Sheik Hussein insiuated on the border between Arsi and Bale about 600 km south east of Addis Ababa is the most important site for Muslim pilgrimage in Ethiopia. The site consists of large complex of mosques, shrines and tombs surrounded by a thick wall. The shrine and sacred enclosure honors the renowned Sheik Hussein for his miraculous powers. His death, 700 years ago, has resulted in a amalgam of saint cult and ancient ritual
The glistening white domes float in a vast sea or emerald green scrub. This remote shrine and its sacred compound house the tomb of a saint renowned for his miraculous powers. Although little is known of Sheik Hussein history, his shrine has become the site of one of Ethiopia’s most extra ordinary pilgrimages. Twice a year, you can witness some 50,000 pilgrims take the journey to prey at this shrine from all over Ethiopia as well as from neighboring countries to visit this complex of shrines and tombs. The pilgrimage lasts several days. As the final prayers are offered and preparations are made for the long journey home, the pilgrims are considered to be spiritually enriched. Their journey has brought renewal and welcome break from the harsh realities of their lives. There is also a network of manmade caves and artificial ponds in the area.