Jahangeer Ganaie

Hundreds converge at Ashmuqam, participate in traditional ‘Zool’ ritual

Hundreds converge at Ashmuqam, participate in traditional ‘Zool’ ritual
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Aishmuqam: Hundreds of devotees on Saturday thronged the holy shrine of Sufi saint Sakhi Zainuddin Wali (RA) in Aishmuqam where they performed the traditional ‘Zool’ ritual.
The ritual is being performed by devotees as a mark of respect for the saint as it is held to mark the beginning of the agricultural activity after a prolonged winter season.
The Sufi saint is believed to have settled in Aishmuqam and is said to have gone into deep meditation inside the cave and battled a demon that was petrifying the villagers.
To celebrate his victory, people assemble every year and light up their wooden torches and oil lamps.
More than hundred staircases, leading to the shrine, are also lit up by the devotees on the occasion.
People enter the cave mausoleum seeking the saint’s blessings to end their miseries, said a devotee, Mohammad Shaban.
For the thousands of pilgrims who gather at Ashmuqam, the annual torch festival also symbolizes the end of the long winter and the beginning of the new sowing season.
People from different communities too visit the shrine to spread message of communal harmony and brotherhood, added Shaban.

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