Al-Qadr, the holiest of the holy nights was at its peak bloom with Allah Almighty promisingly showering His endless blessings to His Ummah and Angels waiting desperately to deliver Allah`s splendid tidings to the God-fearing people.
Alhamdulillah!! The blessed night this time culminated all in peace unlike last year which sends chill down my spine when recollected. I still remember it was the same feverish night previous year when people were all preparing to keep themselves awoke for the whole night in the remembrance of their lord. I too joined the fervor and reaped the opportunity to grab the benediction of Allah and moved to a famous local Mosque. The Masjid was presenting its best grandeur, fully bulged with an Armstrong number of Muslim brethren. Fortunately I also got myself seated somewhere on the second floor. Soon after I rested myself in the mosque, the ‘Taraweeh Nimaz’ commenced and lasted calmly for about two hours and with that it was 1`o`clock in the midnight. After that we had a relaxation for having some refreshment outside. As soon as we stepped out of the Masjid we heard half a dozen rounds of gun shots from a nearby area following which a hullabaloo engulfed us all. Despite this, the event couldn’t halt the holy night probably because of the extreme spirit shown by the crowd.
|Photograph by: Faisal Khan|
After the break, Imam Sahib started the relic sermon quoting Qur`anic verses and Sahih hadith. As I arrived back in the mosque I found myself in a weepy environment with everyone shedding tears in pursuit of Allah`s mercy. This turned me too to holler over my sins and I realized I was so weak-kneed before my Mighty lord. Every single Nimazi was weeping blood from his eyes and the reasons were many. On one hand people were striving for chiseling away their sinful past and on the other hand the tribulations in Kashmir forced them to do so.
I could clearly feel the broken hearts and the disturbed souls around my presence. Anyone could easily read the contents of their disturbed minds and wounded hearts. It was all about Kashmir, which was bleeding for more than two months now.
Following this mawkish situation, Imam started supplicating some Duas. Now it was around 3am and everyone was feeling tired and heavy-eyed and as such I like most of my peers were just iterating “Aameen” in a parrot fashion in response to each Dua. Period!!! Once Molvi sahib uttered idioms like “Bharatas shikas” and “Aazaadi”, the entire Masjid reverberated with a loud “Aameen” as if everyone had got rejuvenated by some supernatural energy.
Now all of us arose for the ‘witr’ prayer and the bewail atmosphere engulfed us again. As we stated the ‘Dua’ in the last ‘raka`t’, no one could hold his tears. ‘Iman sahib’ recited the ‘Dua’ in Arabic and likewise all the followers iterated “Aameen” in response. I too kept repeating “Aameen” like a yes-man without understanding its meaning. But all what I comprehend from the ‘DUA’ was a phrase that I was well aware of; “Kashmir.” I recognized that the ‘Imam Sahib’ might have included some special ‘duas’ for Kashmir. I failed to understand anything beyond the term “Kashmir” but that was far enough for me and others like me to cry with pain. The ‘Dua’ lasted for about 20 min and during that time I was lost in some nostalgia of my bleeding Kashmir as if someone has roll backed the time. During the trance, I recollected every single innocent victim of the atrocities. I felt the pain of ‘Tufail Mattoo’ and the other tots like him who tasted the unpleasant brutal death. I also saw Asiya and Neelofar crying for justice yet I hadn’t ever seen them in my reality. Further I heard the yelling sounds of Sameer Rah who was crushed under jackboots.
In the meantime I forgot seeking forgiveness for myself but the only thing that kept circulating my head was the rueful story of Kashmiris. Everyone like me mourned the trauma, yowling loudly to allay their sorrows.
The situation soon turned into a mourning site as we prostrated for the last ‘Sajda’ which lasted for about 20 minutes. Yes I repeat 20 minutes. And this was the incident that marked the magnitude of the whole night. Everyone despite of the age and the level of god consciousness was equally crying out. At one time I thought why ‘Imam sahib’ is not responding from the prostration as if he might have turned unconscious. But very soon my opinion was turned wrong when the microphone started catching the howling sounds from the Imam and other nearby wailing men. All this turned the event into a sorrowful occasion as if everyone was mourning for someone`s death (God forbid).
Finally the ‘Nimaz’ finished with peace and everyone got relieved to some extent from the heartaches and despair. Very soon as people were moving out for their residences, a curfew announcement was made and soon people fastened to their homes.
Photograph by: Faisal Khan
Author: Abdul Wajid Parray
Photograph by: Faisal Khan