A Mosque, a Temple and a Gurudwara- All Under One Roof.

 (sanjay austa      sanjayausta@gmail.)

The Mosque, Temple and Gurudwara in Farrukhnagar, India


One of the main triggers of religious conflict in India particularly between the Hindus and the Muslims has been over places of worship. The demolition in 1992 of the ancient Babri Mosque at Ayodhya by the Hindu religious right who claimed it was the birthplace of Lord Ram, is just one example. Many religious sites in India including at Kashi and Mathura still remain ‘disputed’ with adherents of  Hinduism and Islam ready to cross swords with each other over them.

But India also has heartening examples where places of worship are shared amicably by different faiths. Far from being contentious places they are  a melting pot of mutual respect, tolerance and regard.

There is one such unique structure in Farrukhnagar- a dusty , mofussil town barely 30 kilometers from New Delhi, which is a mosque, a temple and a gurudwara , all at once. It was a mosque built along with other Mughal structures in Farrukhnagar in the 18th century by  the Mughal Nawab Faujdar Khan. After India’s Partition in 1947, the majority of Muslims migrated over to Pakistan and the town was occupied by Hindu settlers.

One would have thought, a mosque with its distinct three- tomb roof in the heart of the town would be a sore thumb for the Hindus  and be razed down immediately. But the migrants adopted it and it remains till today a major place of worship for the residents.

The Hindu priest who lives with his family in the compound here told me that few Muslims who remain in Farrukhnagar also come to offer their namaz here. But its not just a place of piety for the Hindus and the Muslims – it’s  also a place of worship for the Sikhs.  A Guru Granth Sahib –the Holy book of the Sikhs – is given its pride of place in one of the main chambers of the structure and a Sikh granthi comes regularly to conduct the Sikh prayer the akhand path.

A Hindu Shrine  in a Muslim’s  Courtyard. 

Few years ago on an aimless walk in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, I discovered a Muslim household that had a Hindu shrine of sorts in his front yard. Hindus would come at all times of the day  and worship in front of the small sacred stone consecrated there. The Ansaris’s who live there would greet the Hindus and exchange the days gossip as the latter went  about their  rituals.

Despite India’s violent history of sectarian strife, India has many such reassuring examples of communal harmony.  The Hindu pilgrims to Vaishno Devi Shrine and the Amarnath Yatra cave are virtually carried on the backs of the Muslim palanquin bearers who cry out ‘Jai Mata Di’ along with the Hindus.

“She is also our Goddess. She provides us employment. So why should we not worship her. We also go for her darshan’’,says Abdul Majid a palanquin bearer at Vaishno Devi.

But unfortunately religion has also been the most effective way of dividing people. The clergy and the politicians know this very well and have been manipulating the believers since millennia.

 (sanjay austa austa)

The small hindu shrine in the courtyard of Mr Ansari, Jaisalmer

 (sanjay austa austa)

Mr Ansari (left) outside his house with a hindu devotee.

 

 

One Response to “A Mosque, a Temple and a Gurudwara- All Under One Roof.”

  1. farah khan says:

    again,its gud to know about Religious tolerance in india.

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