Muslims consider Karbala to be one of the holiest places in the world, second only to Mecca and Najaf. Karbala” (also known as Kerbala or Kerbela) is a city in Iraq, located about 100 km southwest of Baghdad at 32.61 N, 44.08 E. The capital of Al Karbala Province, the city of Karbala had an estimated population of 700,000 people.
Karbala was one of Iraq’s wealthiest cities, profiting both from religious visitors and from its agricultural produce, especially dates. It is split into two districts, “Old Karbala”, the religious centre, and “New Karbala”, the residential district containing Islamic schools and government buildings.
At the Centre of the old city is the Mashad al-Husain, the shrine of Imam Husain bin Ali (A.S.), the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) by his daughter Bibi Fatima (A.S.) and Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.). Imam Husain (A.S.)’s shrine is a place of pilgrimage for many Muslims, especially on Ashura. Many elderly pilgrims travel there to await death, as they believe the shrine to be one of the gates to paradise.
Another focal point of the pilgrimage to Karbala is al-Makhayam, traditionally believed to be the location of Imam Husain (A.S.)’s camp, where the martyrdom of Imam Husain (A.S.) and his followers is publicly commemorated. The city’s association with Islam have made it a centre of religious instruction as well as worship; it has more than 100 mosques and 23 religious schools, of which possibly the most famous is that of Ibn Fahad, constructed some 440 years ago.
The Baron – Karbala
Plot # 1 & 41, District # 30,
Al Wastani, Al Hussainia Road,
Holy Karbala, Iraq