Encyclopaedia Islamica

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(1,742 words)

Arbaʿīn, signifies the fortieth day after the martyrdom of Imam al-Ḥusayn which is commemorated annually by Imāmī Shiʿis. According to an early belief, it was on this day that the severed head of al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī was reunited with his body at Karbalāʾ.

The significance of the fortieth day after the death of a believer is evident among Muslims since the earliest period, and it is manifested in two ways: on the one hand, it has a metaphysical meaning, which suggests a kind of maturation of the deceased soul; on the other, it is a period d…

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Faramarz Haj Manouchehri and Translated by Farzin Negahban, “Arbaʿīn”, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Editors-in-Chief: Farhad Daftary. Consulted online on 21 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-9831_isla_SIM_0291>
First published online: 2015

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