The Arbaeen Water Campaign

Arbaeen Water Campaign 2018: Report



To embark upon a project whereby Imam Hussein Development and Relief Foundation (IHDRF) will supply water bottles to a number of “mawakib” who serve food and drink to the millions of people performing the Arbaeen pilgrimage of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) on foot.

Time frame:

The fundraising campaign lasted between the 30th of September 2018 – 25th of October 2018

Target achieved:

With £9059.30 collected, a total of 7550 water cartons were purchased resulting in a grand total of 452,965 water bottles supplied to the mawakib between 28-30th October 2018




Arbaeen Water Campaign: Full Report

  1. The Strategic importance of the Arbaeen Pilgrimage
  2. An analysis of the operational capacities of the mawakib
  3. Focus on Water
  4. Cost Analysis
  5. Logistics and distribution


  1. The Strategic importance of the Arbaeen Pilgrimage

The Arbaeen Pilgrimage is the largest human faith-based gathering to take place as millions of visitors worldwide converge in the Holy city of Karbala to pay tribute to the Master of Freedom, Imam Hussein (peace be upon him). By 2017, Statistical reports claimed an estimated 30 million people performed the annual pilgrimage. The Arbaeen pilgrimage denotes:
a.  The zenith of spirituality for the Shia Muslims

  1. A display of loyalty to the Holy prophet Muhammad and His Blessed progeny (peace be upon them all)
  2. A mark of peace and non-violence as advocated within the classical Shiite teachings

Imam Hussein Development and Relief Foundation seeks its inspiration from Imam al Hussein (peace be upon him) and seeks to be the intermediary between the mawakib and the Shia masses who wish to serve and be a part of this grand movement.

  1. An analysis of the operational capacities of the mawakib

The “mawakib” are generally made up of individuals, families, relatives and friends pooling resources together in order to provide food, drink, and rest to the pilgrims of Imam al Hussein (peace be upon him). Majority of the people serving in and setting up the “mawakib” are average working class and below. Many have inspirational stories of how they have sacrificed their life savings, daily necessities and even sold their personal belongings in order to serve the pilgrims. Others even undertake debts which they then repay over the year in order to serve during Arbaeen.

With this in mind, Imam Hussein development and Relief Foundation decided to embark upon a project to relieve some of the financial burdens from the “mawakib” by supplying them with some of the essential commodities needed on a daily basis. On the other hand, IHDRF recognizes the vast rewards attached to participating in this grand pilgrimage and seeks to allow the lovers of Imam al Hussein (peace be upon him) from all over the world to be a part the Arbaeen spirit by contributing towards the sustenance of the mawakib, and in the process register their service in the way of the Imam (peace be upon him).

  1. Focus on Water

Imam Hussein Development and Relief Foundation embarked upon the project of supplying water bottles to the mawakib who would then distribute the water to the pilgrims. IHDRF`s decision to supply water is based on a number of factors:

  • The act of quenching someone’s thirst is greatly rewarded as per Shiite traditions.
  • The fact that Imam al Hussein (peace be upon him), his family and loyal companions were martyred thirsty, serving water to the pilgrims is an extremely sentimental and sensitive act.
  • 2018 will be the warmest Arbaeen pilgrimage experienced by the pilgrims to date. With day time temperatures soaring to up to 35 degrees Celsius, and millions of pilgrims walking to Karbala, water will be an essential drink to serve the pilgrims and ensure they are hydrated as they undertake the walk of many hundred kilometers (depending on which city they begin walking from).


  1. Cost Analysis

For anyone who has experience organizing events or mawakib in particular, they will tell you it’s the small things that add up. Conservative statistics indicate that on average, mawakib distribute a minimum of between 1000-5000 water cups per day. This equates to between £400 – £2000 spent on water over a period of 20 days. For the average mawkib serving three meals a day, the water cost can be quite substantial.

IHDRF was able to secure the purchase of water cartons at a bulk price of £1.2 per carton. Each carton contains 60 water cups, 200 ml each. With a total of £9059.30 collected, a total of 7550 water cartons were purchased resulting in a grand total of 452,965 water bottles supplied to the mawakib between 28-30th October 2018.

The recipient mawakib were located on The al Qiblah Street leading up to the Shrine of Imam al Hussein (peace be upon him) as well as a number of mawakib between the Najaf-Karbala highway (pole numbers 900-1100)


  1. Logistics and distribution

Upon completing a thorough cost analysis pertaining to the logistics involved in procuring the water from the warehouse and distributing them to the recipients, Imam Hussein development and Relief Foundation partnered with the Misbah al Hussein NGO based in the Holy city of Karbala.

By creating strategic alliances, IHDRF is able to eradicate the added financial costs related to hiring trucks and personnel in order to facilitate for the procurement and subsequent distribution of the water.


Imam Hussein Development and Relief Foundation would like to thank all its donors and well-wishers for participating in the Arbaeen Water Campaign 2018. May the Master of Paradise Himself reward all those who participated – financially or otherwise in abundance.

With Peace and Blessings,

Sheikh Mohamed Abbas Panju

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