Photo Essay: Shab-e-Meraj, empty Mosques, and locked-up Khaanqahs

While lighting an incense stick with the flame of a melting candle, Zarnaq, a ten year old girl at Hazratbal told me how she misses Durood the most this year.

As per the instructions from the authorities, the gatherings on the night of Meraj were prohibited this year, and hence the gates of many mosques were locked up soon after the Isha prayers.

“This is the first time in my lifetime that I am seeing this hall empty on Shab-e Meraj,” while staring into the empty hall of Dastgeer Sahib the caretaker of Dastgeer Sahib told me.

Of all the significant religious places located in the city of Srinagar, there was a small gathering of women at Hazratbal Shrine, offering prayers through midnight.

Women from as far as Pulwama, Handwara, Kulgam made it to the shrine despite of the COVID scare and incessant rainfall.

The shrine of Dastgeer Sahib, Jamia Masjid, Naqshbandi Sahib remained locked-up, and empty.



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