Thousands offer congregational Khawaja Digar

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq leads prayers at shrine of Naqshband sahib (RA)

ABID BASHIR
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 12 2018 11:50PM | Updated Date: Nov 12 2018 11:50PM
Thousands offer congregational Khawaja DigarPhoto: Habib Naqash/GK

Thousands of people converged at the revered shrine of Hazrat Khawaja Naqshband (RA) at Khawaja Bazar in Downtown here on Monday to offer ‘Khawaja Digar’— the 400-year-old practice of offering congregational Asr (post noon prayers) at the shrine.

Khawaja Digar is offered on 3rd of Rabi-ul-Awal every year, which also marks the commemoration of the annual Urs of the saint of Naqashbandi order. Soon after the prayers, the local Imam of the shrine recited the Awraad-e-Asriya, a booklet comprising verses of repentance and faith), the great sufi saint used to recite along with his hundreds’ of disciples 700 years ago at Bukhara in Uzbekistan.

Hazrat Khawja Bahudin Naqshband (RA) was born in 718 AH at Qasr-i-Arifan, a village in Bukhara. A shrine is dedicated to him at Khawaja Bazar in Downtown, where one of the great saints of Naqshbandi order, Hazrat Moinudin Naqshband (RA) is laid to rest along with his wife and two sons.

The Urs of Hazrat Khwaja Bahaudin (RA) is celebrated on the 3rd Rabi-ul-Awal every year, besides the gatherings for special prayers (khatmat-ul-muazzamat) are held for twelve days--from 21st Safar to 3rd Rabi-ul Awal. These gatherings are held every day at 8 am at Khanqah-i-Naqshbandiya.

Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU) patron and Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq delivered a sermon at the shrine from Zuhr (afternoon) to Asr (mid-day) prayers. Addressing the massive gathering of devotees, Mirwaiz said that the Uswa-e-Hasana (the way of living) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has been and will continue to be the best path to follow and walk upon, not only for Muslims but entire mankind.

He said great Sufi saints like Hazrat Khawaja Bahaudin (RA) were the blessed and chosen ones by Almighty Allah to spread the teachings of the revered Prophet Muhammad (SAW) among people who dedicated their life to it. “Their life is a living example of piety and simplicity. They guided humanity and showed them the spiritual path of getting closer to Almighty Allah and helped to kindle compassion and kindness among them,” the Mirwaiz said. “The light of their teachings and exemplary lives penetrated the darkness of ignorance and doubt.”

On the occasion, Mirwaiz led special touba-e-Istigfaar prayers (repentance prayers) and also offered the Khawaja-e-v (the congregational Asr prayers), a 400 year old practice in Kashmir to remember Hazrat Khawaja Naqshband (RA). Emotional scenes were witnessed during the prayers for repentance.

Thousands of devotees had reached the shrine and they later offered prayers on the road stretch from Nowhatta to Khanyar while as the shrine management committee had laid the prayer mats on the road to avoid inconvenience to the people.

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