Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindu festival successful because of Muslim artisans

2014/08/28 Leave a comment

INDORE:  Six Muslim artisans of Malwa Mill locality of Indore have fashioned two memorable tableaux depicting Hindu tales for the Anant Chaturdashi festival. Presenting a unique secular bond which has been the hallmark of the city’s pluralistic culture, Anwar Ali and his group, including Mohd Ejaz, 33, Haidar Ali, 22, Mohd Ateeq, 40, Mohd Naseer, 40, and Mohd Jaffer, 40, have spent one full month, meticulously crafting two tableaux of Shiv Tandav and Mahabharat.

“The Hindu priests like Shyam Dwivedi helped me and my brother-in-law Mohd Jaffer in studying the two Hindu scriptures and then taking out the necessary excerpts from them to draw paper prototype of the tableaux,” Anwar told TOI on Wednesday.

Importantly, Mohd Jaffer hails from Chandan Nagar area which was plagued by communal violence last month.

“It’s Allah (alimighty) who brought us to this world, but it’s solely the Hindu deities, who for generations have rendered livelihood to our families. Forget about communal violence in Chandan Nagar or even West UP’s Muzaffarnagar, for us both our religion and Hinduism are equally important,” Jaffar and Anwar said.

Read more: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslim artist has created Krishna’s crown for twenty years

2014/08/21 Leave a comment
Mukut on Krishna's head

Mukut on Krishna’s head

INDIA: The festival of Janmashtami is observed as a celebration of Hindu avatar Lord Krishna’s birthday. Special poojas are performed both in homes as well as temples. On this day Krishna deities are adorned with colourful and beautiful dress and ornaments.

Muslim artist Guddu has been creating mukuts (crowns) for Krishna murtis for over two decades now.

Watch video: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslim artisans prepare for Krishna festival

2014/08/14 Leave a comment
Temple in Krishna's birthplace of Mathura

Temple in Krishna’s birthplace of Mathura

MATHURA: Thousands of Muslim artisans in the region have been working round the clock to make countless bejewelled costumes and accessories for the statues of Krishna and other Hindu deities for the Janmashtami festival. “We are working beyond our scheduled time in order to prepare maximum ‘poshak’ (dresses) of Thakur ji (Lord Krishna),” said Ikram, one of the artisans.

Another worker Iqbal, who is known for his expertise in preparing crowns for the deities, says he feels ecstatic whenever he comes up with a new design. Preparing attractive dresses and accessories has taken shape of a cottage industry in Mathura, Vrindaban and Goverdhan which employs roughly six thousand Muslim families.

While it is another example of communal amity, the artisans say any communal tension elsewhere has never impacted the relationship between the two communities. “Only politicians directly or indirectly are associated in such activities. We work like a family here. There is no exploitation,” said Azlan. “Our relations have never been strained in spite of communal riots that have taken place elsewhere in the country,” said his co-worker Zaheer.

Read more: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Women of different religions embroider skull caps for Muslim devotees

2014/08/07 Leave a comment

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Poet translates Gita into Urdu

2014/07/31 Leave a comment
Urdu poet Anwar Jalalpuri

Urdu poet Anwar Jalalpuri

Popular Urdu poet Anwar Jalalpuri has translated The Bhagavad Gita into Urdu shayari. Jalalpuri had earlier translated Rabindranath Tagore’s Geetanjali and Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat into Urdu poetry.

“Like the Quran, the Gita also has a divine style and it contains the words of the Lord. The shayar that I am, I found it difficult to overlook the poetic luft and andaaz in the shloks of the Bhagavad Gita. The philosophy of life after death is very attractive, whether you choose to believe it or not. Having translated the third chapter of the Quran Sharif in Urdu poetry in Tosh-e-Aakhirat, I found a striking similarity in the moral teachings of the two books. My aim was to tell the Urdu speaking awam (masses) that you are unaware of the great book that is the Bhagavad Gita and to tell the Hindus that the Gita is much more than a book you swear by in the court of law. An urgent need to see the sangam of these communities is what made me translate this book.”

Read whole interview: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: American Hindu chef hosts iftars

2014/07/24 Leave a comment
gourmet samosas

gourmet samosas

HOUSTON: The sought-after Chef Kiran Verma of Houston is hosting an event to show how to put a modern-Indian twist on traditional Ramadan recipes. For the last few years, Verma has hosted and catered iftars at her restaurant and throughout Houston. She said that Muslims come to her restaurant to find high-quality halal foods which uphold the precise rules of Islamic consumption. While she does not serve halal meat and foods all the time, she makes a special effort for Muslims during Ramadan. Despite the sandstone sculpture of Krishna at the entrance to Kiran’s restaurant, Muslims from Bangladesh come each year to pray in one room and dine in another at Verma’s restaurant on Westheimer.

Verma hopes people not only enjoy the food she prepares, but the atmosphere and attitude she composes. “Shared meals bring people close because we are happily satisfied together; you don’t think negative thoughts, it takes you to a positive place,” she said.

While people may be surprised that an Indian Hindu is cooking for a Muslim holiday, Verma said, “I just always feel that when I cook for different cultures or sects that it makes them feel like we are one.”

Read more: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindus rozedaars help Ganga-Jamuni culture thrive

2014/07/17 1 comment
breaking fast with dates

breaking fast with dates

LUCKNOW: For the past 65 years, fingers that turn tulsi mala to complete the 108 gayatri mantra chants also count the beads of tasbeeh during the month of Ramzan. These blessed hands belong to Khairatan Devi, a Hindu in Chawalwali Gali of Nakkhas Bazaar who fasts during Ramzan along with thousands of Muslims in the city. She reminds one of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah who said if his left eye represented a Muslim, the right a Hindu, thus sowing the seeds of Lucknow’s fabled Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb.

Heritage researcher Sayed Rizwan said the roots of Hindu-Muslim solidarity in Avadh run deep. “When Abe-zam-zam (water from the masjid in Mecca) was no available, Muslims broke their fast with Gangajal (water from the Ganges River).”

Read more: Communal Harmony
What is Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb?



Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindus in Emirates observe Ramadan fast

2014/07/10 Leave a comment
Jayalal family of Kerala, India fast with Muslims in United Arab Emirates

Jayalal family of Kerala, India fast with Muslims in United Arab Emirates

ABU DHABI: A Hindu family in Abu Dhabi has been fasting this Ramadan. And not for the first time. They have been doing it for 14 years. “We cannot imagine a Ramadan without fasting. It is like an inner call,” said Indian expat Vakkam Jayalal, 54, who along with his wife Yamuna, 43, and two grown-up children observe fast throughout Ramadan.

The Jayalal family are not alone. There are many non-Muslims in the UAE who take on the month-long exercise in spiritual cleansing and devotion every year. While some are inspired by the concept, others observe the Ramadan fast to express solidarity with their Muslim brethren. Rajendran Parameshwaran, 48, another Indian expatriate in Abu Dhabi, says it is the 14th year he is fasting during Ramadan. Many other non-Muslims inspired by their friends’ commitment and devotion also observe the fast for a day or days to show respect for the religion.

Read more: Communal Harmony


Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslims volunteer for Hindu yatra

2014/07/03 Leave a comment
Muslims join Jagannath procession

Muslims join Jagannath procession

BHUBANESWAR:  Hundreds of Muslims in Orissa joined in the nine-day Jagannath chariot festival being celebrated in several villages and towns across the state.

Reports spoke of all 800 Muslims joining the celebrations in the village of Deulasahi in Kendrapada district, for instance, like in previous years. The Muslims of the village also contributed funds for the event, said Sameshar Khan, a villager. “The village collectively forms a committee to organise the festival every year and our community are also members,” he said. This year, one of the villagers Naeem Ali donated a tree for constructing the chariots.Some Muslim carpenters also pitched in in building the chariots.

“Hindu residents join us in our Id festivals too,” said Sahid Khan, another villager, adding that the communities attended each other’s marriages and other cultural ceremonies.

Read more: Communal Harmony
Related link: Gujarati Muslims participate in yearly yatra

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslim man donates land for temple construction on Shivratri

2014/06/19 Leave a comment

Aklakh Ahmed a resident of Allahabad district, displayed an act of humanity when he decided to give up his land for temple construction on Mahashivratri.

Ahmed offers namaz five times a day, decided to not only give up his land in Madhuban Vihar colony for construction of a Shiva temple but also laid the foundation stone of the temple. His selflessness and feeling of brotherhood reflected when he also collected donation and bricks for the temple, reported Amarujala News. The foundation laying ceremony on Thursday took place in the presence of several people from the locality and devotees from nearby Neeva and Salori areas. “He sacrificed his land for construction of Mahagauri mandir and he also extended co-operation in other things,” his admirers told Amarujala.

Ahmed said,”We all are servants of God. Then why should we differentiate ourselves on the basis of religion?” Ahmed is also the Conservator of Islamic seminary, Ashfaq welfare memorial society where kids from poor Muslim families take religious education.

Read more: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindu artist paints Quran verses on mosques

2014/06/05 Leave a comment

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslim couple creates Hindu and Sikh art

2014/05/01 1 comment

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Ajmer Muslims rebuild centuries-old Shiva temple

2014/04/17 Leave a comment

Khwaja Gharib Nawaz

AJMER: The khadims of the Dargah of Khwaja Garib Nawaz Chishti lent a helping hand to reconstruct an age-old Shiva temple, barely 400 metres from the main shrine in Ajmer.  On the left of the main Nizam Gate, tucked in a corner, lay the ruins of a centuries-old temple of Shri Pipaleshwar Mahadev till last year. However, now a magnificent temple stands at the site, built by the labor of both Hindus and Muslims.

“It was unanimously decided that since we are here for the service of the Khwaja, it would only be right on our part to pitch in for the construction of the temple,” says Sayeed Ibrahim Fakre, former member of state minority commission. The khadims along with some minority organisations generously contributed to rebuild the temple.

Read more: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslims assist Hindu pilgrims in reaching mountain shrine

2014/04/03 Leave a comment

“They are tirelessly helping people from far and near to take on this arduous journey comfortably and then they deserve blessings. While we find it difficult to climb on our own back they take people in palanquins on their shoulder and with great ease. Commendable indeed and a matter of great happiness”
– Hindu devotee on Muslims assisting pilgrims

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Bangladeshis celebrate Holi together

2014/03/27 Leave a comment

Dhaka University

An ancient Hindu festival, Holi is marked as a triumph of good over evil, and has become popular among non-Hindu populations in South Asia. In Bangladesh, many members from the Muslim community also join their Hindu neighbours to celebrate the festival by smearing abeer (a coloured powder) and spraying water colours on each other. Students at universities and colleges in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, and elsewhere get drenched in colour, singing and dancing together. For the Hindu community, who constitute about 10% of the population, this festival brings a message of unity and friendship and helps in bridging the communal divide.

Read more: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindu woman-run madrasa inspires communal harmony

2014/03/20 Leave a comment

GWALIOR: A woman in Gwalior has set a unique example of communal harmony by running a madrasa, an Islamic school, to educate Muslim children belonging to downtrodden or poor families.  Today, this madrasa being run by Kamlesh Pathak is an edifice of communal harmony and inspires people. Pathak started this madrasa in 2006 to provide quality education to Muslim children hailing from economically weaker sections.

Imparting lessons in English, Arabic and Urdu, the Pathak-run madrasa imparts lessons till the fifth grade. “I had thought for a long time of starting something for the children coming from economically weaker sections. We chose English, Arabic and Urdu for teaching in the madrasa for extending benefits of education to the economically weaker children so that they can move ahead in life and do something for their family, for themselves and the nation,” said Kamlesh Pathak.

“These days people differentiate between Hindus and Muslims but aunty (Kamlesh Pathak) is not like them. She has opened this, which is a good effort. If Hindus and Muslims start living together like this, there will no longer be any differences,” said Sanno Khan, a student.

Read more: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: religious poster art shares similarities

2014/03/06 Leave a comment

Calendars, posters and street murals in India reveal much about the power of colourful images to entertain, inform, devote and inspire on a daily basis. Although Hindu religious posters remain a dominant sight in India’s public sphere, Islamic and secular themes are not far behind. Hindu images depicting gods and goddesses (such as Lakshmi, Ganesha and Saraswati), their attributes and myths and continue to utilise narratives handed down from ancient times.

None of the Indian museums or art galleries took them seriously enough to acquire or preserve them. However, some sociologists, art historians and private collectors have focused attention on them. Enthusiasts and scholars have already highlighted the development of Indian popular art with Hindu themes. But Islamic poster art is still relatively unexplored. What is most special about Indian Islamic posters is the ‘localisation’ of Islam and its practices in ways that probably cannot be found elsewhere in the Islamic world. For instance, if we were to highlight the locations of Sufi dargahs on a map, the Subcontinent would be densely dotted with these shrines, which date back to the 12th century.

Read more: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Kashmir Hindus and Muslims reunite for Shivratri

2014/02/27 Leave a comment

Shivratri abhishakem

For the Hindus, better known as Kashmiri Pandits, Shivratri is the biggest festival on the calendar. And a scene that played out repeatedly this year in areas dominated by them was Muslims embracing and wishing their Hindu friends a happy holiday. For Kashmiri Hindus, nightlong prayers at home are followed by a visit to the temple on Shivratri. They also host a feast for friends the next day, known as Salam. Until militancy broke out in 1989, it was common for Kashmiri Pandits to host lunches for their Muslim friends and neighbors.

Mushtaq Ahmad waited for a Kashmiri Pandit family outside Ranishewar temple, housing an icon of Lord Shiva, in the rain, just to hug his friends and congratulate them. Mushtaq, who is a government employee, went to the home of his friend Sushil Kaul in Janipur, but was told by neighbors that the family had gone to the temple. He headed straight for the shrine. When Sushil and Mushtaq sighted each other, they couldn’t stop embracing. Tears rolled down their cheeks, retelling the story of two friends being back together.

Read more: Communal Harmony
Further reading: Night of Shiva, Shivratri Explained

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslims host Qawwali competition at Ganesh festival they helped organize

2014/02/20 Leave a comment

Hindu and Muslim flags hoisted side by side

PUNE: As the rituals of Shri Ganesh Festival mandal in Hadapsar, Badshah Dalwai, trustee of a local mosque, is busy overseeing the preparations at the pandal. For the organizers of the festival, the event is inconceivable without Muslims in the area. “For us Ganeshotsav is not a Hindu festival, but a community event that we all participate in,” said Mohammad Ansari, a resident of the area.

Ansari and Dalwai have been participating in the festivities of Ganeshotsav since their childhood. Emphasizing the need for communal harmony, the residents of the area have taken to jointly celebrating several festivals of both faiths. They have even come up with their own traditions such as hoisting two massive flags – one in saffron and the other green – on Shiv Jayanti and Eid.

The evening entertainment organized during the ten-day festival is the main attraction for the residents. The same stage where spiritual discourses, Marathi theatre, music and dance competitions are held also witness a qawwali contest. “This has also become a tradition of sorts. For the past five years, a couple of days after the immersion, we organize a qawwali competition…it has become an annual feature of the festival”

Read more: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Sikh symposium promotes communal harmony

2014/01/30 Leave a comment

While Sikhism is a distinct religion from Hinduism & Islam it has made major contributions to inter-religious harmony

AMRITSAR: “Sikhism is a Panth which was founded on the principles of interfaith understanding, mutual respect and harmony” said former Jathedar during the inaugural address of symposium on Contribution of Sikhism.

Dr. Singh said politicians were dividing the people in the name of religion for their own benefits. He said that the holy scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib was not only on for Sikhs but for the whole humanity. He also stated that the divine teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib provide directions to lead balanced life and being a good human.

Read more: Communal Harmony

Sikhism & Religious Unity
Muslims offered prayer space in Gurdwara
10th guru on Hindu-Muslim Unity
Sikhs & Hindus rebuild mosques

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Pakistani Muslims honor Hindu pilgrimage site

2014/01/23 1 comment

holy dip before entering pilgrimage site

KARACHI: It is approximately 250 km (155 miles) from Karachi, Pakistan’s most populated city. Moreover, it is near the peak of one of the mountains of the Makran Coastal Range. And from the Indus Delta River and the Arabian Sea, it is 120 km. The area of Hinglaj Mata Temple is located in the rugged mountains, and its journey is extremely tiring.

The pilgrimage of Hinglaj Mata Temple is also famous among the local Muslims, particularly the Zikri Balochs (predominantly an ethnic Baloch group originating from Iran). They call it “Nani Ki Haj.’

“The Baloch and Hindus have been living just like brothers for centuries. We even attend each other funerals. And it is manifest to everyone that the Baloch and Hindus are facing alike problems. They are not complainants about the Baloch people. They, if you ask, call themselves Baloch and they are Balochs,” said Asif Magsi, who is a resident in Lasbella District of Balochistan.

Read more: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

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