Muharram ceremonies to be held as per norms set up by medical authorities: Ittihadul Muslimeen

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Srinagar: This year traditional Muharram ceremonies will be held as per norms set up by the medical authorities in view of the raging Covid-19 pandemic, Jammu and Kashmir Ittihadul Muslimeen (JKIM) announced on Tuesday.

The Executive Council of the party met here to deliberate on the issue and chart out a strategy to follow during the 40 day long mourning period which begins later this month. The meeting was presided over by the Chief patron Maulana Muhammad Abbas Ansari.

“It was decided at the meeting that like every year, this year too there will be mourning, insha’Allah but since holding gatherings at mosques and Imambaras are not possible in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided that only short duration and safe mourning gatherings at the local level will be held taking every precaution to prevent the spread of virus and all large gatherings, Majalis, conferences and seminars etc held at the central level shall stand canceled this year”, a statement of JKIM said.

According to the statement Maulana Abbas Ansari expressed hope that this year the Ulema, Khutba, Zakireen and the common people would show exemplary cooperation to make the Majalis safe. Maulana said that as per fatawa of Mujtahids, “we should behave very responsibly and mourn in our own homes as much as possible by using modern means of communication like TV, internet & social media so that the spread of virus and the loss of lives can be prevented,”

JKIM also issued a set of guidelines which stress on small and short duration majalis at the local levels with strict adherence to the following points:

– Short mourning majalis with all necessary precautions should be organized at the local level in the neighborhoods and villages in which only known and limited number of people will participate as it is possible to identify suspicious people at the local level.

– Sick, elderly people and children should be barred from attending these majalis and they will be restricted to home majalis only.

– Before entering the Majlis, the believers, although they usually perform Wuzu, should still wash their hands and use hand Sanitizers.

– Everyone should wear a mask & no one should be allowed to enter without a mask.

– Physical distancing should be maintained in the majalis.

– Majalis will be short and will start and end on time.

– Locally licensed traditional processions will be carried out with necessary precautions with respect to physical distancing and hand sanitizers and masks must be made available during these processions.

Muharram marks the remembrance of Imam Hussain the grandson of Holy Prophet (SAW).  Imam Hussain was killed in the plains of Karbala and Shia Muslims across world hold mourning ceremonies in his remembrance. In Kashmir, the main processions that would be taken out in the capital city of Srinagar stand banned since 1990.

This will be the second year that Kashmiri Shia Muslims will have to observe a restricted Muharram. Last year Muharram processions that are usually taken out in the interiors of city and other areas were also banned and strict curfew was imposed in many parts of the valley on 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Muharram. 



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