Karnataka Wakf Board forbids congregations in graveyards on Shab-e-Barat

Published : April 08, 2020 14:44 IST

The office of the Karnataka State Board of Wakfs in Bangalore. A file picture. Photo: G.P. Sampath Kumar

The Karnataka State Wakf Board has issued an order that forbids the congregation of Muslims in graveyards on the night of Shab-e-Barat which falls on April 9. Shab-e-Barat is religiously significant for Muslims as it is considered the holy night when destinies are written and sins forgiven. Falling in the middle of the month of Shaban, it is also the harbinger of the holy month of Ramzan which follows Shaban in the Islamic calendar. Special prayers are conducted in mosques after which the devout head to graveyards to pray for their ancestors where there is intense crowding.

Graveyards and mosques are open through the night on Shab-e-Barat. With mosques already shut all over the country, the order was specifically extended to graveyards.

Islahuddin J Gadyal, the chief executive officer, of the Karnataka State Waqf Board said, “No [member of the] public shall be allowed to perform religious rituals in Qabrasthan (Muslim graveyards) and all gates of the graveyards shall remain closed.” The order specifically warns management committees of graveyards, dargahs, and officers of the Wakf Board to scrupulously follow the order, and cautions that “any dereliction in this regard will be viewed seriously”. The order is endorsed by the Imarat-e-Sharia of Karnataka, which is the highest Muslim body of ulema, or clerics, in the State.

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