Harmony News: Muslims offer Eid prayers at gurdwara in U'khand town

Courtesy Navjeevan Gopal : The Indian Express,

Published: Aug 23 2012


About 800 Muslims offered Eid prayers at a gurdwara in Joshimath in Uttarakhand on Monday after incessant rainfall prevented them from praying at a ground which they normally used for prayers in the absence of a mosque there.

Following heavy rainfall, members of the Muslim community requested the manager of Gurdwara Joshimath, Buta Singh, to allow them to hold Eid prayers in the gurdwara. Buta Singh obliged. “It was raining heavily that day and there was mud and water all around Gandhi ground, where we used to hold prayers. Usually, if Gandhi ground is not available, we use a Nagar Palika hall to offer prayers, but as a large number of people had gathered on the occasion of Eid, it could not have accommodated us all. So we requested Buta Singhji to allow us to use the gurdwara premises to offer our Eid namaaz,” said Saleem, a member of the local Muslim Committee, over phone from Joshimath.

“The gurdwara management's decision to allow us to perform namaaz has set an example of bonhomie and brotherhood. Here at Joshimath, people are not divided on the lines of caste and religion,” Saleem said.

Buta Singh said the gurdwara management's decision sent out the right message. “God is one but is worshipped in different ways. So when the Muslim community requested to offer namaaz in the gurdwara, we allowed them. It sent a message of communal harmony.”

Joshimath SHO Pratap Singh Chauhan, who stood guard along with other policemen from the local police station as the namaaz was on, said Joshimath has set the right example.

Buta Singh said police stood guard to counter any “untoward incident that might have been triggered by miscreants”.

After offering prayers, the Muslim community distributed sewian on the road outside the gurdwara.

The highest temporal seat of Sikhs, Akal Takht, and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee are, however, not thrilled. “What the local Sikhs did depending upon the circumstances is good as far as promoting goodwill is concerned, but Sikh maryada should also be looked into. It is something to be looked into by Sikh clergy,” said SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar.

“The matter would be discussed in the meeting of five Sikh high priests,” said Akal Takht chief Giani Gurbachan Singh.




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