India – Thousands of Shia-Sunni offered ‘Shoulders-to-Shoulders Eid Prayer

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SHAFAQNA - In an attempt to send the message of peace and brotherhood in city of Lucknow, India, with a long history of sectarian clashes, members of Shia and Sunni communities, including religious leaders of both sects, offered joint “namaz” (prayer) here on the occasion of Eid-al-Adha on Friday.

The joint prayer was offered at the historic Sibtainabad Imambara, which was constructed during the reign of the nawabs by the father of Wajid Ali Shah.

The prayer was led by a Sunni Imam, Maulana Shehzad, and the participants included Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Sadiq.

A large number of people from both communities as well as clerics took part in the joint prayer, which was organised by a group of young muslims, “Shoulders-to-Shoulders”. Well known Shia cleric and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) vice-president Maulana Kalbe Saadiq said on this occasion that a majority of people from all religions wanted peace and harmony. “Only a handful create problems”, he added.

Clerics from both communities welcomed the initiative and said that it would strengthen the bonds of love between Shias and Sunnis.

The convener of “Shoulders-to-Shoulders”, Haider, the brain behind the move, said that the group made extensive use of the social media to connect with Shia and Sunni community members.

“We had received tremendous response for our initiative…around 2,000 people had agreed to join the prayer”, he said, adding that the large presence at the joint prayer proved that they had been able to convey the message of peace and brotherhood.

Atif Hanif, member of the core group of “Shoulders-to-Shoulders”, told Deccan Herald that this kind of joint prayer had never been held in the city before.

It’s a welcome change from the regular dividing news coming out of the Muslim community. Let’s hope we see more of this peaceful efforts.

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