Special Reports

Shia-Sunni pray Eid together in Lucknow

Lucknow: In a first for the city of Nawabs, Shia and Sunni Muslims offered the Eid al-Adha prayers together here at the Imambara Sibtainabad near Hazratganj. Shia mujtahid Maulana Kalbe Sadiq addressed the congregation before the prayers. He said that Sunnis and Shia differ only in three percent of issues while they have common belief in 97 percent of the Islamic creed. He reminded the congregation that Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, the 6th Imam, was a teacher of Imam Abu Hanifa, and that Imam Ja'far has ordered the Shia to pray with Sunni Muslims. He said that all leading Shia maraje', the grand Ayatullahs who are followed by the Shia all over the world, agree that prayer behind a Sunni imam is valid. He said that he visited Iraq sometime back and met the greatest of the living Shia clerics, Ayatullah Sistani who advised him to keep good relations with the Sunnis. Said Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, "I told him that we treat them as our brothers". The Grand Ayatullah retorted, 'No. This is not enough. Treat them as your life and defend them as you defend your life."

The prayer was led by a Sunni cleric, Maulana Shahzad Miyan. After the prayer members of both the sects necked and greeted each other before eating sewiyaan, the traditional sweet dish of Eid, which was served by the organisers of the event, Shoulder2Shoulder, a Shia outfit working for better Shia-Sunni relations. The event was attended by many important Shia and Sunni personalities of the city. Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, President of All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat also attended the joint Eid prayer at Lucknow. Earlier he had helped Shoulder2Shoulder organise a similar joint Eidul Fitr prayer at the mosque of Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi last July.    

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 October 2015 on page no. 13

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