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Lahore

June 6, 2018
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Thousands sit in Aitkaf in City mosques

Lahore

June 6, 2018

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LAHORE: Millions of believers started observing Aitkaf on Tuesday before Maghrib prayers in thousands of mosques across the country. Aitkaf is the intensive worship after confining oneself into a small place inside the mosque or in the house (for women) throughout the last 10 days of Ramazan and devote oneself for a multitude of worships and prayers to earn the blessings of Almighty Allah. Aitkaf has been the regular practice (Sunnah of the Holy Prophet PBUH) and carries a multitude of blessings of The Almighty which are enviable for their cherished reward in the hereafter and deliverance from all sins in this world.

Considered as the essence of all worships during Ramazan, Aitkaf this year carries more urgency since the entire Ummah particularly Pakistanis are gripped by a number of crises like outages, drought, dearness, and massacre of innocent Muslims in different parts of the world etc. While the US-led Nato forces are killing Muslims in Afghanistan, Washington’s protégé, Israel, is mercilessly annihilating unarmed Palestinians in Gaza, Russia and allied countries are bombing helpless Syrian civilians and Myanmar Buddhists have been massacring Muslim minority with equal hate and mercilessness. Muslim blood is callously shed elsewhere in the world, including Egypt, Iraq, Kashmir, Myanmar, Sudan etc. These hardships are considered as Almighty’s retribution, for which penitence and deliverance is needed more than ever.

Men observe Aitkaf in small cubicles set up by hanging large cloth sheets inside the mosques, whereas women observe it at any corner or quite place in the house which is not frequented by others. Believers will end Aitkaf and come out of their small sanctuaries after the sighting of Eid-ul-Fitr moon.

Mosques in Lahore have been tastefully decorated and places allocated to the worshippers on the first-come-first-served basis because of an ever increasing number of those willing to observe Aitkaf. Normally the mosques invite requests from the worshippers and the committee allocates the places to them for which special arrangements are made inside the mosques by apportioning small cubicles made by hanging cloth sheets.

The worshippers observing Aitkaf spend their time reading Holy Quran, offering Nawafil and praying Almighty for showering His blessings on human beings in general and Muslims in particular. Talking to The News, a worshipper said he intended to offer special prayers for the security and solidarity of Pakistani nation and for resolution of all the crises facing its citizens.

Under the directives of district administration, special security measures have been taken at the mosques to ensure safety of the believers in view of the prevailing law and order. In view of the security arrangements the mosques have also asked the worshippers to submit their particulars, including copy of CNIC to the mosque committees. While more security guards have been deployed for guarding the mosques during the night time, majority of the mosques had collected copies of the identity cards and other particulars from the worshippers before allocating them places. These worshippers are provided Sehri and Iftari by their relatives inside the mosques to facilitate them concentrate on their worship. But as part of worship and regular practice during Ramazan, many philanthropists and common citizens send food items for Sehri and Iftari inside local mosques.

Large city mosques usually become the centre of Aitkaf where thousands of worshippers gather for this religious duty. These mosques include Badshahi Masjid, Data Darbar Masjid, Muslim Masjid, Shadman Masjid, Sunehri Masjid, Lohari, Masjid Shuhada, Mall Road, Jamia Ashrafia, Jamia Naeemia, Minhajul Quran Mosque Baghdad Town etc. The organisers at last mentioned Minhajul Quran Masjid have set up an Aitkaf City at the place and claim that it is the second largest Aitkaf congregation after the holy cities of Makkah and Madina.

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