KARACHI: Disappointed by the abundance of assurances but lack of action by the authorities to end violence in the city, some residents have now turned to faith to help keep themselves safe.
The women of Surjani Town have mobilised to hold Quran Khwanis. Similar sittings are also being held in Qasba Colony, different parts of Orangi Town, Mominabad, Shah Faisal Colony and old city areas.
Safina, a resident of Orangi Town said, “Seeking Allah’s blessings and protection never lets you down.” Reciting the Ayat-e Karima, is the prime choice for such prayer gatherings. It roughly translates to “There is no God but You, You are exalted and above all weaknesses, and I am a wrongdoer.” A text message with these verses is also circulating the city.
A self-proclaimed Sufi, Shah Sahab, from Korangi has conducted many special spiritual sittings with his devotees in Orangi Town. The participants in the sessions repeatedly recite one of God’s names, “Al-Quddoos” (The Pure One), for protection from kidnapping.
Preachers of two particular schools of thought have organised special sessions in mosques in their neighbourhoods. The participants recite the Darood, a prayer which asks for blessings from God for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is a common belief that a person is blessed ten times for asking for blessings for the Prophet (pbuh).
The humans (read government) may have disappointed so far in trying to end the killings. But many and increasingly hoping that these simple acts of faith will give the residents of violence-torn areas something to hold on to, especially the hope that the next day might just better than the last.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2011.
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