Srinagar: Social media fever appears to have gripped clerics in Kashmir.
Several mosques and shrines have started live streaming Friday sermons through social media channels.
The sermons mostly streamed on Facebook are getting a good number of views and people are also posting positive comments. However, the clerics in Kashmir seem to be divided whether it was a good trend or not.
The most visible among those who stream Friday sermons live include the Facebook pages of the ‘Peer Dastegeer Sahib (Rahmatullah) shrine at Sarai Payeen Mahraj Bazar Amira Kadal’, ‘Scholars Of Kashmir – Ahlus Sunnah Media Forum’ and ‘Allama Owais Qadri’ from Magraypora in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
During the live streaming of these sermons, several netizens post comments telling the clerics to remember them in prayers.
“ALLAH BLESS YOU PLEASE PRAY FOR ME I AM HEART PATIENT (sic),” wrote Abdur Rafee Sheikh.
Another netizen Bilal Rather commented: “Dua main yaad rakhna (remember in prayers).”
However, not all religious heads are in favour of live streaming of Friday sermons in Kashmir.
“This is pure biddat and should be stopped. They are trying to imitate the live coverage from Mecca. There is no need for local mosques to have live streaming of Friday sermons,” Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema J&K (MMU) secretary Maulana Syed Rehman Shams told The Kashmir Monitor.
The secretary of the MMU, which is an amalgam of several religious organisations, further said it was not good to ‘show off’.
Another cleric wishing not to be named too said there was no need to have live streaming of Friday sermons. However, he said other religious functions at shrines like ‘ziyarat’ can be streamed live for those who believe in such ceremonies.
“Friday sermons are supposed to be heard in the mosque. Instead of listening on Facebook, people should go to the mosque. I am surprised when I see later that men even have commented on Facebook during Friday prayer time. Ideally, they should have been in the mosque at that point of time. As far as other functions that are usually held in shrine premises like ‘ziyarat’ etc are concerned, these can be streamed live for those who believe in such ceremonies. Such ceremonies are held before or after regular prayers and not necessarily on Fridays. Rest, it is a debatable topic,” he said.