Lucknow: In a show of communal harmony, a noted Muslim cleric in Lucknow has shifted the timing of the Friday namaz prayers by an hour in order to avoid any clash with Holi revellers and also appealed to others to do the same.
Imam-e-Eidgah Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahli, who is also executive committee member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), appealed to the imams of different mosques, especially those in sensitive areas, to shift the timing of the Friday prayers by 30 minutes to an hour and, in the process, send a message of communal amity. "We have shifted the prayer timings by an hour at the Idgah here. It will now be held at 1.45pm," Mahli said on Wednesday. "In the past, there have been incidents of riots breaking out with the Holi revellers throwing colour on those going to offer namaz... we have taken this step especially keeping in mind the sensitivity in the mixed population areas," he said.
The cleric said that Shia scholar Maulana Kalbe Jawwad had also decided to shift the prayer timings at the Asifi mosque where it will be held this time at 1pm instead of 12.20pm.
He said this decision will send a positive message of the country abroad and remove the impression that an atmosphere of communal tension prevailed in India.
Pointing out the examples in the past of similar action being taken by the Hindu community, Mahli said the Lord Jagganath Yatra this year was delayed by two hours and the route was also changed when it coincided with Bakrid.