Restriction of Religious Rights on Juma-tul-vida: Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s Protest Against Authorities’ Actions

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Denounces Government’s Lockdown of Jama Masjid and House Arrest, Urges Support for Palestine and Kashmiri Prisoners in Social Media Address*

Srinagar,Apr 05: On the very significant religious occasion of Juma-tul-vida Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was put under house arrest and not allowed to go to Jama Masjid and Jama Masjid was also locked for Namaz by the authorities. A press conference was called by the Mirwaiz at his residence in this regard which was again disallowed by authorities. Following is the text of the video message the Mirwaiz released on social media .


Today on the auspicious occasion of Juma tul-vida I would like to greet you and the Muslim ummah . It would have been a different experience if I could extend this greeting to you in person at Jama Masjid and you would be there to receive it . But for the fifth Consecutive year ,the state authorities have once again locked the gates of historic and central Jama masjid Srinagar and put me under house arrest. Juma-tul-vida has a great significance for us Muslims as it is a day of special prayers and supplications, to seek forgiveness, blessings, and mercy from Allah as the month of Ramadan nears its end, and offering prayers at the central Jamia masjid on the last Friday of Ramzan has great reward and favour with Allah . So Lakhs of people , including men women and children, from near and far ,from all districts of the valley , from rural and remote areas come to Jama Masjid on this day to participate in this specially blessed and rewarding Friday congregational prayer which comes once in a year.


It is extremely sad and unfortunate that the authorities snatched this opportunity from us and forcibly locked the gates of Jama Masjid not allowing this great religious congregation to take place , causing great distress, anguish and pain to you and me . We the People of Jammu Kashmir protest this authoritarianism and direct violation of our religious rights.

Repeatedly this centre of Islam in Kashmir is subject to enforced lockdowns by the authorities. And repeatedly I am put under house arrest on Fridays to prevent me from going to Jama Masjid . Each Friday is a day of uncertainty and anxiety for me as I do not know if I will be allowed to go to Jama Masjid or not depending on the will of the authorities. A few hours before noon I am conveyed what that decision is and if I can go to Jama Masjid or not . This is the most arbitrary and authoritarian way to function and is highly regrettable.

But as the Quran preaches “innallaha-maas-sabireen” Undoubtedly Allah is with the patient !so we have to follow this path of being patient.

Today we are all painfully aware of the great suffering that the people of Palestine are going through. Let us remember them in our prayers today that may Allah ease their suffering and pain and deliver them justice . Let us also remember thousands of our youth and political prisoners, leaders languishing in jail for years and pray for their health and early release .


May Allah protect all of us and have mercy upon us


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