The 452 Urs of Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom, popularly known as Makhdoom Sahib was Monday celebrated with religious fervor at his shrine in Makhdoom Sahib here. Thousands of devotees including men, women and children across the Valley thronged the shrine and held night long prayers despite sub-zero temperature. Congregational prayers were offered by several thousand people, who converged from different parts of the Valley to the famous shrine and held special prayers for the peace and prosperity of the region. The devotees offered Durud (praises to prophet Muhammad (SAW) while head cleric of the shrine threw light on the contributions by the saint in spreading Islam in Jammu and Kashmir. While talking to KNS, the devotees paid glowing tributes to Makhdoom Sahab on the special occasion and said the shrine had been a source of inspiration and spiritual guidance for all the devotees visiting the shrine. The holy relics of the revered saint were displayed after every prayer during the day and devotees were seen waiting eagerly after prayers to have a glimpse of the holy relics. Scores of non-Muslims were also seen visiting the shrine throughout the day. Apart from religious places the area has its historical importance as the first fortifications on the site were constructed by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1590. Akbar built an outer wall for the fort, and planned a new capital called Nager Nagor to be built within the wall. In 1808 under the reign of Shuja Shah Durrani, the present fort was built. Meanwhile, scores of temporary stalls were erected on both the sides of lanes leading to the ‘respected shrine’ selling different types of sweets, confectionery items and other eatables apart from traditional and other goods.
2015 Kashmir Despatch