The New Year: Muslims to usher in with prayers for peace

The New Year: Muslims to usher in with prayers for peace 

     AT A time when international terrorism is raising its ugly head, lakhs of Muslims from around the world will gather in India to usher in the new year with mass prayers for communal harmony. An estimated seven to eight lakh religious preachers will congregate at littleknown Sarai Mir town in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district on December 29. The three-day congregation of the Tablighi Jamaat – a Muslim revivalist movement spread across the globe – wn end with a mass prayer, preceded by a mass nikaah.

     The intelligence agencies and state police are keeping a close watch on the event to ensure it passes off peacefillly Tablighi Jamaat groups from Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the UK are already in Azamgarh, where a mini township has been erected over 40 lakh sq ft in Serwan village.

      “It will be the largest ever such congregation in India,” said Maulana Khalid Rashid, of Firangi Mahal, a religious school in Lucknow Similar congregations were hosted in Dhaka, Bangladesh, last year and in Jaunpur, eastern UP, in 1995. Maulana Bismillah, of Azamgarh, said: “There are no written invites.

     The Tablighi Jamaat, which cuts across sects and moves in groups all over the world to popularise Islam, has spread the message.” He said the meet would be purely religious in nature, avoiding all discussions on politics and communal issues.

     On the sidelines of the meet, Maulana Rashid will lead a delegation to Chief Minister Mayawati to protest the arrest of a member of the management committee, Maulana Tariq Kasmi, in connection with the recent serial blasts in UE “Maulana Kasmi was making arrangements for the meet when the police picked him up.

    They can tape our speeches if they wish. Nothing controversial will be uttered.

Extracts from HT

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