Srinagar: Major shrines and mosques in Kashmir, including Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, remained closed on Friday on government orders in the name of preventing the spread of Covid, even though most restrictions on public movement and public gatherings have been called off by the administration.
Noor Begum, a resident of Fateh Kadal, told Kashmir Reader that on every Friday she would offer Magrib and Asar Namaz in the Khanqah-i-Moula shrine in Srinagar.
“I am 60 years old and on every Friday I used to offer namaz in this shrine, but since Covid has happened, the authorities have not opened the shrine except on rare occasions,” she said.
Muneer Ahmad, a resident of Safa Kadal, said that since his childhood he had been offering Friday salah at the Jamia Masjid,
“Since the outbreak of Covid I have not offered Jumma (Friday) prayers. I only offer Magrib namaz on Friday,” he said.
For Abdul Rashid, a resident of Eid Gah, it is beyond comprehension why the shrines and mosques continue to remain closed. “I don’t understand why they keep closed the shrines on Fridays, even though they allow gatherings in parks and other places. Why not allow prayers?” he asked, adding that people will follow all SOPs while performing salah.
Fatima Begum, a resident of Khanyar, told Kashmir Reader that for her and her family, visiting Rozabal shrine on every Friday was an important part of life.
“On every Friday by 11am we would be ready to visit the shrine to offer Friday salah, but now sometimes we are not even aware that it is a Friday,” she said.
“They are opening parks and tourist places, so why are they not opening shrines and masjids on Fridays?” she asked.