For the first time, the dargah and mosque organizations in Hyderabad are planning to host a ‘Meal at the Masjid’ for people of all religions on the account of Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, to promote religious harmony and build a bridge of understanding between the communities.
While the Milad-un-Nabi occurs on September 28th, all the public events regarding the festival will be held between September 23 and 27th to avoid a skirmish with the Ganesh idol immersion that falls on the same day. The meals will be served as part of the celebrations on any of these days.
The Milad-un-Nabi event is just the start of hosting meals at other religious festivals and a second phase of the “visit my mosque” program. Over two dozen mosques in Hyderabad and mosques in other parts of the country have agreed to invite everyone regardless of their religion. This event has garnered a worldwide positive response and almost 300 mosques from seven countries have agreed to organize a meal on the day of Milad-un-Nabi.
Mazer Hussian, Executive Director of Cova Peace Network, is the creator of the Meal at Masjid event, he stated: “The key is not to invite just religious leaders, but also common people from the neighborhood, with a special focus on getting as many youths as possible from all communities”. A small discussion will be held on the life of Prophet Mohammed and his teachings, the guests can also share the core teachings of their religions with the mosque and dargah panel which will help in understanding each other’s religious customs and values. “This could help develop proper perspective and clear misunderstandings,” stated Hussian.
Along with hosting a meal, blood donation camps will also be set up. The committees are in talks with various religious communities to host meals atIntending to, their respective festivals. According to Zakir Hussian, a social activist, Many mosques in Hyderabad are helping the community by setting up old age homes, running a health clinic, providing mid-day meals to children in slums, and having libraries and coaching centers.