Srinagar, Mar 04: After remaining closed for 49 Fridays since last year, authorities in J&K today finally allowed Friday prayers to be held at the historic Central Jama Masjid Srinagar after 30 consecutive weeks.
Anjuman Auqaf in a statement said that today, when the Azaan (call to prayer) echoed from the minarets of the Jama Masjid, a large number of men and women gathered in the premises of Jama Masjid to offer Friday prayers in spite of the severe cold.
On the occasion, emotional scenes were witnessed, with the worshippers prostrating before Allah and expressing their joy and happiness to be able to offer Friday prayers at the mosque with which Muslims of Kashmir share a strong emotional and spiritual bond. The administration’s restrictions on Friday prayers in the mosque for the most part of the last two-and-a-half years had deeply pained the Muslims of the region.
“However, the people were very disappointed with the absence of Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir Muhammad Umar Farooq, who continues to be under illegal and arbitrary detention since 5 August 2019. As a centuries-old tradition, the Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir delivers the Friday sermons at Jama Masjid Srinagar. His two-and-a-half-year detention has agonized the people who throng the grand mosque from nook and corner of the Valley to listen to the sermon of their beloved leader,” the statement reads.
Calls to release the Mirwaiz keep growing with each passing day, however, the administration is unrelenting.
Meanwhile, the Imam and Khateeb of the Jama Masjid and octogenarian religious scholar Imam Hai Moulana Ahmad Syed Naqshbandi delivered the Friday sermon today.
Later In his speech, he emphasized that the repeated ban on Friday prayers at the grand mosque without any reason is a cause of anxiety and restlessness among people and violation of their fundamental human right to practice religion.
Imam Hai said that this central place of worship with its mimbar-o-mihrab has been witness to Mirwaizeen-e-Kashmir preaching Islam and its message of human brotherhood, love and tolerance, for centuries.
However, by keeping the present Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir Dr. Moulvi Muhammad Umar Farooq Sahib under continued house arrest for the last two-and-a-half years, this pulpit has been rendered silent causing hurt and sorrow to people.
Imam Hai asked the administration to release Mirwaiz Umar Farooq immediately. He said that as the holy month of Ramadan was approaching people are keenly waiting to hear waz-o-tableeg from their Mirwaiz. knt