To celebrate the birthday of the savior of mankind, the Owner of the Order and Time (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance), the annual festival of candles in its seventeenth edition was held near the holy Maqam of Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance) on Wednesday evening the 13th Sha'baan 1438 AH corresponding to the 10th of May, 2017, under the auspices of the two general secretariats of the holy shrines of Imam Al-Hussayn and Al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them), under the slogan "Imam Al-Mahdi: the Imam of peace", in the presence of a large number of visitors of the holy city of Karbala and a number of the notables and officials of the two holy shrines.
The ceremony included lighting 1183 candles, the age of the Imam of our Time (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance), arranged in a creative artistic way to form a specific expression that varies each year, and this year, the design was "Al-Mahdi The Imam of peace."
The festival began with the recitation of verses of the holy Quran by the Reader Haj Mustapha al-Sarraf, followed by the word of the two holy shrines delivered by the member of the board of directors Sheikh Maitham al-Zaidi.
Then many poems followed to urge on the love of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them), and on following their path and morals, with the participation of many poets, such as Ahmed al-Wa'ili from Najaf, Feras al-Asdi from Karbala, and then the Munshid Sayed Sajjad al-Helo, followed by the poet Mohamad al-Fatemi from Babylon province, then the poet Mohamad al-A'ajibi from Muthanna. Then the Munshid Ahmed al-Musawi closed the ceremony.
It is worth mentioning that this festival is an annual tradition that the Iraqis held since 15 years, before the fading of the dictatorship in 9th of April, 2003, which was one of the darkest circumstances that prevailed in Iraq since it exists. And despite the harshness of those days, this Iraqi citizen fulfilled his dream in order to commemorate the night of the fifteenth of Sha'baan, and since the small ceremony of lighting the candles for the birth anniversary of the saviour of mankind, Imam Al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance) was developed to be a festival under the supervision of the holy shrines of Imam Al-Hussayn and Al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them).
Haj. Miqdad Karim Hadi is a citizen from the City of Essawirah in Wasit Province, he was the founder of the tradition of lighting the candles by the number of the age of Imam Al-Hujjah son of Al-Hassan (peace be upon both of them), he adds a candle each year, as an indication of the age of the Awaited Imam (may Allah hasten his holy reappearance). And this year 1438 AH, thanks to the Almighty and the care of the Imam of the Time (peace be upon him), during the festival, 1183 candles were lighted.
It is worth mentioning that the Imam Al-Mahdi (peace be upon him) is Abu Al-Qassem Mohammad son of Al-Hassan, Mahdi of this nation and its desired hope who will revive the right and justice and will restore to the nation its freedom and dignity and will fill the earth with justice and equiy after that it was filled with injustice and oppression. He was born on the fifteenth of Sha'ban 255 AH in Samurra in northern Iraq, and he was the unique child of his parents, and it was almost a month before that the Muhtadi Al-Abbasi takes the reigns of power. His aunt Lady Hakeema daughter of Imam Mohammad Al-Jawad (peace be upon both of them) attended his birth. His father Imam Al-Hassan Al-'Askari (peace be upon him) was martyred and he was then five years old. And Allah granted him the wisdom and made him a proof for the two worlds and the Imam of Muslims, as he made Jesus son of Mary a prophet in the cradle. His father Imam Al-Hassan Al-'Askari (peace be upon him) hid him from the people eyes and only the closest Shia knew about him. The Muslims followers of Ahl Al-Bayt (peace be upon him) celebrate his birthday every year in such blessed days of mid Sha'baan.