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Interreligious
Understanding

Interreligious Understanding / Presentation

Islam

Photo by American Center Mumbai

Islam

Crossing boundaries

A traditional Muslim woman was seen returning home along with her son dressed in the attire of Hindu Lord Krishna soon after attending a Dahi Handi breaking competition (A Hindu festival) in the latter's school (Little Penguins Primary School, Panaji) on the occasion of Krishna Janmashthami festival in Panaji.

In this world, unity is achievable only by learning to unite in spite of differences, rather than insisting on unity without differences. For their total eradication is an impossibility. The secret of attaining peace in life is tolerance of disturbance of the peace.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Six stories of communal harmony

Tanaya Singh

Six little instances of religious and communal harmony and tolerance in India today that shows that not all encounters between faiths and communities end up in clashes or conflicts. Here, either an entire community or just a few individuals from different faiths, came together to participate, celebrate or fulfill each otherís rich heritage and tradition. Here are examples of friendship, love and selflessness between people of different allegiances and backgrounds.

When Hindus and Sikhs Helped Repair a Mosque
People from the Sikh and Hindu communities helped repair an old mosque in Nathowal village near Ludhiana. They also took care of more than sixty five percent of the repair expenses. The project cost around 25 lakhs, of which 15 lakhs was contributed by Sikhs and Hindus. The three communities live in peace in this village. Muslims and Hindus contribute to the gurudwara work as well. A resident of the village informed The Times of India that they celebrate all the festivals, such as Diwali, Dusshera, Rakhi, Eid, and Gurupurab together.

When Muslims Paid Respect to a Hindu Martyr
A mosque in the Malappuram city of Kerala continues with the tradition of celebrating an 18th century Hindu martyr even today. His name was Kunhelu and he is a respected legendary figure. It is believed that Kunhelu lost his life along with forty three Muslim warriors in a battle, when the then ruler of Kozhikode attacked Malabar, about 290 years ago. Every year, a group of Muslims gather at the ValiyangadiJumma masjid to pay homage to the martyr who is buried at the mosque. The descendants of Kunhelu are also invited during prayer meetings.

When Hindus Helped a Muslim Couple Deliver a Baby
Twenty seven old IlayazShaikh was taking his pregnant wife to the hospital in a taxi in Mumbai. But Noor Jahan went into labour midway and, to the coupleís shock, the cab driver asked them to leave as he did not want her to deliver the baby in his car. Spotting a Ganesha temple at a distance, the couple rushed towards it and were helped at once by a group of women who created a makeshift delivery room in the temple. They helped in the successful delivery of a baby boy. To commemorate this gesture and this fateful day, Noor Jahan named her son Ganesh.

When a Muslim Man Performed His Friendís Last Rites Following All Hindu Rituals
When Santosh Singh lost his life to a terminal disease, his friend Razzak Khan Tikari, a Muslim, performed his last rites following all Hindu rituals. He set a very touching example of how religion can never be a barrier when it comes to true friendship. Razzak is a resident of Chhattisgarh, and he had been friends with Santosh for many years. Santosh and his family were not very well off. After Santoshís death, Razzak also helped his friendís wife financially.

Taken from Better India

When Ganesh Chaturthi and Bakra-Eid Were Celebrated in the Same Pandal
During the celebration of Bakra-Eid one year, many Muslim devotees in Mumbai were seen performing their prayers inside a Ganapatipandal. How did this happen? When members of the Seva Sangh Ganeshotsav Mandal in Colaba saw that the Madrassa Rahamatiya Talimul Quran mosque could not accommodate all the devotees who had turned up to offer their prayers, they invited them to the pandal meant for Ganesha Chaturthi celebration so they could pray in peace.

And Finally, This Muslim Performer Sings Kirtans
Shaikh Riyazoddin Abdul Gani, better known as ĎRajubaba Kirtankarí, is seen singing Meera Bhajans while balancing a water-filled pot on his head. This 73-year-old from Beed city in Maharashtra was fascinated by Hinduism when he was a child and used to sit outside temples to learn kirtans. Eventually he was accepted by Hindus in the temple, and started singing there. On realising that people were falling asleep during kirtans, he decided to give them a twist with a dancing-singing routine. He used to sing while bringing water from the river, and that gave him the idea of adding a pot to the performance.

In this world, unity is achievable only by learning to unite in spite of differences, rather than insisting on unity without differences. For their total eradication is an impossibility. The secret of attaining peace in life is tolerance of disturbance of the peace.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan