FATEHGARH SAHIB : In a goodwill gesture, Muslims in Fatehgarh Sahib have opened up the premises of historical Lal Masjid to the members of Sikh community to let them prepare and serve ‘langar’ (community kitchen) for Shahidi Jor Mela, a three-day event which observes martyrdom of the younger Sahibzaadas of Guru Gobind Singh.
The mosque belongs to the later Mughal period and is attributed to Saifuddin, the grandson of Shaikh Ahmad Faruqi Sirhindi (1560-1623) also known as Mujaddid Alf Sani. The mosque was renovated by the Muslim community two years ago.
Following permission from the mosque in-charge, villagers from Ranwan and Batho in the Khamano sub-division of the district set up langar there to serve the congregation.
“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 organized 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,” said Charanjit Singh Channi of Ranwan village.
“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. Similarly, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia and other Sikh chieftains established their rule by defeating the subordinates of the Afghan invader Ahmad Shah Abdali but did not harm the mosques or other key places of the Muslims. The battles of Sikhs was not against the Muslims or Islam but was only with the rulers who were Mughals,” said Paramvir Singh, professor at the department of Encyclopaedia in Sikhism, Punjabi University, Patiala.
“We are glad to assist the Sikh community. They are allowed to use the land of the mosque for setting up the community kitchen. People from different religions don’t have animosity 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,” said, Khalifa Syed Mohammad Sadiq Raza, in-charge of Lal Masjid.