SRINAGAR, Dec 9: After the passage of more than four months, a large religious congregation was held for the first time in Srinagar city since August on the eve of annual Urs of Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani commonly known as Dastgeer sahib, in which hundreds of faithful participated.
Hundreds of people including women and children reached the shrine situated in the heart of Srinagar at Khanyar and participated in the prayers and other rituals which continued throughout the day on Monday marking the end of 11- day celebrations at the shrine.
Though, normally, due to the rush of people at the shrine, people used to pray even on roads, however, this time the prayers were not allowed outside the shrine premises. The organizers, however, said it happened due to bad weather.
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Sayed Khalid Hussain Geelani, Sajadah Nisheen of the Shrine, told Excelsior that due to the bad weather and the constructions works that were going on in the shrine the prayers could not be held outside. “There were no restrictions whatsoever, despite bad weather and chilling cold people reached the shrine in hundreds; all went well; everything went as per the rituals,” he said.
During the day, the holy relic of Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani was displayed before the faithful five times soon after the culmination of prayers, during which emotional scenes were witnessed.
Though, the congregation was not that big as per the organizers, they said that as people could not come like they used to due to the bad weather conditions. In spite of that, they said that people in hundreds still managed to the shrine and took part in day-long prayers. During the Urs, people prayed for the peace and prosperity to sustain in J&K.
A devotee, while acknowledging the fact that the congregation was smaller than it used to be, said that the rush used to be so much that you would not even be able to pass through the shrine easily. “There used to long rows of people offering namaz, but, this time, it was all confined to the premises of the shrine,” he said.