The Sikh community in the Fatehgarh Sahib district of Punjab has found a new venue to prepare and serve their three-day langar. Lal Masjid, the historical mosque, has welcomed the Sikh community for their three-day ‘community kitchen’ for the observance of the martyrdom of the younger sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh.
Sahibzada is a traditional word meaning ‘son’, and typically refers to the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh.
Villagers from Ranwan and Batho villages in Fatehgarh Sahib district got permission from the in-charge of the mosque for preparation and serving of langar.
Charanjit Singh Channi from Ranwan village told Indiatimes, “The Muslim community has allowed using their land for preparing langar. We are preparing food and serving it to the visitors for the last three days. The basement of the mosque is also being used by us for storing food items. Gurdwaras of two villages have collectively organised the langar and villagers are taking turns to participate in the services of the community kitchen. We got permission from the in-charge of the mosque here as Muslims were happy to share their land for our religious event.”
This historical mosque is from the later Mughal period and is accredited to Saifuddin, the grandson of Mujaddid Alf Sani (or Shaikh Ahmad Faruqi Sirhindi).
Both the communities have come together for the langar with the noble thought of leaving their historic rivalry in the past.
Paramvir Singh is a professor at the department of Encyclopaedia in Sikhism in Punjab University, Patiala. He said, “Shaikh Sirhindi had also played a key role in persecution and execution of fifth Sikh master Guru Arjun Dev Ji. However, when Banda Singh Bahadur took over the reins of Sirhind, he did not demolish the mosques. The battles of Sikhs was not against the Muslims or Islam but was only with the rulers who were Mughals.”
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Khalifa Syed Mohammad Sadiq Raza, who is in-charge of the Lal Masjid shares similar views about the rivalry of rulers and brotherhood of ordinary people. “We are glad to assist the Sikh community,” he said. “they are allowed to use the land of the mosque for setting up the community kitchen. People from different religions don’t have hatred among them, but it’s the rulers or politicians who want to keep them divided. In the past, battles of Sikhs were not against the Muslims but the then rulers.”