‘Religious place for women’: Art, poetry, workshop organized to discuss social evils in Kashmir RS News

Srinagar: People from different walks of life today participated in a workshop to discuss art and religious places for women in the Kashmir Valley.

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The session was organized to mark the 40-day mourning period of Ashura on the concluding day of the week-long exhibition ‘Mashq-e-Arbin’.

Syeda Zehra, a research scholar and organizer of ‘Majlis’ for women in Muharram, said she has always been a pioneer in organizing religious events and will continue to do so.

Women have always organized separate Majlis during Muharram in Kashmir. In the past, the Majlis was confined to preaching and praise recitation. Now, it begins with a series of hadiths followed by the reading of the Quran, and then verses are also recited in the women’s Majlis. In today’s context, gatherings to be held should continue to encourage women’s participation,” she said during a session organized by Educational Revival Through Arts and Aesthetics (EDRAC) at Mahatma Studios.

“At Majlis, we also talk about social evils and other issues faced by the community. God willing, these Majlis will continue and women will continue to occupy religious places,” she said.

Saba Riaz, an art lover and a doctoral scholar in statistics from the University of Kashmir, said she drew inspiration from Zainab bint Ali (AS) while battling for greater participation of women in religious and other aspects of life.

“Our source of inspiration is Syeda Zainab (AS) who started the tradition of Azadi. He kept Karbala alive in humanity through his speech after the tragedy of Karbala. She is the best example for all the women in the world. Women have important roles to play in all aspects of life: at home, at work, in the community, at the university, in our centers and mosques,” she said.

“More opportunities and positions should be created for women to take leadership roles to help our communities grow in all positive areas. We need confidence, and incidents like these are a source of our grooming. We must not underestimate our strength even in the most difficult times!”

Dr. Ilyas Rizvi, founder of Edrak, said that Shia women have already started to play a leading role in religious and other events.

“Shia women have always played a leading role in the tradition of independence. Imam Bargah Zadibal has been the first Imam Bargah where the Zenana Majlis started where a Zakira recite Kashmiri Mersiya like men. Where older generation women perform Marsia Khwani While busy, the new generation is experimenting with a new style of poetry, Nauha Khawani, art, calligraphy etc,” he said.

He said that the week-long ‘Mashq-e-Arbin’ also saw the active participation of women.

“During the Arabian Heritage Walk, women actively participated and we also had the works of women artists and calligraphers displayed in the exhibition. We ended the exhibition with a session with a women’s group. He talked about art, places for women in Kashmir… especially religious places,” Rizvi said.

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