Special prayers planned ahead of Ayodhya verdict

12:37AM Sat 11 Sep, 2010

Lucknow, September 10: Ahead of the much-awaited verdict in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid legal dispute in Ayodhya Sep 24, Muslims in this Uttar Pradesh capital will hold special prayers for communal harmony and peace.

"Lakhs of Muslims will offer special prayers for strengthening Hindu-Muslim ties. We just want the judgment in any case should not affect Hindu-Muslim unity," Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahli, a prominent Sunni cleric who heads Lucknow's oldest Islamic seminary, told IANS here Thursday.

"Irrespective of the judgment, bonding between Hindus and Muslims should become stronger. We hope the prayers would be answered and members of both the communities will continue to project coexistence and a composite culture more known as the 'Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb'," he added.

According to the cleric, the prayers will be offered at the Aishbagh Eidgah, which is the biggest prayer ground in the city.

It is believed that the moon for Eid-ul-Fitr shall be sighted Sep 10 which means that Eid would be celebrated Sep 11.

On the last Eid-ul-Fitr, Rasheed had called upon the Muslims to join hands for polio eradication.

Hindu priests have appreciated the call given by the Muslim clerics for holding special prayers.

"The decision taken by the Muslim clerics regarding the special Eid prayers is really worth praising. The move will definitely go a long way in fostering the Hindu-Muslim relations particularly at a time when members of both the community are waiting for the judgment day," Rakesh Prasad, a priest at the Hanuman Temple in Indra Nagar locality, told IANS.

Another priest Bhagwati Awasthi of the Sangam Temple in Aliganj, said: "The intention of holding special prayers is surely for a noble cause. I am quite confident that such an initiative would definitely ease tension related to the outcome of the judgment to a considerable extent."

--------IANS, 10 Sep. 2010