COVID-19: Anjuman Sharie suspends Muharram processions in Kashmir

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Anjuman Shari Shia suspended Muharram processions including Ashoora due to COVID-19 pandemic in Kashmir. Informed by Aga Syed Mujtaba, the son of Shari Shian President Aga Syed Hasan Almosvi Alsafvi, during a press conference in Srinagar, he said: “We appeal to believers not to take out Muharram processions in wake of the Covid-19 crisis. It is a difficult and heart-breaking decision, but we have no option keeping the Covid-19 pandemic in view.”

Muharram is observed by Muslims with abstinence and prayers to mourn the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) in the battle of Karbala in the seventh century. It marks the first and one of the sacred months of the Islamic calendar.

He said it is the need of the hour to follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) in letter and spirit. “It is not desirable to confront the administration that has already asked people to follow SOP’s. If we do so, our problems will add and it will become more difficult to contain the spread of Covid-19,” Aga Syed Mujtaba said.

“During this Muharram, mourners observed all SOP’s. Hussaini Majalis were held but sanitizers and masks were properly used in Imambaras. I know it is difficult for believers to restrain themselves, but to combat Covid-19, we need to stay away from processions,” said Aga Syed Mujtaba, reported a local news agency, Kashmir News Trust (KNT).

“Believers should mourn inside their homes, in the Imambaras while following SOP’s. People living in one area also should not congregate to mourn together, and the Majlis programme should be organized while adhering to norms,” he said.

Yesterday, authorities imposed strict restrictions in the interiors of Shia dominated Zadibal area of Srinagar and blocked roads to prevent Muharram processions. “Last year we witnessed harshest restrictions but this year too similar restrictions are in place,” said a local from Zadibal told The Kashmir Walla. Last year, processions that would be taken in the interiors of Shia dominated areas of the Valley were banned too and the harshest curfew was imposed on the tenth of Muharram that marks the day of martyrdom of Imam Hussain.

He said there may be some miscreants who can mislead believers. “Let me tell believers, we are facing a serious crisis and it will be a murder if we force anyone to indulge in an act that is not desirable. We understand the pain and sentiments of the believers but it is the need of the hour to restrain ourselves and suspend Muharram processions,” Aga Syed Mujtaba said. (KNT)

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