STATE TIMES NEWSKishtwar: Amid Corona scare, devotees attended 343rd annual Urs of Hazrat Shah Farid-ud-Din Bagdadi (RA) at Astaan-e-Baala, Kishtwar while following all SOPs and Guidelines.Every year thousands of devotees even from outside UT of J&K attended the mega event but since last year, due to coronavirus pandemic, the celebration of this auspicious occasion is being celebrated with simplicity while following all SOPs and Guidelines issued by Government and administration.Due to restrictions on the huge gatherings, the devotees started converging at the shrine since early morning, where they participated in the special prayers held after Nimaz-e-Assar at Astaan-e-Baala organised by Master Abdul Rashid Sheikh(Astaan Bala).The urs of Shah Farid-Ud- Din is observed every year on 7th Har(bikrami calender), usually falling on June 20th or 21st. Every year, the caretakers of the shrine of sufi saint displayed the personal belongings of Shah Farid-Ud- Din Bagdadi including sword, clothes and stick used by Shah Sahib during his life, but due to COVID-19, the display was suspended this year.Sufism, a branch of Islam has been practised in the Chenab Valley, where people of different faiths lived in harmony. Ancient manuscripts, in Persian, bear testimony to the fact that Sufism flourished in the region, during the 15th century, spread by Sufi saints, who arrived in Chenab Valley from different parts of the country.Haji Mohd Fareed Shah, Provincial President Anjuman Tablig-ul-Islaam said that 17th century marked the prominence of Sufism in Chenab Valley , owing to the arrival of Hazrat Shah Mohammed Farid-ud-Din Baghdadi (RA) and his two sons Hazrat Shah Asrar-ud-din (RA) and Hazrat Shah Akhyar-ud-din (RA).“These Saints exposed the basic tenets of Islam to people and urged them to be awakened out of the ignorance owing to blind pursuit of ritualism and also illiteracy. These great souls exposed people to Tawhid, or monotheism (oneness of Allah). They urged people to read the holy Quraan and the Hadith. The tombs of these revered Masters have been flocked by people across the world for spiritual salvation and prosperity in life, ” Shah added.District administration, in collaboration with the Auqaf Islamia Kishtwar, had made elaborate arrangement for the peaceful and hassle free observance of the annual Urs.Captain Farooq Kichloo, President (Nigran) Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat Kishtwar said that the special prayers and sermons were offered by the religious scholars. The devotees offered prayers and sought the blessings at the Astaan-e-Baala shrine of revered Sufi Saint.“On the occasion, people participated in night long special prayers and sought blessings not only for themselves but for the nation as well. They also prayed for well-being of all sections of society and to get rid of this deadly Covid-19,” Captain Farooq added.Auqaf Islamia Kishtwar and other religious leaders expressed their gratitude to Administration for their support especially Police party led by SHO Kishtwar Abid Bukhari.Prominent among those who participated in the annual Urs include Haji Mohd Fareed Shah, Provincial President Anjuman Tablig-ul-Islaam, Javeed Iqbal, Haji Shakeel Ahmed Kamal, Khursheed Ahmed Kichloo, Mohd Saleem Shah, Master Abdul Rashid Sheikh(Astaan Bala), Bashir Ahmed Sheikh, Nisar Ahmed Sheikh, Khalid Hussain, Mohd Ishtiaq, Tariq Ahmed Sheikh Kulsari, R.R.Jamal, Abdul Rashid, Wajid Ishtiaq, Majid Ishtiaq and others.
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