SRINAGAR Thousands of fasting Muslims thronged shrines and Imambargahs on Wednesday to mark the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS), one of the most revered icons of Islam.
Every year, on the 21st day of Ramazan, mourners gather in mosques and religious centers across many parts of the Muslim world to attend ceremonies commemorating the martyrdom anniversary of Hazrat Ali.
The biggest gathering was witnessed in Najaf al Ashraf, in Iraq, the resting place of Imam Ali. Iraqi officials said hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all across the world have assembled in the holy city to pay tributes to great companion of the Prophet of Islam (Pbuh).
It was on the 19th of Ramazan 40 AH (27 January AD 661), Imam Ali was struck on the head with a poison-coated sword during the morning prayers in the Great Mosque of Kufa. He passed away two days later.
The night preceding Imam Alis martyrdom is considered to be one of the threefold Qadr (Destiny) Nights, when the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) more than 14 centuries ago.
Muslims hold night-long vigils on Qadr Nights, reciting the holy Quran and praying until dawn.
In Kashmir major functions on the occasion were held at Hazratbal, Zadibal and Hassanabad in Srinagar, Mirgund in Baramulla and in Budgam town.
Large number of devout Muslims prayed at Hazratbal shrine and had glimpse of holy relic of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) after every congregational prayer there.
Thousands joined the procession at Mirgund, Pattan after veteran Shia leader Maulana Muhammad Abbas Ansari gave his sermon eulogizing the great personality and highlighting importance of his teachings for the present era.
Maulana emphasized on the need for Muslims to study the heroic life of Hazrat Ali (AS) in order to come out of present chaos and confusion.
PDP Minister and President Shia Association Molvi Imran Raza Ansari addressed a gathering at Zadibal Imambargah.
He said that towering personality of Hazrat Ali had this honor of being born in the house of Allah Kabba - and also achieving his martyrdom in the house of Allah Masjid Kufa.
Muslims would continue to remember him for his services to Islam and mankind until the Day of Judgment, minister said.
Emphasizing that Muslims were caught in strife and uncertainty and people living across the entire Islamic world were caught in a quagmire of conflicts and chaos, he said it was unfortunate that Muslims were killing Muslims and damaging the image of Islam by consciously or unconsciously working for the interests of Zionist forces.
Later mourners took out a rally from Imambargah which later culminated at the Gulistan-e-Baba Mazar.
Similar commemorative functions were held at Budgam and Bemina by two factions of Anhjuman-e-Sharie Shiayan. Processions and night long prayer meets were held in villages across length and breadth of
Kashmir, reports said.
In Ladakh division massive processions were brought out in Kargil, Zanskar and Leh.
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