THE BIZ REPORTER
Srinagar, Sep 20 : In the heart of Srinagar’s Old City, amidst the bustling Khawaja Bazar area, a tradition steeped in history and faith unfolded with unparalleled fervor.
It was the annual observance of ‘Khoja Digger,’ a sacred ritual dating back four centuries, held at the revered Khawaja Naqshband Sahab (RA) shrine.The day was a tapestry of devotion as thousands of faithful devotees from across the Valley converged upon the shrine.
Their souls resonated with the echoes of congregational Asar prayers, a unique ritual known as Khawaja Digar, observed each year on the 3rd of Rabi-ul-Awwal. This day bore the significance of commemorating the annual Urs of the venerated saint, Khawaja Naqshband Sahab (RA).The shrine’s name itself carried the weight of centuries of spirituality, named after the illustrious Bukhara mystic, Khawaja Syed Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari.
But it was the enduring legacy of a humble Islamic cleric, Moulana Sidiq-ul-llah Shah, who initiated the sacred practice four centuries ago at this very shrine, that drew the faithful in such vast numbers.Khawaja Bha-ud-din Naqshband (RA), the revered Saint after whom the shrine was named, had an unwavering devotion to his faith. Throughout his life, he never missed the Asr prayers, the post-afternoon prayers. It was this unwavering commitment to his faith that gave birth to the tradition of ‘Khoja Diggar.’
Every year, on the 3rd of Rabbi-ul-Awwal, devotees would gather here to pay their deepest respects to the saint by offering special prayers at the same time he had devoted himself to his Creator.As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting long shadows upon the shrine, the faithful bowed their heads in prayer. Their voices rose, filling the air with the sweet melodies of devotion. The centuries-old tradition lived on, bridging the gap between the past and the present, reminding everyone that faith, when pure and steadfast, knows no bounds of time.