Historic Shrine of Hazrat Syed Baba Naseeb ud Deen Gazi in Eidgah, Sangam Set Ablaze: Community in Mourning and Protest

Today, the entire Shahar Khass area, home to the Hanafi Sufiyat community, was engulfed in mourning and protests from early morning following the devastating news that the holy shrine of Hazrat Syed Baba Naseeb ud Deen Gazi, located alongside the Hanafi Jamia Mosque Sangam in Eidgah Srinagar, had been set on fire. Distinctive Tasawuf scholars, including Renzushah, Adil Noorani, and Ab. Ahad Makhdoomi, along with thousands of Aishiqaan e Rasool devotees, rushed to the shrine upon hearing the news.

Protesters raised slogans demanding the exposure of those responsible for previous incidents, including the 1962 theft of Moi e Muqadas, the burning of the Chrar Sharief Gousul Azam shrine, and the destruction of numerous other shrines, particularly the iconic Shrine of Hazrat Reshi Gazi.

The entire holy edifice of the shrine, including the Roza Sharief sanctum sanctorum and invaluable religious and Tasawuf books, were destroyed in the fire, which locals believe was deliberately set by enemies of Tasawuf. A previous attempt to set the shrine on fire had occurred just days before Eid, but it was detected and controlled by a devotee and local residents.

The incident was reported to the nearby police station, and an FIR was lodged. Distinguished Sufi scholars, including Farooq Renzushah, chairman of Jamaat Aitqaad Hanafiya International, Mirwaiz Adil Noorani, and others, visited the shrine, urging for the protection of all Sufi shrines in Kashmir. They offered prayers at the holy Gazi shrine and inspected the damage.

Despite these measures, the perpetrators succeeded in setting the shrine and two holy Chinar trees ablaze. The incident brought the Shahar Khass area, especially Eidgah, to a standstill as numerous devotees gathered at the site.

In a statement, Khwajah Farooq Renzushah, Mirwaiz Adil Noorani, and Abdul Ahad Makhdoomi condemned the repeated attacks on Sufi shrines in Kashmir since the theft of the holy relic in 1962. They called for calm and peaceful responses, emphasizing that the Aitqaad community does not believe in violence and urging authorities to apprehend the culprits without delay.

Renzushah highlighted the pattern of political cover-ups in similar past incidents, mentioning the protection given to the sub-inspector involved in the burning of the Chrar Sharief shrine and the repeated targeting of the Dastageer shrine in Khanyar. He also pointed out other attacks on shrines and mosques in the region.

On March 9, 2012, Renzushah himself was targeted in an attack after displaying a holy relic at the Dastageer Sahib shrine. Other shrines, including Hazrat Bhagdadi in Qazigund and a 13th-century Hanafi mosque in Jamalata, have also been desecrated.

Distinguished personalities appealed for peace and urged authorities to investigate the incident thoroughly. The Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar visited the site, but the absence of the Waqf Board’s Vice Chairman since the earlier attempt on the shrine drew criticism.

Local leaders criticized the Waqf Board for not installing CCTV cameras at the shrine despite its significant income from other properties. They demanded an urgent investigation to identify and prosecute the culprits responsible for the arson.

This tragic incident underscores the need to address radical ideologies that have plagued Kashmir since the 1990s, targeting both Hindu temples and Muslim Sufi shrines. The community called for unity and vigilance in protecting their religious heritage from further attacks.

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