THRISSUR: In a refreshing development, the hall attached to temple at Eravathur near Mala became the venue for the Eid prayers on Wednesday for the devotees from the nearby mosque which is still remaining flooded.
The office-bearers of the Purappullikkavu Rathneswari Temple run by SNDP Yogam happily volunteered when they realized that priests at the nearby Kochukadavu Juma Masjid were looking for a place to organize the community prayer session on the Eid day.
“We thought offering the temple hall for Eid prayers will be an expression of the secular lineage of this land. We had also arranged all other facilities like water for cleaning for the devotees who had come for offering prayers,” said P K Sabu, who is the president of SNDP Union Mala.
About 200 Muslims had assembled to offer prayers at the temple hall. “We were very happy to hold the prayer session there, and we spent about two hours there,” Khalid said
Collecting grains from donors and distributes them to needy families
VARANASI: This Eid will bring extra sweetness with love and compassion for Razia, Najma, Khushboo and many others, as the sewain they will prepare to celebrate the festival has come from their Hindu sisters and brothers.
About 300 poor Muslim families of the locality were given food items for Eid celebration. The Anaj Bank, run by women’s NGO Vishal Bharat Sansthan, collected food grains and other edibles from its account holders for free distribution among poor families.
MITHI: A small town where both Hindus and Muslims have lived together since the creation of Pakistan enjoys cooperation and harmony.
“I am a Hindu from Sindh, but throughout my life I have lived with Muslims and this is why during Ramazan, we fast along with them; and when it is Muharram, us Hindu boys lead the procession because this is the culture which Sufism has given us” one Hindu resident said
It is a town where Muslims, out of respect for Hindus, do not slaughter cows; and where Hindus, out of respect for Muslim rites, have never organised any marriage ceremonies or celebrations during the month of Muharram. Not only that, the Hindus of Mithi also happily participate in providing food and drinks for Muslims during Ramazan, and both groups exchange sweets on Eid and Diwali. The crime rate in Mithi is at two per cent and never has anyone witnessed any incident of religious intolerance.
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.”
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”
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.”
JOSHIMATH: Every year local Muslims congregated at a local park to offer Eid prayers. But because of heavy rains, many were unable to pray on the muddy ground so the Sikh community offered their gurdwara as a prayer space.
KOCHI: People from different walks of life and faith shared a rare camaraderie at the Iftar organised by the Onam celebrations committee.
“This is an expression of communal harmony. At a time when there is rising disharmony among the different sects of the same group and between different groups, such initiatives come as an antidote. The fact is that devotion and religious worship are increasing as seen in the rising number of faithful in temples, churches and mosques, but at the same time criminal acts are also on the rise. As a solution such events which spread the true spirit of communal harmony is the need of the hour,” said Chammanam Chacko.
Muslims and Hindus jointly celebrated EID in some parts of Orissa and presented a milestone of peace and brotherhood.
Hindu families visited the houses of their Muslim friends and greeted them on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. Large congregations of Muslims were seen at Cuttack, Bhadrak, Balasore and Sambalpur towns with the devout packing into mosques, Eidgahs and open grounds to offer prayers.
“It was an occasion to pray to Allah for communal peace, universal brotherhood and removal of human suffering,” a Muslim cleric said. In several places, Muslim families invited their Hindu neighbours to join the community feast.
Humanity, love and brotherhood are the core elements of religion. If we are truly religious and pious people we have to bridge the gap between the followers of different religions
MANGALORE: Administrators of Baikampadi Sri Sarala Dhoomavathi Daivasthana in Krishnapura and the youth wing of Jama’at e-Islami Hind came together to organise an unusual spread of brotherhood and peace.
Close to 300 Muslims accepted the invitation to offer prayers and break the Ramazan fast at Sarala Dhoomavathi Daivasthana. It was mainly restricted to slices of fruits and juice, but more than a sumptuous meal it was the spirit behind the gesture that caught attention.
At the temple, Hindus and Muslims promised each other that they would strive towards establishing peace. “Humanity, love and brotherhood are the core elements of every religion. If we are truly religious, we must bridge the gap between the followers of different religions,” temple president S Pramod Bhandari said.
MUMBAI: Jaffar H Khan (60) will celebrate twice over on Saturday. The railway employee, a devout Muslim who fasts every Ramzan has, at the same time, organised a Ganpati puja at Malad station for most of his service tenure. This will be the first puja after his retirement on June 30, but things have not changed for the elephant god’s Muslim fan as Ganesh Chaturthi and Eid coincide.
“We get donations of around Rs 10,000 every year of which Rs 2,000 is spent on the idol. We distribute snacks, cold drinks like rose milk and modaks to devotees and prasad after the visarjan,” he said. Records for the donations are maintained, he said.
MUMBAI: Terror attacks have occurred in the past during festival season, and though the main objective of these acts of terror is to disturb peace during the festivals, the festivities of different religions continue in full swing.
Recently, Hindus organized their religious festival Ganesh Pooja with full devotion, while Muslims were busy in their pious month of Ramadan. Preparations are being made to celebrate the famous festivals of Dusshehra, the Durga Pooja and the Eid-Ul-Fitr. While the festivals of different communities in India—the nation of unity in diversity—are associated with their religious importance, these festivals at the same time present an example of communal harmony and equality for which the world has perhaps no match. The festivals thrive despite the terrorists’ best efforts to disturb the social fabric.
In this holy land—with its mix of Ramanand, Kabir, Nanak, Chishti, Khusro, Nizam, Sai Baba, Sheikh Farid and Bulle Shah—no terrorist organization can uproot communal harmony. Indian festivals will continue to be models of religious brotherhood and keep alive the country’s unity in diversity.
CHANDIGARH: Eid-al-Azha symbolizes the fact that sacrifice of a small group of people can create a new beginning for the entire humankind. Two students of MCM DAV College for Women, are setting an example of such kinship by celebrating the best in each other’s religion.
Motivated by her roommate Nikhat’s enthusiasm in observing all nine fasts during the recent Navratras, Priyanka, a BA-II student of the college, is going to celebrate Eid with her on Wednesday. “When I started reading Namaz with her, Nikhat too began saying prayers according to the Hindu religion,” added Priyanka, who is from Kolkata. With Durga Puja being the most important festival in Bengal, Priyanka also asked the college authorities to hold the celebrations on campus. Priyanka confesses that her Muslim friend’s zeal in keeping all nine fasts left many surprised.
PATNA: Hundreds of thousands of Muslim and Hindu flood victims in Bihar are supporting each other celebrate Eid and Durga Puja at relief camps. Muslims are helping the Hindus offer prayers to goddess Durga by sharing their resources, the nine-day religious festival and Hindus are helping Muslims prepare for Eid.
“Even in time of distress, Hindus and Muslims are living together and celebrating their festivals together in peace in the relief camps and other temporary shelters. It is an example of understanding each other,” said Nitish Mishra, Bihar disaster management minister.