For over two decades Muslims in the tiny village of Thawaipar of Semriyawan lock in Sant Kabir district would walk a narrow path, dodging dirty pits filled with mucky water to reach the mosque to pray.
But now this small village just a 150 kms away from Ayodhya/Babri Masjid site in stark contrast to the decades-old communal struggle has become a shining example of harmony and peaceful coexistence.
Moved by the trouble of their Muslim brethren to reach their place of prayer, Hindus in Thawaipar came together to donate land to create a pathway to the mosque.
Speaking to the Times of India, a teacher from the village Munawwar Hussain expressed, “The mosque was built in 1963 on the land of then-village pradhan Insaan Ali. For about three decades, members of the Muslim community would reach the mosque after crossing vacant pieces of land belonging to different people.”
But with an influx of population in the village, the new owners of these once vacant plots built boundary walls to mark their own area.
“This led to the closure of the path for the Masjid,” explained Hussain.
And so to facilitate the Muslim community in the village with an easier pathway to reach the mosque to offer namaz, four Hindus joined hands.
Under the lead of village pradhan Urmila Devi and former pradhan Brijesh Singh, four more Hindus including Rajendra Singh, Mahendra Singh, Kapil Singh and Nakched Singh joined forces to donate their own land to construct a 100-meter-long path for the masjid.
And they did it!
“Muslims were facing this problem for 20 years, but never had a dispute with the Hindu community regarding this. However, the problem did exist, and we took positive steps to solve it so that there was a proper path to the mosque,” village Pradhan Urmila Devi told TOI.
Moved by the humble gesture of the Hindus, the imam of the mosque, Hasimuddin Ansari said, “People with kind hearts understood our problem. This step has given relief to Muslims.”
Nakched Singh, one of the Hindus instrumental in completing the project said, “This step will promote Hindu-Muslim unity and brotherhood and give an example of religious tolerance to society.”
It is indeed a delight to see the two communities live in harmony. We hope their unity and their story inspires many people across India to rise above human-made barriers of religions and serve each other selflessly.
Inset Image Credit: TOI.