Jamia Masjid Reopens For Prayers After 150 Days

KO Photos: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Hundreds of people, including women on Tuesday offered prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in the Old City here; nearly five months after the religious places were shut down by the authorities to combat coronavirus pandemic.

According to reports, hundreds of people, including locals and the members of the traders’ community rushed to the Grand Masjid as soon as the muezzin gave call for Zuhr prayers. Emotional scenes were witnessed as the faithful, some in tears and some cheering, were seen kissing the doors and wooden columns of the Jamia Masjid, which reopened after 150 days of lockdown.

Many women, reports said also attended the prayers in accordance to social distancing norms.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Anjuman Auqaf, Jamia Masjid led by Mirwaiz Moulvi Muhammad Umar Farooq said that the decision to hold prayers was taken while upholding the views of Shariah experts and following the guidelines issued by the medical bodies regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

“For the convenience of those coming for prayers, Auqaf Jamia had put in place all the SOPs and other preventive measures including providing free masks and keeping the sanitisers inside the grand masjid and putting up posters of guidelines to be followed,” the Auqaf statement said.

The statement said that the devotees expressed strong anger and resentment over the blasphemous remarks against the beloved Prophet of Islam (PBUH made by some miscreants and communal zealots in Jammu region, and demanded stringent punishment to the culprits.

The Auqaf handout added that the devotees prayed to Almighty Allah to grant refuge to the people of Kashmir, Muslim Ummah and entire humanity from the deadly outbreak of coronavirus and all other sufferings and hardships.

“The management of the Jama Masjid and the people interacted with several media-persons present on the occasion and demanded immediate release of the Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid Chairman Mirwaiz Moulvi Muhammad Umar Farooq who continues to be under arbitrary house arrest for more than a year now, so that the Mirwaiz resumes the centuries-old tradition of his forefathers – the Mirwaizeen – of addressing the people from the pulpit of the Jamia Masjid,” the Auqaf statement said.

The Auqaf said that the release of Mirwaiz is inevitable so that he resumes his duty and responsibility.

Meanwhile, the Auqaf has announced that apart from daily prayers, the congregational Friday prayers will also resume at Jamia Masjid with all SOPs and other preventive measures.

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