the death of his father, Imam Hassan al-Askari (peace be upon him), he was five years old. Thus, Imam Muhammad bin Hassan al-Askari was born at the time of the Abbasid caliph, Muhtadi; an era full of discords and distortions.
Imam Al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance) was brought up under the care of his father, Imam Al-Askari (peace be upon him), who kept his birth secret, as he feared for him, and to carry out Allah's covenant and promise which they inherited from their grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his holy household). Indeed, the unjust rulers, of his time, were seeking him with the aim of murdering. Shi'a and non-Shi'a reported many traditions ensured by many lines of transmission. The traditions bring good news about Al-Mahdi. They state that he is in occultation. Among the non-Shi'a who reported this were Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidi, and the author of "Jaami' Usool". The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy household) said: "Certainly, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him) is the Imam of my nation and my vicegerent upon them after me. And of his sons is Al-Qa'em, the awaited. One, through whom Allah will fill the earth with justice and equity like it would have been filled with injustice and tyranny."
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy household) has also said: "Even if one day remains for this world (to come to an end) Allah will prolong that day until he sends a man from my progeny (sons). His name shall be (like) my name."