The shrine management has to work for the comfort of devotees
SACRED PLACE BY DR FAROOQ AHMAD PEER
The Shrine of Alamdar RA at Charar-i-Sharief has been an important place for pilgrims to cleanse their souls and slake their moral and spiritual thirst. A huge number of devotee’s visit the Shrine every day and there is no end to this holy venture since ages. The Shrine is a place of attraction because it has been very instrumental in forging unity among the Kashmiri masses particularly between the Muslims and the Non- Muslims. The week long Urs is celebrated annually at the Shrine of SheikhRA and during this course of time thousands of people visit and feel inspired. On Thursdays, special prayers are held every week which has become commonly known as “Chrar Braswar” (Thursday of Charar-i-Sharief).
In 1438, the Shrine of Alamdar (RA) and Khankah adjacent to it were established at Charar-i-Sharief by the people under the supervision and management of King Zain-ul-Abideen. Later sultan Ali Shah Chak (1570-78) extended the Shrine by constructing a verandah of engraved wooden pillars around the Shrine. In the early 19th century the Pathan ruler Atah Muhammad Khan, reconstructed the Khankah and the Tomb but due to certain reasons could not complete his mission. In 1951, the Deputy Prime Minister of Kashmir Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad completed the construction of the Shrine. In 1964, the management of the Shrine was taken over by Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah as President of the Auquaf Trust. In 1995, the Shrine got damaged in a devastating fire which had blazed almost the whole town of Charar-i-Sharief but after the incident of fire, the shrine was rebuilt on the old pattern and its construction continues still.
Since 1995, 15 years have passed but Auquaf or the Waqaf Board of Kashmir which claims to have the duty to look after all the Shrines of the Kashmir, seems to have a lukewarm concern about the facilities available at the Shrine of AlamdarRA. The Shrine is without proper and hygienic facilities and the pilgrims find it very difficult to offer ablutions and pay their obeisance at the Shine. The management of the Shrine is callous about the plight faced by the devotees. The people maintaining the shrine seem to be concerned only in collecting the offerings from the people. These people who boast of being followers of AlamdarRA, are unaware of the fact that AlamdarRA was a great environmentalist who loved cleanliness and healthy environment and forestation. The management of the Shrine could well decorate and festoon the courtyards and surroundings of the Shrine with green plantation and other natural trees but this nous is mind-boggling for them. As a Muslim and follower of SheikhRA, we are duty bound not only to recite his verses in the functions and ceremonies but also to follow these in real spirit and adopt them practically. The Khanqah or the Mosque for prayers at the Shrine for which Rs 19 crores have been allocated by the Government to JKPCC is still under construction and one is bewildered due to this incomplete and unending undertaking. The management needs to learn a lesson from the managers of Gurudwaras and Temples where all the facilities including boarding and logging with hygienic environment is available everywhere. The management of the shrine is indubitably in crisis and it needs special attention and upkeep.
(Feedback at drpeerfarooq @rediffmail.com)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 3 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 3 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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