Lucknow: The ancient temple on the banks of Gomti River in Lucknow rubbed off the dividing lines on Sunday night when its Mahant Divyagiri hosted an iftar party on the temple Ghats.

Temple priests, clad in saffron, welcomed Muslim guests and served food after the prayers. The delicacies offered at the Iftar included purely vegetarian fare.

The temple committee had made separate arrangements for men and women and what was important was the presence of several leading Muslim clerics at the event.

Well known Sunni cleric Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali, Imam of the Teeley Wali Masjid Maulana Fazlur Manna Rehmani, Maulana Sufiyan Nizami, spokesperson of Darul Uloom Farangi Mahali and Nawab Jafar Mir Abdullah and Nawab Masood Abdullah were among the distinguished guests.

Mahant Divyagiri, one of the youngest women mahants, said, “It has been the Indian tradition for centuries that Hindus celebrate Muslim festivals and Muslims celebrate Hindu festivals.

These months for Hindus too are auspicious when we are observing nine bada mangals. This is the time that a good deed is rewarded 70 times more than its reward. And what better way to earn reward than serve those who have fasted from dawn to dusk in Ramzan”.

Interestingly, the Mankameshwar temple in Lucknow, said to be around 1,000 years old, is situated adjacent to the Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, an Islamic seminary, but both have co-existed in peace even in most troubled times.

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