Islamic centre members break fast at Dubai gurdwara

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Khaleej Times | Dubai, UAE | 24 June 2015 | Asia Samachar 
Guests from Al Manar Islamic Centre attend the Maghrib prayer at Guru Nanak Darbar at Jebel Ali in Dubai on Tuesday. - PHOTO COURTESY OF KHALEEJ TIMES
Guests from Al Manar Islamic Centre attend the Maghrib prayer at Guru Nanak Darbar at Jebel Ali in Dubai during Ramadan last year. – PHOTO COURTESY OF KHALEEJ TIMES

10-member delegation from the Al Manar Islamic Centre had last year visited Guru Nanak Darbar to promote inter-religious understanding.

At 7.16pm, the official time for breaking fast during the holy month of Ramadan in Dubai, the air in the langar hall (dining area of the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara, a Sikh temple) was filled with azaan, instead of the usual kirtan, in honour and regard of the visitors from Al Manar Centre.

On one side, scores of people sat cross-legged in rows waiting to be served langar (dinner), while the other side was cordoned off for Muslim prayers.

The experience was overwhelming. “I have never seen anything like this before,” said Surjit Kaur, an elderly lady from the north Indian state of  Punjab, who is visiting her son in Dubai.

In one of the firsts for the Gurudwara that was opened in January 2012, a 10-member delegation from the Al Manar Islamic Centre visited the holy place of worship for Sikhs on Tuesday to promote inter-religious understanding. The two sides exchanged messages of peace in the main hall of worship and the evening was followed by a lavish spread of sumptuous vegetarian Iftar meal.

“I think it is a great way to have an open dialogue between people of two different faiths and practices,” said Surinder Singh Kandhari, Chairman, Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara on the sidelines.

“Such visits help clear misunderstandings. The horizon is so big that it is a pleasure to learn from other religions, too. Sikhism as a religion glorifies tolerance, equality, service and humility, and Islam shares the same principles,” he said.

Surinder Singh Kandhari Darbar (extreme left) joins the guests for iftar at the gurudwara. —  PHOTO COURTESY OF KHALEEJ TIMES
Surinder Singh Kandhari (extreme left) joins the guests for iftar at the gurudwara in 2014. — PHOTO COURTESY OF KHALEEJ TIMES

“We are grateful to His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to have granted us this piece of land for free and giving us the permission to build our holy place of worship and practice our religion freely.

“We are allowed to serve langar the whole day even during the holy month of Ramadan. This visit reciprocates the magnanimity that the ruler has shown towards other religions.”

In exchange of pleasantries, the gurudwara presented the delegation with Saropas, the highest honour accorded in a gurudwara.

“We took this initiative during the Dubai Peace Convention, which is a biennial event. We invite people from different faiths; we had a delegation from a church and temple. The idea is to spread the message of peace through dialogue. Our endeavour is to let people know the essence of Ramadan, why is it really special for Muslims,” said Abdul Hadi from Al Manar Islamic Centre.

Al Manar is a holy Quran learning and Dawah centre run under the patronage of Shaikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed. Last Friday, 150 Sikhs were invited to the Islamic Centre for an Iftar and discussions.

Article by Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli courtesy of Khaleej Times (23 June 2014)

 

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Dubai gurdwara aims for ISO certification(Asia Samachar, 17 June 2015)

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16 COMMENTS

  1. This notion that Langar should only be served sitting on the floor has NO religious of spiritual significance. Sikhs from India have to grow up and NOT ritualise the significance of langar being served and eating as equals. You are now in the 21st centuary

  2. @Baadal

    Though I understand your thought process, I guess the point that has stung the people in the heart is that there is a somewhat distinction between people on the basis of their seating and thus, disrespects the fundamental principle of the religious site they have food.

    Don’t know if iftar would have been possible with everyone seated on the floor, the very least that could have been done was
    1. Arrange an iftar for all visitors that day or
    2. Arrange the iftar at any place in the gurudwara other than the langar hall and main temple.

  3. I loved that they visited gurudwara and were honored. But will suggest Surinder Singh, to get the langar in the way Guru Ji has promoted, by sitting in a row on the floor. Not on table and having it like in restaurant. Waheguru Ji

  4. It is heart touching scene where two big communities are seen sharing the BIGGEST gift of GOD, the SUPREME LORD of UNIVERSE, FOOD(LANGER) together. First I also had apprehension about LANGER being served to the devotees on table/chair. But has beenclarifiedd amply. I m of the opinion that such congregations should be held quite often on large scale involving different communities by inviting learned scholars to clear the air of misgivings/misunderstanding to achieve the common goal of welfare of human beings. All the religions teach us non-violence, tolerance and love for mankind. Any rigidity can be given a GO by such interactive sessions. The ultimate goal of each individual is to live n let others live in harness.DO THE BEST AND LEAVE REST TO THE SUPREME LORD. STAY BLESSED. SS SAINI.

  5. These kind of Conventions are really very good for humanity ,we all want to live in peace ,happiness and oneness which all religions teach .

  6. Kuldeepak K and tajinder singh : ….they are having iftaar not langar with our sikh borthers. when langar is served then all the sikhs and muslims eat by sitting on floor only. This is UAE and not India where the fights between blue and orange turbans never ends. Grow up and open your mind.

  7. Respect to His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister. This should be in this world especially in Malaysia.

    By sitting dawn or on the chair no one is getting lesser or greater we should respect each other to leave in this world.

    God bless

  8. sareya nu floor te baith ke langar chkna chaida c te ena loga lai special table kyu lgya….jd akbar wrge raja ne sangat ch pangat ch baith ke lngar chkya c te ae kaun hunde ne alg to sangat to unche hoke baith ke langar chakan wale….

  9. But why they are sitting on chairs , in gurudwara langar is eaten in pangat by sitting on floor .

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