Anjuman-e-Sharie Shian`s guidelines over How to Hold Muharram Rituals amid Covid-19

wilayattimes (Jammu and Kashmir)

Srinagar | WTNS | August 14:President Jammu and Kashmir Anjuman-e-Sharie Shian, Hujtul Islam Wal Muslimeen Aga Syed Hassan Mosavi Al-Safavi presided over an high level online meeting through video conferencing on August 12, 2020. The meeting was attended by the Anjuman’s Executive Council, representative of the General Council, Ulema Council, Youth Wing and all District President  also participated.In this regards the organization issued a complete draft of guidelines regarding Muharram rituals amid pandemic.

In a statement to Wilayat Times, Anjuman’s spokesperson said since the issue is sensitive and has religious complications and emotional charge, the deliberations were done on every aspect on the conduct of the Muharram 1442/2020 in the extra ordinary circumstances created by the pandemic.

“However, the meeting was conducted under the light of the stances taken by the Mara’ajaz in Iraq and Iran and fatwas and advisories issued by the Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Imam Syed Ali Khamenei and Grand Ayatollah Syed Ali Hussaini Sistani”. Spokesperson added

The logistics was examined and pressed that Anjuman QRT will be activated on the Muharram duty across Kashmir and 14 for 14 formula will be practiced according to the Special Operation Procedure SOPs.

Although the Muharram is only being down-scaled to prevent communication of the disease but in addition we will do every sought of Zzadari and pay tribute to the Great Martyrs of Karbala at our homes.

Spokesperson concluded In this background, unanimously the resolution was passed and rectified by the President of the organization that Congregations and Processions will be held but in strict affinity with the guidelines.

READ THE COMPLETE DRAFT OF GUIDELINES ISSUED BY J&K ANJUMAN-E-SHARIE SHIAN LED BY AGA SYED HASSAN ALMOAVI:

The world is undergoing a Pandemic that has already consumed numerous precious human lives, made endless vulnerable and multiplied pain and human sufferings to an elevated point.  The COVID-19 is said to be the novel virus and its changing character has still hindered to guess its universal behaviour. The International health bodies like World Health Organization issued advisories of precautions to the national governments. The forums and health practitioners and scholars of epidemiological studies, virus studies, Medical science and other related bodies and sciences unanimously underlined on its lethal character.

However, unanimously it was established that in the absence of the cure for the deadly disease, precaution is the key. In the COVID outbreak considering the seriousness of the matter the Ulema specially the Mujtahids in Iraq and Iran issued advisories that emphasized that all believers must follow the Standard Operation Procedure SOPs of the informed and knowledgeable bodies. This includes vast written and verbal advisories of Ayatollah Syed Ali Husseini Sistani, Ayatollah Syed Ali Khamenei (who himself supervised response to COVID in Islamic Republic of Iran), among others.

In this background, In Muslim world the congregational religious activities were suspended. The suspension was intended to restrain the possible communication of the disease in these gatherings. Islamic Republic of Iran was first to close the holy shrines for large gatherings as the country was among the first few countries to be hit by the spread coronavirus. The step proved timely and was was followed in Iraq by closing the holy shrines in Najaf and Karbala. Later on on the occasion of Hajj, safety was assured by downsizing the number of the hajis, which resulted in lakhs of the Hajis abandon practice of Hajj in this pandemic.

The dilemma in this pandemic is about the Muharram 1442/2020; the believers are anxious about the practice of this great religious duty that has remained uninterrupted from the 7th century CE. We consider this Muharram has brought more responsibilities to us and whatever we have been trained by the message of Muharram, its test has started. Keeping this under consideration the organization already started deliberation, consultation and discussion on the structure of the Muharram. Wherein, we unanimously agreed that abandoning the practice of Azadari is not possible. Therefore, a model is prepared that will be suitable in these times of great epidemic. It includes:

(1)Downscaling

(2)Sanitizing

(3)Going digital

(4)Participation from home and

(5)Supervision

(6)Coordination

Establishment of Special QRT of the Jammu and Kashmir Anjuman-e-Sharie Shian to execute the plan.

(1)Every Mohallah and village across Kashmir will have QRTs that will be responsible for Downscaling the gatherings in proportion with the area of the place where azadari will take place.

(2)During the congregation/procession it is required to maintain distance of 6 feet from each other.

(3)Mourners (Azadars) should wear mask and keep sanitizer along while in congregation/processions.

(4)Zakir and Khateebs should make people aware about COVID-19 Norms and Protocols.

(5)Zakir and Khateebs will be requested to follow downscaling of Majlis in terms of number and time, opting for social media majorly .Duration of Majlis should not exceed beyond 1 and half hour.

(6)No sound system in Congregations and Procession.

(7)Procession should start after Nimaz-i- Zohar and culminate before Nimaz-i- Magrib.

(8)Jaloos-e-Aza should continuously move towards culmination point while reciting Nowhas without halting in mid-way covering distance for half an hour.

(9)The time will be reduced to the half or even less if necessary and the event will be telecasted on the social media for participation from home.

(10)For the Procession, 14 people will stand with distance of 6 feet and distance between each Dayiras be 14 meters.

(11)Mourners should Ziyarat Tabrukats from a distance and touching should not be permitted.

(12)For Nazar and Niyaaz, People are required to downscale invitees to ¼ of what used to be. During Nazar and Niyaz physical distance are to be maintained.

(13)In Sabeel Gahs, only packed drinking water and other eatables should be kept and distributed while maintaining proper distance.

(14)Old age persons, women’ and children of the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home and use social media for listening sermons.

(15)Imam Bargas and places where Majalis are held are to be sanitized should be done at regular intervals.

(16)Large congregational gathering shall not be allowed inside premises.

(17)Proper disposal of face covers/masks, gloves and other leftovers by the Azadars should be ensured.

(18)Those who attended the Majlis on one day will not be allowed for physical participation the next day.

(19)Participants will be picked by the QRT that are healthier with lower vulnerabilities.

(20)Every home will spread the ‘Farshe Aza’ so every home will serve as the mourning place.

(21)Every Majlis will have thermometer and sanitizer and no Azadar will be allowed to enter without a proper mask and hand gloves.

(22)For the processions, 14 people will stand with distance of 6feet covering some distance for half an hour and culminating.

(23)No congestion will be allowed to create and roads will be cleared for the processions of 14 for 14.

(24)Zakirs and vaizs will be requested to follow downscaling of Majlis in terms of number and time, opting for social media majorly.

(25)Donation of blood and aid-relief to COVID effected patients and families will be encouraged.

The Muharram is this pandemic is testing us in many ways and our efforts should be minimizing the human suffering. The soul of mourning is same but we have to be strategic today and still not abandon practice of Azadari with sense of responsibility.

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