Special Reports

Muslim Organisation welcomes Sikh pilgrims in Patna

Patna: Bihar Anjuman, a leading voluntary organization of Bihar,  welcomed Sikh devotees during the 350th Prakashotsav of Guru Gobind Singh in Patna for three days during 2-4 January.

Sikhs and Muslims in Patna
Sikhs and Muslims in Patna

The Anjuman offered free coffee, water and biscuits at their stall at Gaighat near the Gurudwara. Anjuman volunteers worked day and night to serve the Sikh devotees. Welcoming them, the Bihar Anjuman coordinator, Mohammad Naushad Ansari said that Islam and the Prophet of Islam (SAW) have taught Muslims to be kind to guests. He added that “This is embedded in the Muslim culture to extend hospitality to their guests at the cost of their comfort. The purpose of organising this stall is to promote communal harmony besides offering services to the needy. After all, this is the 350th Prakashotsava and we may never see such huge numbers of devotees in our lifetime."

Millions of Sikh pilgrims from across the world visited Patna to attend the 350th Utsava of Guruji. Patna is the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikh faith.

Members of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, while talking to Irshad Alam, who is a senior member of Bihar Anjuman and Director of Saleheen Academy, said that Sikhsm and Islam are monotheistic religions and some of the teachings enshrined in Sikh scriptures are very close to the Islamic teachings.  He felt pleased for the hospitality been offered at the stall.

Anwarul Hoda, Vice-President of Peace Foundation, while extending his overwhelming welcome to the devotees, said  that the interaction of different communities’ and unity is a must for the development of our country.  “Brotherhood and harmony are the essence of all religions”, he emphasized.

God as in Islam and Sikhism
God as in Islam and Sikhism

Many of the guests were taken by surprise seeing Patna Muslims hugging and welcoming Sikhs with the greeting ‘Aval Allah Noor, Upaya, Kudrat ke Sab Bande”. The signboards and banners installed at the stall contained sayings of Guru Nanak Maharaj. Teaching of service to mankind and brotherhood were highlighted in the banners.

"Punjabis should remember our hospitality when they go back," said Imteyaz Alam, an educationist and social activist of the locality. Shakeel Ashrafi, an NRI and one of the founders of the Anjuman, felt that such occasions need to be utilized to promote brotherhood and amity in the society. He was overwhelmed offering his services to the visitors.

Students of Saleheen Academy, in their school Islamic attire, stood for hours holding water bottles and biscuit packets for the visitors, giving a clear message that the new generation aspires education along with peace and communal harmony for all. “Dedication and passion of the students to serve the pilgrims is amazing”, said Tajinder Singh of Amritsar.

Anjuman volunteers were careful about the nitty-gritty that they kept their head covered which is a norm in Sikhs at such occasions. "We have learnt in these days the dos and don’ts of Sikhism," a volunteer at the stall said.

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