by Bilal Bahadur

As the virus went viral and started its onslaught on the human race, the world was plunged into a crisis. With no cure available, staying in became a matter of life and death. The fear of survival brought life to a near standstill in almost every part of the world where life exists. The customs changed across. Besides other dimensions of existence, religious rituals also got disrupted. The subsequent lockdown led to the closure of all religious places as the authorities formally ordered a ban on congregations. Finally, nearly after five months, the doors of all the religious places were thrown open, formally.
The job to carry out the process of disinfection was taken over by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation. The men and machinery was geared to ensure that proper sanitization takes place. Besides, the administration reached out to all the heads of religious institutions asking them to cooperate in ensuring the set protocols.
Amid the set protocol, Kashmir, especially Srinagar Sunday witnessed a significant number of devotees in and outside the shrines and major mosques. However, as corona has changed the contours, there was a marked difference in people wearing masks, maintaining social distance and proper sanitization presented.
When the doors opened, emotions ran high. While praying and paying obeisance, people were seen crying and consoling each other. As Kashmir Life talked to few, there was a “sense of solace around.”
In the last five months, one of the months was the holy month of Ramzan. But it was different. Due to the pandemic, the customs and traditions were forsaken for safety. The night-long prayers, collective Iftaars, and congregations could not be held. Even the mandatory Shab-e-Qadr was spent in isolation.
Locked gates of Jamia Masjid Srinagar.
However, the biggest Masjid in Srinagar, Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta was still closed and will open on August 18. The people managing the Masjid said in the next few days it would be opened after the proper cleanliness drive.


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