At a time when communal harmony is hard to come by in a riot-hit Uttar Pradesh, a Muslim has donated his land to have a Hindu temple built on it.
Haji Ikhlaq Ahmed, the donor, is a devout Muslim and a resident of Allahabad. Ahmed didn’t stop with merely donating land. He also laid the foundation stone for the structure in Allahabad, contributed money for construction and further donated truck loads of bricks, according to reports.
The temple, dedicated to Shiva, is going to be built in Madhuvan Vihar colony. Ahmed, who is popularly known in the area as ‘Abbu’ or father, attended the rudrabhisheka at the temple site and later took part in the satsang (religious discourse) along with hundreds of Hindu devotees. The programme was organized on the occasion of Mahashivratri on Thursday.
Reports said a committee had been scouting for land for the temple, but hadn’t found any success. Land owners were either unwilling to sell or quoted high prices.
But when Ahmed came to know about the search for a temple site, he himself approached the committee members and offered to donate his land. He also promised all help for the temple.
Ahmed said the country today needed people who treated all religions with equal respect and love. “There is only one lord…we may have different religions though,” he said.
In a state which has witnessed a series of communal riots in the recent past, Ahmed’s grand gesture stands out as a shining example of inter-religious amity.