Ghaus Siwani/New Delhi
At a time when courts across India are sorting out the conflicts over the ownership of mosques and temples, a heartening incident of harmony between Sikhs and Hindus contributing to the construction of a mosque in a village where only four Muslim families live in Punjab has come as a whiff of freshness.
On Saturday, as the foundation stone for the mosque in village Raj Patti in Pherurian tehsil was to be laid, the token gift of 13 bricks, an ominous number as per Indian tradition, was sent by the Gurudwara sangat for the project.
Earlier joint prayer was held in the gurudwara for the construction of the mosque.
Bricks being handed over for mosque in Gurudwara
Gurdwara President Iqbal Singh says that there were a Gurdwara and a temple in the village. “Everyone wanted a mosque. Work started from a gurdwara to promote communal harmony and brotherhood in the whole country like Punjab. We celebrate all the festivals in the village together. Apart from Sant Baba Gurcharan Singh of Nanaksar, NRI Sikhs are also involved in raising funds for the mosque.
The village has Sikhs as the majority and there are only four Muslim families there. The total number of voters from the village are 1,400.
However, Sikhs and Hindus have taken the lead in building the mosque and are donating more than Muslims. Both the communities are cooperating in all possible ways to help Muslims have their place of worship.
A Muslim from the village said that “we were longing for a mosque in the village, for which we had bought four and a half acres of land ten years ago. However, due to lack of money, the project was getting delayed.”
Joga Singh and Mohammad Jameel hugging each other
“On Saturday, after Ardas (Prayer) at the Gurudwara, the Sikhs brought bricks with them. If we get more help, the mosque will be ready in a year,” he said.
Mansa Khan of Nathwal village of Aam Aadmi Party said that Sikhs have helped in building many mosques in Ludhiana and Raikot areas. We are proud of this tradition of sectarian harmony.
Yet another story of communal amity has come from the village Mullah of Ludhiana, where Sikhs and Hindus have rebuilt a closed mosque for the lone Muslim family.
Muhammad Usman Ludhianvi of the village had expressed his desire to rebuild to the Hindi-Sikh villagers. Taking responsibility for Ludhianvi's proposal, the villagers collected donations and began the construction of the mosque. After six months the mosque was completed.
United we Stand: site of a mosque construction shows Sikhs' participation
In the town of Sarpur, Ludhiana the bond between a Sikh Joga Singh and Muslim Muhammad Jameel has culminated in an ideal story of friendship.
Joga Singh, a farmer, was upset that his friends and other Muslims in the town had to go to the city, 10 km away for prayers every Friday. Earlier, there was a mosque in the town that had got destroyed during the post-partition violence.
Joga Singh built a mosque in the town. His friend Muhammad Jameel says that had Joga Singh and other Sikhs not only opened their hearts and purse strings, there would never be a mosque in the town.