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
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.
Muslim Rasiya Beevi helped Hindu widow Chellamma Antharjanam get her life back on track
Thirteen years ago, a Muslim housewife in Kerala had stopped an old and destitute Brahmin widow from jumping in front of a train and ending a life for which she saw no hope. The Muslim woman, then 34, took the 76-year-old Brahmin Namboothiri woman home, gave her shelter and sowed the seeds for an unusual relationship that bloomed despite their religious and cultural differences.
Beevi said she took the Brahmin woman home and got her to stay with her family comprising her husband and three children. Beevi bought a traditional Hindu lamp used in Kerala and other items Antharjanam needed to do pooja and allowed her to recite Hindu prayers in her Muslim home. In 2004, Beevi managed to get Rs 55,000 from a housing scheme for the homeless from her panchayat, chipped in with some of her savings and built a two-room house for Antharjanam.
MALAPURRAM: A Muslim mosque committee and a Muslim family member have provided their land to reconstruct a 3000 year old temple just 50 meters away from a mosque. The proposal originated when the debris of an old Gowri Sankara temple, which was destroyed years ago, were recovered from a land near to the half-a-century old Hidhayathul Islam Secondary Madrasa a few weeks ago.
One of the temple committee members, Dasan Kottaykulam, said: “All the members from the Hindu community are happy for the kind consideration shown by the Muslim community.” For the past 300 years, no worship has taken place at the temple, which is in a dilapidated condition. Now, the mosque authorities have handed over the land to us and we will soon start the reconstruction and modification work, Dasan added. Villagers can now listen to the prayer calls from the mosque and chanting of Vedas from the temple at the same time during the holy month of Ramzan.
Former President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam and philanthropist C.K.Menon
Qatar-based Hindu businessman is building a mosque in India’s Kerala state with the aim of promoting communal harmony. According to CK Menon, the mosque in Kozhikode will be the first to be built in the state by a Hindu in over 1,200 years. So far the Cheraman Mosque, constructed in the late eighth century by Chera ruler Rama Varma Kulashekhara, is the first and only mosque built by any Hindu in Kerala, he said. Menon said he plans to build a church in Kerala. “Once the mosque is ready, I will start work on the church. We have already identified the land but final decision is not taken yet,” he said.
Menon, whose company operates in 13 countries, mainly in the Middle East, emphasised the need to promote the culture of philanthropy in India. “Some people are already doing that, but a lot more needs to be done. Businesses are making money because of the common people. Every businessperson must give back to society a certain proportion of their earnings,” Menon said, adding he spends nearly 3% of his earnings on philanthropic activities.
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.
Fifty-three-year-old Jameela and 17-year-old Ansila are both Muslims but their lives revolve around a Hindu temple in Kerala. Jameela is deaf and dumb and earns a living by working at the temple. While Ansila says that she would never have completed her schooling after her father’s death, if the temple authorities hadn’t stepped in to help. So, what inspires an orthodox Hindu temple to go this length to salvage the lives of two Muslim women?
“This temple always had good relations with other religious communities. We strongly believe in the teachings of Sri Narayana Guru, who said that we must help the needy, no matter which community they belong to,” says the President of Raja Rajeswari Temple. For all the preachers of religious harmony, this temple in southern Kerala is sending a strong signal: practice what you preach.