Srinagar- Thousands of people thronged the Naqshband Sahib (R.A) Shrine on Friday in Khawaja Bazar area of downtown Srinagar to participate in Khoja Digar prayers. The 400-year-old religious practice, commonly known as ‘Khoja Digar’, witnessed massive participation of devotees from all across the Kashmir Valley.
The devotees offered “Asr” prayers on the road stretch from Nowhatta to Khanyar. The shrine management committee had made adequate arrangements for the convenience of devotees.
On the occasion, Awraad-e-Asriya, a booklet comprising verses of repentance and faith was recited.
The Sufi saint used to recite along with his hundreds’ of disciples 700 years ago at Bukhara in Uzbekistan.
Hazrat Khwaja Naqshband Sahib (RA) was born in 718 AH at Qasr-i-Arifan, a village in Bukhara. The shrine is dedicated to him, where one of the great saints of the Naqshbandi order, Hazrat Moinuddin Naqshband (RA), was laid to rest along with his wife and two sons.
Authorities had made special arrangements for the convenience of devotees. An official said that a special sanitation drive was carried out at the shrine and its adjacent areas.
City Areas Witness Massive Traffic Jams
Many areas of the city witnessed massive traffic gridlocks on Friday afternoon. Traffic jams which were mostly witnessed in downtown areas of the city, left motorists fuming.
Long queues of vehicles were seen stuck in Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowpora, Bohri Kadal, Hawal and other areas of downtown Srinagar.
However, the authorities said the traffic jams were timely and as a result of roadblocks and large numbers of people throng city Shrines.
Speaking to Kashmir Observer, SSP Traffic City Muzaffar Ahmad Shah said two religious events coinciding with each other led to the traffic jams in the city.
“The road at Khawaja Bazar was closed due to ‘Khoja Digar,’ people also thronged Hazratbal Shrine in large numbers because of Friday and Rabi-ul awwal, which led to traffic jams” he said.
He further said that schools closing down during the prayer time added to the volume of vehicles.
“There will be a normal flow of traffic from tomorrow, he assured commuters.”
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.