Special Reports

Shia-Sunni pray Eid together

New Delhi: Almost 10,000 devout from Shia and Sunni Muslims offered Eid prayers together - for the first time in memory - at the Jamia Millia Islamia mosque here on the occasion of Eidul Fitr on 18 July. The All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat had extended its support for the event. Dr Khan had welcomed the initiative and and considered it a befitting reply to the enemies of Islam who are conspiring to create divisions in the ranks of the two greats sects of Islam. He said, thanks to wisdom of people, our country is safe from the sectarian conflict and tensions. Dr Khan was not able to participate in the prayers due to his recent operations, but the general secretary of AIMMM Mufti Ataur Rahman Qasmi represented the organization (seen in picture above). "The All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat helped us in getting the desired contact persons to make this initiative a success. We want to deliver a global message that yes, Shia and Sunni live in harmony and brotherhood in our country," Dr Khan said.

"We plan to take this forward. From namaz to other humanitarian gestures, we will bridge the gap between the two sects until both the sects are shoulder to shoulder," said Mazin Khan, one of the organisers. The initiative was taken by Mr Asad Haider who is associated with "Who Is Hussain" organisation.

The extraordinary event held at the Jama Masjid, Jamia Milia Islamia was part of what Zaidi called “Shoulder to Shoulder”. He conceived the idea alongwith a number of his friends and alumni of Jamia Millia Islamia in the back drop of growing hostility between the two sects in the Middle East.

"Everyone knows that ISIS is targeting Shias and their mosques in West Asia, which is very painful to see. So our group of friends conceived this idea to organize joint Eid prayers, in which Muslims from both Sunni and Shia sect will participate," one of the organisers said. The idea is to keep sectarian tendencies at bay in India which despite some propaganda by security agencies is free from ISIS and Al-Qaeda supporters.

At the request of the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, which welcomed the move, the Jamia Millia Masjid Imam Maulana Suleiman Qasmi welcomed the gesture and devoted his Eid sermon to Shia-Sunni unity.  AIMMM president Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan, who sought Imam saheb's consent, said Maulana Qasmi told him that this is not something new thing in his Mosque as many Shia brothers traditionally join Eid prayers but without announcement. He further said that in the past Dr Syed Zahoor Qasim, a Shia, used to offer Eid prayers in the Jamia mosque when he served as the Vice Chancellor of the university.   

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 August 2015 on page no. 13

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