For the thirteenth year in a row, and after the prayers of Maghreb and Isha of Thursday the 29th of Dhu al-Hijjah 1438 AH corresponding to the September 21, 2017, the rituals to replace the flags of the holy shrines of Aba Abdillah al-Hussayn and of his brother Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them) from red to black, were held to mark the beginning the holy month of Muharram 1439 AH.
The holy city of Karbala was crowded with tens of thousands of believers who came from various provinces of Iraq and outside Iraq to participate in these rituals.
The beginning was in the holy shrine of Aba Abdillah al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran by the reader Haj. Usama al-Karbala'i, followed by the word of the Senior Official of the Imam al-Hussayn's (p) holy shrine; Sheikh Abd al-Mahdi al-Karbala'i, in which he emphasized the greatness of the revival of the Hussayni rites and urged the believers to revive them in proportion to this tragedy, which have taught the humanity many lessons, as this tragedy is the greatest during all human history, citing a number of Narrations of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them).
Then addressed his words to Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him), that the Iraqis have renewed the covenant to you when you called on the tenth of Muharram "Ala Min Nasirin Yansuruna [Is there anyone who may support/help us]" And we say that we are with you following your way continuing the sacrifice, Jihad and redemption. And these are your men and supporters in the battle fronts fighting the SIL gangs, like if they have heard with their souls and hearts your call that was one thousand and four hundred years ago, but still they answer to it by their blood.
O believers, men and women, maintain this victory, and know that the final victory is coming soon, God willing, and maintain with care your religion and prayers, do not neglect them, do not shunt to injustice, and face corruption, deviation and misguidance, and be advocates to the good and deny the evil.
O believing women, maintain your Hijab and your chastity, and be of help to your men who are fighting and persevere in your misfortune and the separation of the loved ones.
Then, in a condolences sad tune, the red flag was lowered to be replaced by the black flag, while the followers of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) were chanting "Labbayka Ya Hussayn", followed by the historical poem of the late Sheikh Hadi al-Karbala'i in receiving this month "Ya Shahr 'Ashoor [O month of Ashura]" by the late radood Hamza Zghayyar.
Then the groups headed to the shrine of Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon him) to perform the rituals of replacing flags, similar to the rituals in the imam al-Hussayn's (p) holy shrine.
The word of the Senior Official of the al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine was presented on his behalf by Sheikh Ali Muhan from the Department of the religious guidance, in which he pointed out several points, including:
1- Our hearts, in this hour, are filled with feelings of sadness and enthusiasm as we receive the month of grief; the holy month of Muharram, the month of mourning for the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them).
2- We are enlightened by the light of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) in the darkness of the world and at all the times.
3- In this holy month, the oppressors tried to extinguish the light of the family of Mohammad (Allah's prayers be upon him and upon his holy Household), who have killed the beloved grandson of the Messenger of Allah (Allah's prayers be upon him and upon his holy Household), along with his family and companions (Allah's prayers be upon them all) looting his tents and captivating his children and women and harming them in the most severe manner.
4- The oppressors tried with this crime to extinguish the light of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him), but his pure blood shed on this holy land has revived people after him.
5- The martyrdom of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) has a heat in the hearts of the believers that will never cool down, but will remain their beacon.
6- The holy month of Muharram has great specificity as all his days and nights are revived in various ways of condolences and rites, complying with the order to the Imams (peace be upon them) to revive their matter and recall that Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) came out for reforming the nation of his grandfather.
7- The rituals of replacing the dome's flag of Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon him) is the beginning of the Hussayni condolences season, and this moment, we announce the beginning of the month of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) repeating the timeless believers' slogan "Labbayka ya Hussan."
8- While we are reviving this condolences season, we must give all the care to be closer to the Almighty Allah and move away from all that weaken these great rites, which the Almighty has command us to venerate.
9- The Hussayni rituals was one of the most important factors that made people rush to answer the fatwa of the sufficient duty for Jihad of the supreme religious authority to head to the battlefields and defend the homeland, as they were drawing their enthusiasm and courage from Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him), his family and companions (peace be upon them).
It is to note that the tradition of handing over the flag from one of the provinces of Iraq to be raised on the shrine of Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon him), was held and the Secretary General of the al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine; Engineer Mohammad al-Ashigar has received the flag this year from the province of Babylon. Then, on a sad funeral tune, the red flag was replaced by the black flag.
These rituals, which were broadcasted live on many satellite channels, and on many websites, live webcasts and social networking sites, were concluded by a condolences' Majlis.