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India disallows Jumu’at Al-Wida prayer in Srinagar’s historic Jamia mosque

On April 5th, India shut down the historic Jamia Masjid, the center of religious life for Kashmiri Muslims, on the last Friday of Ramadan. 

Jumu’at Al-Wida is the last Friday prayer or Jumu’ah; Wida means end referring to the end of Ramadan. The last Friday of Ramadan is a holy day for Muslims. 

The chief Imam of the mosque, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was also put under house-arrest by India and not allowed to leave his home to reach the mosque. 

The mosque gate was locked and heavy military placed outside it, who forcibly sent back all the worshippers who had reached the mosque to observe the holy day. 

India sees the mosque as a contentious spot – a historical nerve center for peaceful protests for self-determination that challenge New Delhi’s occupation of Kashmir. For Kashmiri Muslims, the mosque is a sacred place where they offer mandatory prayers on Fridays and also raise their voices for political and civil rights.

For Kashmiri Muslims, the mosque’s closure brings painful memories from oppressive regimes of the past. In 1819, for example, the oppressive Sikh rulers closed the mosque for 21 years. During the past 15 years, the mosque has been subject to recurrent bans and lockdowns by successive Indian governments. 


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