Thousands of devotees assembled to observe annual Urs of Sufi saint Hazrat Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) at his shrine here on Monday.
This was for the first time that authorities allowed large congregation on a religious occasion in Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370 of Constitution.
“Around 30,000 devotees paid obeisance at the shrine and had glimpse of the holy relic,” said Tariq Ahmad Kutoo, Supervisor, Dastgeer Sahib (RA) shrine.
He said there were no restrictions on Assembly of the devotees. “The devotees from all the areas were allowed to visit the shrine and participate in the Urs,” he said.
The Urs celebrations which started earlier this month will conclude on coming Friday. As per Islamic calendar, the Urs begins on 1st day of Rabi Al Thani during which special prayers are held every day from Asr to Magrib till 11th day of Rabi Al Thani. Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA), popularly known as Dastageer Sahib (RA), is the 11th century saint.
The biggest congregation was held at the Khanyar shrine. The relic was displayed after every prayer there.
On the occasion speakers threw light on life of the Sufi saint. The shrine and its premises remained filled with the devotees throughout the day and the area reverberated with the holy verses.
The Khanyar market however did not wear festive look this year, unlike in the past, as most of the shops remained closed. But the vendors had set up stalls.
Meanwhile, the congregational prayers were also observed at Masjid Sharief Dastgeer Sahib (RA) at Nowhamam, Sopore where devotees gathered to have a glimpse of the holy relics of the revered saint.
Authorities had made all necessary arrangements for the convenience of devotees including sanitation, drinking water, street lights and medical first aid at the Khanyar shrine.
Earlier, authorities had curtailed celebrations of Eid-i-Milad-un Nabi (SAW) in Kashmir as no major Milad procession was allowed anywhere including Hazratbal shrine.
Authorities had also disallowed Khuj-Diggar in Downtown at the Shrine of Naqashband Sahib (RA). It was first time in the history of Kashmir that Khuj-Diggar was disallowed.