Barring Eidgah and Jamia, Eid Prayers Offered Across Kashmir


SRINAGAR: Eid-ul-Adha, the second major Muslim festival, is being celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety across Jammu and Kashmir. The special Eid prayers were offered everywhere barring the sprawling Eidgah in Srinagar, and the historic Jamia Masjid.

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At most of the places, the prayers were completed early in the morning so that people had enough time to offer animal sacrifices.

Muslims worldwide, including those in Jammu and Kashmir, observe Eid-ul-Adha on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. It coincided with the Hajj, a pilgrimage to Makkah, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.

In Srinagar, the largest Eid congregation was held at the Hazratbal shrine, where thousands participated in prayers and listened to sermons on Islamic teachings. The shrine wines the participation of the political elite in the prayers.

While prayers were offered in open-space Eidgah’s across Kashmir and in parts of the city, no such prayer took place at Historic Eidgah in Srinagar. Jamia Masjid Auqaf earlier said they have been told that the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Wakf Board has prevented prayers at Eidgah.

After Edgah was made out of bounds, the Jamia decided to offer prayers in the grand old mosque. But the prayers did not happen there as well. This is the fifth consecutive Eid prayer that was disallowed at the historic Jamia Masjid.

“Today, the administration did not allow us to hold prayers at the scheduled time of 9 a.m.,” said a member of the management committee. “Despite our pleas and petitions, they refused to allow prayers, leading to the cancellation of prayers at the historic mosque as well as Eidgah.”

Earlier, the Anjuman had scheduled Eid prayers for 9 am, with Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir Mirwaiz Umar Farooq delivering the sermon at 8 am.

While the Jamia Masjid remained devoid of congregational prayers, other local mosques and Eidgahs across Jammu and Kashmir observed Eid-ul-Adha without hindrance. Faithful gathered in open spaces and local mosques, praying for peace, security, and prosperity in the Kashmir Valley. All the congregations were incident free.

Eid-ul-Adha commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael on Allah’s command. After passing Allah’s test, Prophet Ibrahim slaughtered an animal instead. People follow this tradition by sacrificing animals at this festival.

After Eid prayers, people across Kashmir rushed home to participate in animal sacrifices. This year, residents bought various animals, including camels, for the sacrificial rituals.

Meanwhile, Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid said in a statement that after Fajr prayers, police personnel closed the gates of the Jama Masjid in Srinagar and informed the Auqaf that Eid prayers would not be permitted. Coinciding with the development, Mirwaiz was placed under house arrest.

“It is to be noted that Eid prayers have been barred at Jama Masjid and Eidgah by the authorities since 2019,” the statement said. The statement said the Mirwaiz has strongly condemned these actions, saying that this behaviour by the authorities represents a distressing infringement on our religious freedoms and the rights of our Muslim community.

(Photograph featuring with this report is from archives.)


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