Every year, especially on the days of the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Reza (PBUH), we witness the expression of love from this divine perspective; we can see scenes that nobody is able to write about and feel hearts that nobody has ever read about in any book. One of these expressions of love that has been institutionalized in our country, Iran, in recent years, and is managed as a spontaneous movement is the walking caravans of pilgrims who are headed towards the holy city of Mashhad from all over Iran, on the days of the anniversary of Imam Reza's martyrdom, so that they can pay a different, but of course genuine, tribute to his holy presence. Today, the walking caravans are institutionalized among general public and even the hardest conditions such as weather problems, could not have stopped them. Undoubtedly, these lovers have lost their hearts to this Hadith from Imam Javad (PBUH) that says, “No one goes on a pilgrimage to my father’s shrine, who has suffered hot or cold weather, unless Almighty Allah forbids his body from burning in hell” (Amali Sadouq, 654).
Yes, the caravans walk so strongly and solidly that, today, nothing can be an obstacle preventing this tree from being fruitful, and, thanks to Allah, each year more people participate in this great spiritual program. According to Hujjat al-Islam Sharafkhani, the Cultural and Social Deputy of the Endowments and Charity Affairs Organization of Iran, this year more than 130 thousand people have participated in this ardent movement. However, holding such events certainly requires prudence and powerful planning from the authorities, so that each year it gains more elegance and glory. Thanks to Allah, this goal has been achieved considerably, as such that this year 96 stations, mosques and Hussainia have been established in the walking paths of 6 provinces neighboring Mashhad in order to serve the pilgrims. Without a doubt, in addition to the purpose of the divine rituals, an aim that is pursued in these events is the promotion of religious insight and the Razavi lifestyle and conduct among individuals. Therefore, according to Sharafkhani more than 100 religious experts are present in the stations located in the walking paths and are ready to answer public inquiries. Besides, some cultural and religious packages are distributed among the members of the walking caravans.
Imam Reza International Foundation of Arts and Culture has also attempted to contribute to this event. This year the foundation had the chance to distribute 3600 cultural clothing packages with religious symbols among pilgrims and in this way took a small step towards honoring Razavi culture.
We hope that the Almighty Allah shall help us more than ever to succeed in spreading Razavi culture.