SRINAGAR: Amid several mourning gatherings that take place in the month of Muharram across Kashmir, very less is known about a small hamlet—Khusipora—in HMT area of Srinagar’s outskirts, which hosts one of the largest Muharram mourning congregations in Srinagar on 14th day of Muharram.
The residents of the area said that they have an age-old tradition to host the mourners on the 14th of Muharram, saying that people specially from the Shia community– Imamiya School of thought would come to their village from every nook and corner of the valley.
“Hosting mourners on the 14th of Muharram is a privilege and honour for us, every household in the area makes arrangements for the food and tea as the area hosts people in thousands,” a local resident, Bashir Ahmad said.
Kifyat Hussain, village head of the area said for the first time after the death of Moulana Ifthikar Hussian Ansari, they hosted one of the largest gatherings and estimated that above 50,000 people had gathered in the area.
“We are an area that has around 450 households and on every 14th Muharram every household makes the preparation for hosting the guests, who would come to take part in the mourning gathering,” said Hussain.
He said that after Zadibal in Srinagar, the religious gathering is the largest in the district and that their area ensures everyone is served with love and respect.
“We have a brotherhood in the area and that should precedence, as Muslim brothers from the Sunni community in our area would come to our house to serve the guests on the 14th of Muharram. This is how we live in our area,” Hussain said.
Sumair Javid, a young boy from the Sunni Muslim community has a yearly routine to come to his friend’s place to lend a helping hand in serving lunch and tea to a massive gathering of more than 2000 people.
“This is a yearly routine for me; this house belongs to my friend. Personally, for me this is a moment of happiness as this should reflect that we don’t belong to sects but to one human race,” he said.
Ejaz Ahmad, another volunteer with a group of more Sunni boys, said that he renders himself available for volunteer service on the 14th of Muharram every year, with the purpose that the Muslims are one.
“I don’t believe in sects, this area is in my neighbourhood, and since the time has become mature I take part happily on this day to ensure my part of service to my neighbours and this gives me happiness,” he said—(KNO)