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Punjab: Sikh man donates land for mosque

16th Jul 2021

Harun Nasrullah

A Sikh man donated his land to construct a mosque in the newly formed Malerkotla district in the Indian state of Punjab. While in the Moga district, Sikhs opened the doors of the local gurdwara on June 13 to help Muslims organise the foundation stone laying ceremony of a mosque nearby.

Bhaloor village councillor in Moga district, Pala Singh, said that when Muslim villagers had gathered to lay the foundation stone to rebuild the century-old dilapidated mosque, “it started raining, Muslims from the village approached Gurdwara Sri Satsang Sahib. There, they held the foundation stone laying ceremony.”

The villagers gathered within minutes and made all the necessary arrangements, including langar, and also raised funds to the tune of Rs 2 lakh [over £1,900] on this occasion,” Pala Singh told The Wire.

“We had been planning to reconstruct this mosque since 2008. This was an abandoned area, and we were also facing a shortage of funds, but with the help of villagers, we will now be able to construct it,” said Anwar Khan, one of the villagers who attended the ceremony.

Muslims from Malerkotla have been organising langar [the community kitchen of a gurdwara] at the Singhu border since the farmers’ protest started on November 26, 2020. A large number of Muslims from Punjab, Haryana and Delhi had also participated in the ‘tractor parade’ on January 26 in Delhi in solidarity with Sikh protestors.

At Jitwal Kalan village in Malerkotla district, farmer Jagmel Singh donated his ancestral land to seven Muslim families for the construction of a mosque. Jagmel’s family are long-time friends of Roshan Khan’s family.

“Around a year ago, we promised to donate our land to Muslims for the mosque. But, as the country was under lockdown last year, the project was delayed. They had been planning to buy land for some time, but when I got to know about this, I spoke to my family to donate our ancestral land, and they readily agreed,” said Kalan.

Kalan is glad that the move has brought heart-warming responses from people across Punjab and abroad. “Within days, the photos and videos were shared on social media, and I have been flooded with calls. My family feels blessed that the Almighty chose us to perform this task and serve humanity,” he said.

“I am friends with Sikhs and Hindus, both. Our lives are short, what will we gain by fighting? Religion has already created enough division, we should stop fighting,” said Kalan’s long-time Muslim friend Roshan Khan.

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