Wednesday, February 21, 2007
When woodcutters began felling a tree inside the compound of a Sufi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir last week, they were surprised to find 'impressions of Quranic verses' on the wood.
It was divine intervention against cutting of trees!
Or so many Kashmiris are beginning to believe after visiting Sufi saint Syed Shah Farid-ud-Din's shrine in Achu Gudool village in Kokernag, 72 km from Srinagar.
Hundreds of people are flocking to the south Kashmir site where the saint, originally from the Kishtwar sub-district of the Jammu region, is buried.
Besides the Quranic verses, the pieces of wood from the age-old willow tree felled were also said to carry impressions of a skull cap, a lamp and a prayer mat.
Last week the managing committee of the Sufi shrine decided to fell some willow trees inside the shrine compound. But when woodcutters felled the first willow, they were stunned by what appeared inside.'As the woodcutter chopped the wood into four pieces he was stunned.
On one piece of wood were written verses of the holy Quran. On the second piece there was the impression of a prayer mat used by devout Muslims to offer the namaz,' said Muhammad Amin, the contractor entrusted with the duty of felling the trees.'The third piece bore the impressions of a skull cap worn at the time of the namaz and the fourth piece bore the impressions of an oil lamp which visitors light at the shrine.'
Immediately after the discovery of the miracle impressions, the shrine committee members stopped the tree felling work.As penance for ordering the tree felling, they removed the pieces of the felled willow tree to a compound in the shrine. And visitors have been thronging to see the miracle impressions.'
Hundreds of believers are now visiting the shrine daily to see for themselves the miracle impressions. It is clearly a message for all of us. The saint does not approve of any tree felling,' said Ali Muhammad, 49, a resident of the village.
Kashmir has seen the indiscriminate felling of trees in the last two decades.