Every day there is a beeline of visitors outside the gate of Mirwaiz’s house in Nigeen – men, women, children, clerics, youth, elderly, neighbours, traders and the Mirwaiz family’s supporters. Some arrive from various parts of the city while others are from the countryside – south as well as north Kashmir. Mirwaiz was overwhelmed with the response of the people.
Guests throng the residence of chief cleric and Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq even after 10 days, after he was released from his house detention of over four years on September 22.
Every day there is a beeline of visitors outside the gate of Mirwaiz’s home in Nigeen – men, women, children, clerics, youth, elderly, neighbours, traders and the Mirwaiz family’s supporters. Some arrive from various parts of the city while others are from the countryside – south as well as north Kashmir. Mirwaiz was overwhelmed with the response of the people. “After so much time, people are coming to visit. Ulemas, common man- men, women and children – from all over the Valley from as far as Shopian in the south and Handwara in the north are pouring in. It is overwhelming. I hardly get time to offer prayers,” he said.
He said that he was getting feedback from the people. “I want to listen to my people keenly,” he said.
A 21-year-old man, doing his graduation in arts from a city college, was elated by Mirwaiz’s release. “I offer Friday prayers in Jamia Masjid every time he delivers sermons in the mosque. The four years of his detention were painful for us. I came running when I heard about his release,” he said.
Mirwaiz Manzil, a social and religious institution run by Mirwaiz family, said on X that since the release of Mirwaiz, young, old, men, women, kids, traders, civil society,and ulemas, are meeting him continuously at his Nigeen residence.
After more than four years of house arrest, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was allowed to move out of his house and deliver the Friday sermon at the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on September 22.
Mirwaiz was put under house arrest ahead of the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A on August 5, 2019. His release came weeks after he served a legal notice to the lieutenant governor administration over his house detention and denial to visit the Jamia Masjid since 2019.
He has been leading the prayers and delivering Friday sermons at Jamia Masjid as part of the Mirwaiz’s family tradition. A postgraduate and PhD in Islamic studies, Mirwaiz is often listed among the 500 most influential Muslims globally by Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre based in Amman Jordan in collaboration with Georgetown University.
In these 10 days, besides delivering sermons during two Fridays, he went out on two occasions. On September 30, he delivered a Nikah sermon in city outskirts Lal Bazar and a day earlier, he laid the foundation of Noor-ul-Islam Oriental college in old city Rajouri Kadal.