by Bilal Bahadur
The annual Urs of Hazrat Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA), popularly known as Peer Dastageer Sahib was Wednesday observed across Kashmir with special prayers being organised at Khanyar, Saraibala and Rah-Bab Sahib shrines in the city.
Reports said that ‘Shab Khwani’ (night long prayers) was held from the last evening and there was no let-up in the rush of devotees throughout the course of the day on Wednesday at Khanyar and Sarai Bala.
Scores of devotees including women and children thronged the shrines to participate in the specially organised prayers, salutations and supplications.
While devotees remained engrossed in prayers and supplications, emotional scenes of people praying with tears in their eyes were witnessed when the holy relic of the revered saint was displayed.
Devotees usually pay obeisance at the shrine for 11 days till the main Urs day. Besides Sarai Bala, the main Urs was held at the Dastageer Sahib Shrine located at Khanyar in old Srinagar city.
Both the shrines are devoted to the 11th-century Sufi saint whose actual shrine is located at Baghdad in Iraq. Even though the saint never visited Kashmir in person, he is highly revered by the locals. Both the shrines wear festive looks during Urs days as several stalls selling food items and other goods are set up outside.
The night-long prayers were also said at shrines at Varmul, Pinjura Shopian, Sirhama, Handwara and Tujjar Sharief in Sopore. The imams and the clerics in different shrines shed light on the life, teachings and the spiritual power of Sheikh Sayyad Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA).
Meanwhile, Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, felicitated the people on the annual Urs of Hazrat Shiekh Abdul Qadir Jeelani RA (Dastageer Sahib).
In his message, Ganai, who is also the Chairman of the Wakf Board, said Hazrat Peer Dastgeer (RA) spent his entire life in seeking and dissemination of knowledge and guiding people towards piety and spiritual well-being. He said the writings of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Geelani (RA) have inspired millions of people to lead lives of honesty, truthfulness and selfless service to humankind. “His teachings will continue to serve as beacons of light for those seeking spiritual wealth and salvation,” he added.
The Advisor prayed that the Urs may bring peace and prosperity to the people of the State.