Tuesday, October 11, 2005

From the Time

"The catastrophe prompted scenes of dread and supplication unusual even for strife-torn Kashmir. Families wandered the streets, refusing to return to their homes. Children and women wailed in the open. Schools, whose examination halls had been filled with students taking their high school diplomas, were deserted, answer sheets scattered on the floor. When the tremors hit, people rushed screaming into the street. When they found open ground, families began offering special naful prayers, while others knelt on the roadside and began reciting the Quran. Loudspeakers in the mosques urged the faithful to seek forgiveness. "I thought doomsday had fallen," said Abdur Rashid Hajjam, as he came out of prayers at a Sufi shrine. "Pray for our brethren who died today and thank Allah for we are safe," said the imam at Illahi Bagh mosque on the outskirts of Srinagar, which lies in Indian-ruled Kashmir. "Whatever the scientists say, our Prophet said that when this earth is replete with sin, this would happen." As evening fell, the thanksgiving prayer, Nimaz-e-shukrana, echoed from every mosque in Kashmir. "
Yousuf Jameel reporting in Time mag.

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