In a sight, which can only be witnessed in India, scores of Muslims kneeled down to offer namaz in the courtyard of a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Setting an example of communal harmony and national unity, Hindu locals of Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr, opened up the temple for their Muslim brothers, when they couldn’t reach the mosque in time due to excessive traffic.
The Sunday was the last day of Tabligi Iztema’, a three-day Islamic congregation. Thousands of Muslims had gathered at Bulandshahr to offer namaz, however a few got stucked in the traffic. When they shared their tale with local Hindus, they decided to take up the matter with administrators of a nearby Hindu temple.
Together, they decided to throw open the temple gate for the Muslims. Soon, the Shiva temple’s water taps were opened for ‘wazu’ and mats were laid for namaz in its courtyard.
“The message of love and brotherhood should spread far and wide. Some Muslim brothers got stuck in the traffic jam here and it was namaaz time. Since there wasn’t any other place for them to offer prayers, we opened the gate of the Shiva temple and asked them to come in,” said Amar Singh, the priest of the Shiva temple. Meanwhile, the Muslims also thanked the temple priest and villagers.
“So many Muslims were in the city on Sunday for ‘Tabligi Iztema’. When some of them came to us and requested to offer prayers inside the temple premises, there was no way we could have refused. Love is prayer and prayer is love, and we just did our little bit,” said Chaudhary Sahab Singh, a member of the temple management committee.
Village pradhan Ganga Prasad said: “The villagers sat and decided this together. It was decided in unison to open the temple gate.”
(With inputs from agencies)