Majid Kapra

Muslims mark 1st Friday of Ramazan amid COVID surge

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Srinagar: Congregational prayers on the first day of the holy month of Ramazan were offered in all mosques and shrines in Srinagar with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines amid sharp surge in positive cases since March this year.

The biggest congregations were held at Dargah Hazaratbal which houses the holy relic of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the central Jama Masjid at Nowhatta area in the old city.

The two major mosques of the Valley which otherwise witness huge rush of devotees on such occasions, this year witnessed an average flow amid steep increase in COVID-19 cases.

Worshippers in every big and small mosque could be seen wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing following orders issued by the administration asking people and religious heads to implement laid down SOPs in letter and spirit during Ramazan.

Thousands of people joined the prayers in mosques, Khankahs, shrines and other religious places including Jenab Sahab Soura, Asari Shareef Kalash Pora, in Srinagar on the first Friday of Ramazan.

Mosques and shrines reverberated with salutations (Durood-o-Azkar) on the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) with people seeking protection from the deadly pandemic which has been claiming lives of millions across globe including India since its outbreak in 2019.

It may be in place to mention that Srinagar administration had formally ordered closure of all religious institutions, including gurudwaras, shrines and mosques when the Valley witnessed first death due to COVID-19 in March last year.

“We are thankful to the administration for allowing people to offer regular prayers in mosques and shrines at a time when COVID-19 cases have started to surge in Kashmir valley. Worshippers followed the guidelines seriously and whosoever was found violating SOPs was not allowed in the mosque,” a local Imam at Harwan area told ‘Kashmir Images’.

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