Social platforms extends helping hand to Muslims over Jumma Namaz in Gurugram

News Desk: Amid raging controversy over the offering of Jumma namaz in open spaces in Gurugram, more support and offers of private spaces poured in for the Muslim community on Thursday via social media platforms. Earlier, a local resident in Sector 12A offered his shop, and the Sikh community offered to allow namaz at a gurudwara.

“More and more people are now coming forward on social media to extend offers for spaces for the Friday namaz. We are looking into their offers and their suitability. It is a welcome gesture. It sends across a large message that, on one hand, there are people claiming to represent a community and spreading hatred in the name of religion, and on the other, there are those extending a helping hand” said Altaf Ahmed, co-founder, Gurgaon Muslim Council.

Among prominent local voices batting for communal harmony is senior journalist Rahul Dev, who said he would have loved to offer his house for Jumma namaz but was staying far off from the places designated for the Friday prayers. “My house will cleanse if Namaz is offered inside it. The reasons and the means for the opposition cause great pain” Mr. Dev tweeted. He added that it was the responsibility of the administration to tackle traffic issues, if any, in the offering of namaz in the open, and religious organisations had no role in it.

Later in the day, Mr. Ahmad, along with other members of the community, visited one of the gurudwaras run by Shri Guru Singh Sabha in the city’s Sadar area. Mr. Ahmad said Jumma namaz on this Friday had coincided with Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary celebrations, and thus only a symbolic namaz could be held. “It is a welcome gesture by the Sikh community, but not a solution to the controversy over offering of namaz in the open. We need to accommodate a huge population of Muslims and need more mosques for it” said Mr. Ahmad.

The Shri Guru Singh Sabha’s president, Sher Dil Sidhu, said the aim behind the offer was to give out the message of communal harmony. The Sabha manages five gurudwaras in Gurugram.

Sector 12A resident Akshay Yadav said this was not the first time he had offered his premises for namaz, and that he had also allowed his tenant and his friends to offer prayers at his shop during the month of Ramzan four years previously.

“In 2005, we also provided financial help for the wedding of our domestic help, a Muslim girl. I am very happy to know that more and more people are now coming forward to support their Muslim brethren. It is wrong to paint the entire community with same colour for some reason and hate them. I hope my small gesture would help promote communal harmony between the two communities,” said Mr. Yadav, who runs wildlife tourism business.