Srinagar: Thousands of devotees thronged religious places across Kashmir on the eve of Shab-e-Meraj on Saturday.
Shab-e-Meraj is celebrated as the holy night when Prophet Muhammad (SAW) ascended to the highest levels of the heavens.
The religious event was observed across J&K with religious fervour and people spent the entire night in special congregational prayers across major religious places.
The biggest congregation was held at Dargah Hazratbal in Srinagar, where thousands participated in the night long prayers.
People from across all the districts had come to Hazratbal shrine to offer night-long prayers and witness the display of the holy relic.
“We have been coming to this place for decades. I missed the visit only during peak COVID due to lockdown. I am glad that the shrine is full of devotes again. This is an important night when our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) ascended to heaven. We have to remember his teachings,” said Ghualm Qadir, a devotee from Ganderbal.
Imam Khateeb Dargah Hazratbal Kamaal Farooqi told Greater Kashmir that thousands of devotees spent the entire night in congregational prayers and other religious activities.
He said that the religious activities started after Maghrib prayers followed by Naat and Dorood Khawani.
“At 10 pm, Esha prayers were offered followed by the religious sermon. My sermon was mostly focused on the religious teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the happening of the holy night,” Farooqi said.
Shrines and all major Masjids in Kashmir reverberated with Khatamat-o-Moazamat and Darood Khawani until Fajar prayers on Sunday.
On Sunday, the holy relic would be displayed after all the five prayers of the day.
Various Islamic and socio-cultural organisations also arrange special prayers and Mehfil-e-Naat in Masjids and other places to collectively seek the blessings of the Almighty Allah.
The nightlong prayers were held in various Masjids and shrines across J&K where religious scholars delivered sermons highlighting the teachings of Islam and various aspects of the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Special nightlong prayers were held at major shrines in Srinagar including Asar-e-Sharif Janab Sahab Soura, Asar-e-Sharif Shehri Kalashpora, Ziarat-e-Makhdoom Sahab, Khanqah-e-Mauala, and other shrines.
Officials said that the district administration had put special arrangements in place for Shab-e-Meraj.
They said that the Power Development Department (PDD), Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK), and Transport Department officials were asked to ensure proper celebrations of the night.
“We carried special sanitation drives across all major religious places across Kashmir, especially Hazratbal. This was in addition to our routine sanitation drives. All the men and machinery were pressed into service to ensure that the religious places and its surroundings are kept clean,” said an SMC official, who is not authorised to talk to the media.
Meanwhile, Traffic Police in Srinagar put in a detailed traffic plan ahead of the Shab-e-Meraj event.
A senior official from Traffic Police, who did not wish to be named, said that the transporters and commuters should follow the advisory strictly to ensure smooth movement of traffic.