SRINAGAR: Tens of thousands of people offered prayers at Hazratbal shrine, observing the 'following Friday' of the Me'raj festival.
Muslims across the globe remember Me'raj as the night when Prophet Muhammad (SAW) ascended the heavens and had a great vision.
On Friday Muslim devotees in Kashmir had the glimpse of a hair strand widely believed to be from the holy Prophet (SAW) and locally called Moi Shareef (Holy Relic). Special prayers were said for the peace and prosperity of Kashmir. The devotees including men, women, elderly persons, youth and chilen from different parts of Kashmir thronged the shrine, which for centuries has been central to Kashmir's tryst with Islamic faith.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and President of the ruling National Conference, Farooq Abdullah offered prayers at Dargah Hazratbal amongst the large congregation. On the occasion Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah extended greetings to the people and prayed for their well-being. They also prayed for peace and prosperity of the State.
Shab-e-Meraj was observed during the intervening night of May 29 and 30. Thousands of people had offered special prayers during the night.
For past few days, according to reports, large number of devotees reached the Hazrtabal shrine and offered prayers besides having the glimpse of holy relic. Devotees also converged at some other shrines of Valley including Jenab Sahab Soura, Kailaspora, Pinjoora-Shopian, Khiram Sirhama and Kaba Marg.
Reports said that since Friday morning, devotees started arriving at Hazratbal shrine here in hundreds of buses from almost all the districts-Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Anantnag, Bandipora, Kupwara, Baramulla, and Budgam. Before the Friday prayers thousands of devotees had reached there. They offered Friday prayers and had the glimpse of holy relic.
After Friday prayers, most of them started leaving for their respective places. Even as the traffic police had made arrangements for smooth movement of the vehicles, huge rush of vehicles led to traffic jamming at several places.
One-way traffic was managed on Friday from Lal Chowk to Hazratbal and back. The vehicles going from Lal Chowk to Hazratbal had to move via Lal Bazar area. However, those moving from Hazratbal to Lal Chowk had to take the Saidakadal route.
Vendors had set up stalls outside the shrine complex, where food items were on sale. The devotees were happy over offering the prayers at the shrine and having the glimpse of holy relic.
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