Hindu Muslim Unity: Mandir & Masjid united

2013/12/19 1 comment

Related: Mosque and temple side by side

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Kashmir Muslims help rebuild Devi temple

2013/12/12 Leave a comment

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Kashmir Muslims escort Hindu wedding procession through danger zone

2013/12/05 Leave a comment

Hindu couple’s marriage kept safe with help of Muslim friends

KISTHWAR:  Family of Dr. Ashish Sharma getting married to Dr. Sonia Sharma, had to join at the bride’s home to solemnise their wedlock. “It was like crossing a hellhole,” Ashish’s father said. “We are just six Hindu families among 300 Muslim households in Shaheedi Mohalla. Hindus and Muslims were fighting pitched battles. Over a hundred vehicles, shops and hotels had been torched. But our Muslim neighbours, who were attending the function, said that the wedding should not be deferred and promised to escort the baraat”  the groom Ashish revealed.

In the evening, 70 Muslims escorted Ashish’s baraat to protect it from possible attacks. The married couple returned without being harassed or attacked by anyone from Pochal to Shaheedi Mohalla.

Dr. Wajid among the escort said: “Prophet Mohammad has said the minorities are my sacred amaanat for the Muslim Ummat. It’s our religious obligation to protect them…We all treat Nareshji as our brother, Ashish as our son and his sister as our daughter.  Whenever there’s a Janaza, they join us; whenever, there is a funeral procession, we join them. We eat, wear and live alike. They speak our language [Kashmiri]. The only difference is that they go to a temple and we go to a mosque for worshipping the Almighty.”

Read more: Communal Harmony

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Bangladesh temple draws interfaith crowds

2013/11/28 Leave a comment

Dhakeshwari temple, Bangladesh

DHAKA: She gave Dhaka her name (from Dhakeshwari which means Goddess). And though she has been attacked several times she remains an inspiring example of communal integration in Bangladesh. The best time to witness this is during Durga puja. The 800-year-old Dhakeshwari temple is like no other Hindu temple in the world.  It is a must-visit for not only the country’s estimated 14 lakh Hindus, but also for the vast majority of Muslims here.

The long queues waiting to be served the rich bhuna khichuri served on Ashtami include Muslims too. “Durga Puja, for us, is an occasion to do some social service and strengthen bonds between members of other communities,” says Bashudeb Dhar, president of the Mahanagar Sarbojonin Puja Committee. Prominent members of all communities, including Buddhists and Christians, are invited to participate in the festivities. But the committee also reaches out to the general public by offering free meals and organizing community initiatives.  “There have been attempts to destroy this secular culture. Our participation in Durgotsav is important to defeat these attempts,” says Mohammad ‘Montu’ Naseem, a prominent businessman. Prominent Muslims serve on the organizing committees of most pujas here. “Pujas are an integral part of our cultural and religious heritage and we must fight all attempts to destroy it,” says Awami League leader Abdul Qadir Nissar.

Read more: Communal Harmony

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Ganga River brings Hindus and Muslims together

2013/11/21 Leave a comment

Gangotri, Himachal Pradesh

VARANASI: The holy river that is the lifeline of millions of people has emerged as an important “unifying factor” between the two communities. Hindu saints and religious leaders have been agitating on the ghats of the river in Varanasi demanding immediate and concrete steps to save the river. The Muslim clergy also feels that it has provided the community with a great opportunity to strengthen its bonds with the Hindus. “The issue of the Ganga is not related to any particular religion. Those who associate the Ganga with a religion are wrong.

It is an opportunity for the Muslims to come forward and take an active part in the ‘Save Ganga campaign’, ” noted shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad said on Friday. “There could not be any better way to demonstrate the Hindu-Muslim unity,” the maulana added. “If a Hindu takes a dip in the ‘holy Ganga waters’ for salvation, the ordinary Muslims also use the water for Wuzu (the act of performing ablution or washing oneself up before standing in prayer),” says Shahid Saleem, a trader.

Read more: Communal Harmony

Further Reading:
Save Ganga Movement
Going Green: Ecology in Hinduism
Going Green: Ecology in Islam

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Brahmins honor Imam Hussein’s martyrdom

2013/11/14 Leave a comment

Hindus brahmins join Shia Muslims in procession honoring Imam Hussain’s death

MUZZAFPUR: Hindus joined Shia Muslims to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, saying it was part of their tradition. The martyrdom of the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, his family and followers marks the 10th day of the month of Moharram. These Hindus belong to the Bhumihar Brahmin Mahasabha and claim their lineage as the Hussaini Brahmin sect.

“We also mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain like Shia Muslims. It is part of a centuries-old tradition started by our ancestors,” said Mahinder Singh, one of the dozens of Hindus who marched barefoot.  “It is a historical fact that our ancestors joined Hussain when he was fighting against Yezid at Karbala,” Sharma told IANS. “We are following an ancestral tradition,” he said. Singh said according to historical records, Hussaini Brahmins had settled on the banks of the Euphrates river after the battle of Karbala. Later they moved to India. In the preface to his novel titled Karbala, published in 1924 from Lucknow, Munshi Prem Chand stated that Hindus who died in the Karbala war were believed to be descendants of Ashvathama.

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Hindu Muslim Unity: American college hosts joint Diwali-Eid dinner

2013/11/07 Leave a comment

WORCHESTER: Clark University’s South Asian Student Alliance (SASA) hosted a joint dinner celebrating the end of Ramadan for Muslims and Diwali for Hindus. The event celebrating communal harmony between college students of different faiths also served as a fundraiser for earthquake victims in India.

The charitable dinner was organized by three student organization with proceeds going to help victims in Kashmir. One student commented that they were overwhelmed by the “unprecedented” turnout.”

Read more: Communal Harmony
Learn about charitable giving in Hinduism & Islam: Dana & Zakat

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindus shelter Muslims during communal riots

2013/10/31 Leave a comment

MUZAFFARNAGAR: In August 2013 communal riots flared up in Muzaffarnagar, UP resulting in army deployments to restore peace. Calm in curfew-bound Shahpur was broken on Tuesday when a group of people spilled onto the main road. Policemen ran towards the crowd anticipating trouble. They were surprised when “Hindu-Muslim bhai bhai” slogans went up.

Shyampal Bhaiji, Mohammed Arif, Madan Kumar Jain, Zafar Qureshi held hands as they led more than 100 people marching down the street. Hindus and Muslims embraced each other and pledged to live together.

During the riots Vedpal Malik sheltered 50 in his house. “They stayed with me for two days after the September 8 riot,” Malik said. “Later, the rioters returned, burning homes, shops and cars. I understood their fear. I told them we won’t stop you if you want to go. If you stay, we’ll protect you,” the former pradhan said. Vedpal and his neighbours stayed up nights and guard homes and cattle of their Muslim neighbours. Around 1,000 Muslims have fled Fugana.

Kharar pradhan Bijender Singh Malik opened his doors to 150 Muslims. “On Sunday morning, my neighbours rushed to me for help. I sent their women and children to the top floor,” Bijender said. “With our licenced guns, my brother and I stood guard on the rooftop,” he said. Two days later, when Army escorted the Muslims to camps, Bijender and Bhupinder hugged their Muslim neighbours. The likes of Vedpal and Bijender want their “Muslim brothers” to return.

Read more: Communal Harmony

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslims pray in church, Hindus perform puja in mosque

2013/10/24 Leave a comment

DELHI: When UK priest Isaac Poobalan threw open his church for Muslims to pray one bone-chilling day, it was a sterling example of interfaith harmony. Atop Taragarh Hill in Ajmer, the call of the muezzin from Muslim areas in Anderkot and the tinkling of bells from the 16th century Jharneshwar Temple intermingle to create a divine cadence. Every morning, Mahant Vishnu Gopal Taparia scales the hilly tract to meet his Muslim friends. Every Tuesday, Muslim children gather around the temple for prasad.

It wasn’t always like this. Hindus began to migrate from here due to communal tension and Partition saw their complete exodus. “Finally, Muslim elders mediated and brought a priest for puja,” says Maulana Syed Noorul Haque, an advocate. “Since then, puja has been performed here every day.”

Meanwhile, in Parumala, 75 km from Cochin, St Gregorios’ shrine rises white and striking against the emerald green foliage. Here, Muslims and Hindus can be seen fervently praying in front of the saint’s relics. Youhanon Mar Demetrios, one of the Metropolitans of the Orthodox Syrian Church, says, “All our churches are open to people of all faiths. That alone is a welcoming gesture by our church.”

Read more: Communal Harmony

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Hindu festival celebrates interfaith unity

2013/10/17 Leave a comment

Indonesian Hindus in Jagannath temple

BALI:  According to data from Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Ministry in Denpasar, 3.2 million Hindus live side by side in Bali with 348,617 Muslims, 41,799 Christians, 33,233 Catholics, 19,978 Buddhists and 124 Confucians.

Balinese Hindus have already celebrated two major religious events this year: Nyepi and Galungan — each providing an opportunity for the island’s residents to display interfaith tolerance and friendship.  “One day before Galungan, our family usually sends cakes, fruit, and tape ketan hitam (a rice dish) to our neighbours and friends. Not only Hindus, but also to Muslims, Christians, and other religions. For me, the important thing from the ngejot tradition is how we can maintain our togetherness and tolerance among different religions.” said one Hindu. It is not important what kind of food they send. “,” he said.

In addition a small forum in Denpasar that engages in dialogue to enhance religious tolerance. “We hope a forum like this will continue on a larger scale. The dialogue like this will open more opportunities for everyone to learn from each other and to strengthen relationships among religious followers,” said a Muslim who attended the meeting.

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslim industrialist rebuilds temple

2013/10/10 Leave a comment

Muslim industrialist Ashik Ali Nathani helped rebuild Ganesh temple formerly in ruins

RANTHAMBORE: Famous as one of India’s finest tiger sanctuaries, Ranthambore is now also a shining example of India’s secular traditions.

The Ganesh Dham temple on the periphery of the Ranthambore tiger reserve was in ruins till last year. But when Mumbai-based Muslim industrialist, Ashik Ali Nathani saw its terrible condition, he was inspired to revamp the temple as a means to promote communal harmony.

“Through their help and the blessings of Allah, I’ve been able to accomplish this mission. I don’t see any difference between a temple and mosque, they are all places of worship,” said Ashik Ali Nathani.

Read more & Watch Video:  Communal Harmony

Related links:
Hindu businessman builds mosque and church in Kerala
Muslim businessman rebuilds temple in in Rajasthan

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Mothers work for communal harmony

2013/10/03 Leave a comment

women praying for communal harmony

MUMBAI: A Mumbai-based organization has tied up with an international women’s advocacy group to create awareness about the need for religious tolerance and communal harmony.

“The idea is to encourage women to fight against violent extremism by instilling in their families the idea of a peaceful and non-violent world. It is our belief that if mothers themselves adhere to values like tolerance and understanding of world cultures, we will be able to create a fair, just and unprejudiced world”

Read more:  Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Indonesian Muslims honor Hindu day of silence

2013/09/26 1 comment

Balinese Hindus engaged in silent prayer

BALI: The people of Bali, Indonesia celebrated the Hindu Day of Silence, Nyepi, in remarkable harmony. Muslims and other non-Hindus on the island showed respect for the observance. Nyepi is considered a cleansing day of stillness and silence that ushers in the New Year on the Balinese calendar with four solemn restrictions: no fire, no working, no traveling and no entertainment for 24 hours. Some refrain from eating and talking as well.

“We urged Muslims in Bali and elsewhere not to disturb the celebration of Nyepi. It is an important Hindu celebration,” the head of a Muslim organization said. Muslims in Bali  were encouraged to pray at a mosque that could be reached by foot during the holiday and asked not to ride motorcycles or other vehicles. Muslims also performed Friday prayer, but did so without loudspeakers out of respect for Nyepi.

Read more: Communal Harmony

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Imams organize interfaith meeting

2013/09/19 Leave a comment

Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi & Swami Ramdev

AHMEDABAD: Religious leaders from both Hindu and Muslim community came together in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city to promote communal harmony and peace. The event to promote communal solidarity was organized by the All India Organization of Imams of Mosques.

The event witnessed the participation of religious leaders belonging to different faiths including influential Hindu preachers – Jagat Guru Shankracharya representing Kashi Kochi peeth (seat) and Chidanand Maharaj from the holy town of Rishikesh.

“This meet is organised just to promote communal harmony and unity among people, all Indians should be united, which is the reason behind this meet,” said Shankracharya.

“Right now, we are talking about improving the whole society. Our aim is to reduce the gap between two major communities of Hindus and Muslims and to bring a solution to each and every problem with the help of talks,” added Imam Mohammed Ilyasi, Muslim preacher and the organizer of the meet.

Read more: Communal Harmony

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Understanding the impact of Hindu Muslim shared bondage in South Africa

2013/09/12 Leave a comment

South Africa: 1947 Doctors Pact to form alliance between African Indian Congress and African National Congress

by Murali Balaji (guest writer)

While an upcoming film on Nelson Mandela’s life will undoubtedly shed light on his impact on South African freedom, an overlooked story in the struggle against Apartheid is the unity between Hindus and Muslims in the country during the period of oppression.

Due to laws in the country that made it illegal for non-Christian marriages to be recognized as Christian ones, and special restrictions on the religious worship rights of Hindus and Muslims, both groups often joined forces in representing the interests of the greater South African Indian community.

That’s why the experiences of Hindus and Muslims against discriminatory laws, as noted by Mahatma Gandhi in his autobiography, and later, the struggle against anti-Black Apartheid, are significant in shaping the contemporary history and politics of South Africa. Perhaps the greatest example of this cooperation was reflected in the alliance between GM “Monty” Naicker, a Hindu and president of the Natal Indian Congress, and Yusuf Dadoo, a Muslim and president of the Transvaal Indian Congress. Both men also believed their struggle for greater religious rights went hand-in-hand with the native Africans’ struggles against racial oppression.

Similarly, the experiences of Hindu and Muslim prisoners at South Africa’s Robben Island, bonded both groups as they fought against their mistreatment at the hands of white South African prison officers.

While this legacy might not be well understood in the United States or in India, the shared struggle remains firmly etched in the social, cultural and political fabric of South Africa.

Further reading: In the Shadow of Chief Albert Luthuli by Logan Naidoo
Source: WEB DuBouis archives, Harvard University

Categories: Suggested reading

Hindu Muslim Unity: Where Hindus and Muslims pray together

2013/09/05 1 comment
Srimushnam Bhuvarahaswamy Temple

Srimushnam Bhuvarahaswamy Temple

KILLAI: A tradition of over 150 years in Killai, a coastal village in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, delivers lessons in communal amity when parts of the country have betrayed vulnerability to intolerance.

Hazrat Sufi Muhammad Naqeebullah Shah Rahmatullah Aleh

Hazrat Sufi Muhammad Naqeebullah Shah Rahmatullah Aleh

The age-old harmony will be seen when Muslims of the village receive Hindu deity Bhoo Varahaswamy (the boar avatar of Vishnu) from his temple at Srimushnam, 60 km away. Every year, Bhoo Varahaswamy is taken out in a procession for the Brahmotsatava festival between February and March. The procession receives a grand welcome in Killai where it halts at a dargah built for Sufi saint Hazrath Syed Sha Rahmathullah Vali Shuttary.

The Imam offers prayers, a garland and oblation of 11 kg of rice, five coconuts and Rs. 501 to the deity. Later, a silk shawl on the deity is offered at the dargah and a chaddar is offered for the deity in return. The practice is linked to varying versions of land gifted to the temple by either the Sufi saint or one of his descendants.

Tracing the origins of this practice, Saqaf said that one of his predecessors had given 26 acres of land to the then tehsildar, Uppu Venkatrao, on a long lease and at low rent to help him demarcate the Dargah lands and draw up the boundaries.

Read more: Communal Harmony

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Sikh, Muslim, Hindu unity in Punjab town

2013/08/29 Leave a comment

 

 

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Quran and Gita promote same message and values

2013/08/22 2 comments

Two scriptures are placed before me. Both scriptures are believed to be the words of God. Over two billion people, representing a third of the humanity, swear by one or the other. Says God, I am the originator of heaven and earth… I alone have the power to create and to destroy. I open the other scripture and find these words of God: I am the creator of the whole world, and I have the power to destroy it.

To those who believe in the Quran or the Bhagavad Gita, or those (few) who believe in both, the striking similarity in the sayings of the two scriptures should cause no surprise. Both scriptures tell us that God’s message has come to the people from time to time all through the history of mankind (Quran, 40:79; Gita 4:1-3). A thread has been preordained to run through all the scriptures which came into being from time to time but no two scriptures are as close to each other in the letter and spirit as the Bhagvad Gita and the Quran.

Read more: Communal Harmony

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslim artisans create garlands for Hindu devotees

2013/08/15 Leave a comment

Muslim artisan creates garlands for Hindu devotees

AYODHYA:  Muslim artisans here continue to make floral decorations for Hindu devotees, weaving bonds of communal harmony in this ancient town.

“Hindu devotees either approach us directly for buying garlands and floral offerings, or purchase them from makeshift shops in the city where we supply the items daily. Priests of temples too contact us when they want to place large orders during Hindu festivals and religious functions,” While some Muslims have their own small gardens where they grow flowers, others purchase the flowers to make the garlands.

Read more + photos: Communal Harmony

Categories: News

Hindu Muslim Unity: Eid celebrated in Hindu temple

2013/08/07 Leave a comment

Eid feast at mandir

MANGALORE: It was an evening of harmony and peace at Sri Gokarnatheshwara Temple, Kudroli, here, where Hindus and Muslims got together for ‘Eid Souharda Koota’ on Friday. It was a rare sight indeed to see burqa-clad Muslim women attending the programme held at the Glass House inside the temple premises. the Kudroli unit of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) organised this special programme to honour and promote the unity shared among the two communities.

The Commissioner of Mangalore Urban Development Authority quoted the Prophet Muhammed as saying that a believer is not the one who eats his fill when his neighbor is hungry. Jayaram Bhat Chinchalkar, seer of Venkatramana Temple at Dongerekeri, said peace of mind is essential to a man’s well-being, and it is necessary that it should be maintained. “While we should bring purity in our thoughts, in reality we do not try to do so. Fasting is a method where lot of impurities is removed from our minds. It does good not just to our health, but also will bring upon good to ourselves,” he said.

In his presidential address, Mohammed Kunhi, Joint Secretary of JIH, said that all problems arose due to political and money-related issues, never due to religion. It is a misconception that religion was the cause of several problems, he said. Delivering the Eid message, he said that one ought to be “open” in matters of the religion he/she followed. “What you believe should be seen in your actions, and your actions should follow your thoughts. Only then is it possible for him to attain purity. Being a believer of God doesn’t mean he’s good; one should also have discipline. One should love his wife and teach his children to honour others. If you do not honour a person, it is a crime in the court of the lord; this should be the main realisation,” he said.

Read more: Communal Harmony

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Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslim, Christians Donate to Kudroli Temple Chariot

2013/08/01 Leave a comment

Chariot pulling ceremony

MANGALORE: In the 18th century, a guru proclaimed that every creation of God has a right to worship freely and that there is only “One Caste, One Religion and One GOD.” He broke social taboos by giving equal access to the poor and to women. Eventually establishing the Kurdroli temple in the coastal town of Mangalore, interfaith harmony continues to this day.

The Muharat function for the golden chariot proposed to be built for Kudroli Lord Gokarnanatha temple was held on Sunday November 2. People belonging various communities including Hindus, Muslims and Christians have come forward to contribute to the cause. Representatives of these religions made contributions for the golden chariot through gold and cash components.

Read more: Communal Harmony

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