The Muslim holy month of Ramzan is here; believers are up with the lark and fast from dawn to dusk to observe the period. Religious beliefs and practices unite people during this time, no matter from where they originate.
Every day, many devotees from nearby and far off areas of Kashmir throng the famous Mosque and Sufi Shrine KhanQah-e-Moula in downtown Srinagar to offer prayers.
The KhanQah of Shah Hamadan (KhanQah-e-Moula) as the shrine is alternatively known, was the first mosque built in Kashmir in 1395 A.D, and is one of the holiest and most alluring mosques in the Kashmir Valley. It is one of the most ancient Muslim shrines and is situated on the banks of river Jhelum. The shrine experiences a huge rush of devotees who come to offer prayers every year during Ramzan.
The KhanQah-e-moula is a wooden structure that recalls its artistry is its richly carved & painted eaves & inner walls with Aurad-e-Fatihya (A special prayer collection compiled by Shah-I-Hamadan) and hanging bells.
The antique chandelier lighting gives it an air of opulence.
Khanqah-e-Moula is on the list of Unesco’s World Heritage Site.
The devastating fire in the year 1480 ruined the shrine which was later reconstructed and restored by the then ruler Sultan Hassan Shah.
The shrine also suffered damages in the powerful earthquake that jolted parts of Jammu and Kashmir on October 26, 2015. Devotees offering prayer panicked and dispersed when earthquake struck KhanQah-e-Moula, one of the oldest shrines. The Minaret of the venerated Sufi Shrine sustained damage in the earthquake.
During the holy month of Ramzan there is a steep increase in devotees rush which continues to increase further. A huge number of devotees including women flock the religious site on the auspicious occasion.
People from nearby areas generally prefer to have Iftaar (the fast breaking meal) here at the Khanqah-e-Moula.
Worshipers take a break from their worldly activities and devote focused time to offer intense prayers here and recite Holy Quran to get peace of heart and mind. The Muslims also recite Naats and sing hyms throughout the day.
Muslim devotees ties a ‘Desh’ or votive threads to the nets around the shrine, in a belief to help them sail through smoothly.
Ramzan is believed to be the most sacred month in the Islamic culture in which Allah opens his doors of mercy, forgiveness and blessings upon his believers. Ramzan is a time to Pray, Fast and Feast!