Coronavirus: No prayers in mosques, shrines at Shab-e-Baraat in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: No night prayers were held at any major mosque or shrine in Kashmir on Shab-e-Baraat (night of forgiveness) as people remained inside due to the closure to combat the threat, authorities said Thursday.

They said that authorities, as well as religious organizations, had called on people not to observe the prayers on the occasion and instead pray at home.

District Magistrate Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Choudhary issued an order prohibiting all religious congregations and the public movement in Shab-e-Barat in the city.

The order issued under Section 144 of the CrPC stated that the decision to ban religious gatherings on the occasion was made based on the recommendations of the authorities concerned and the reports from the camp, in addition to taking into account the current situation of poor health due to pandemic.

The Grand Mufti Nisar-ul-Islam of Jammu and Kashmir urged people not to observe the congregational prayers at Shab-e-Baraat, which Muslims observe on the night of the 14th and 15th of Sha'ban, the eighth month of the month. .

However, discreet celebrations and prayers were held in some mosques in the Valley, but the meetings were small and the prayers short, officials said.

They said that most people offered prayers in their homes to seek God's mercy and forgiveness.

Each year, the largest congregation on the occasion is celebrated at the revered Hazratbal Shrine on the shores of Dal Lake here, where thousands of devotees gather.

However, this year no such congregation was held as the Jammu and Wakf Board had announced last month the suspension of congregational and regular prayers at affiliated shrines and mosques.