The Imam of Aishbagh eidgah in Lucknow, on Tuesday has urged all the mosques of the city to postpone the timings for friday namaz in view of Holi celebration on 2nd March. “The festival of holi will fall on friday… thus, i have urged all mosques to postpone the timing of the friday namaz. Holi is celebrated at its top between 12 pm to 1 pm, when Jumme ki namaz is also held,” stated Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali, a Sunni cleric. He said that he has already changed the timings of friday prayers at Aishbagh eidgah from 12.45 pm to 01:45 pm.
“We understand that the festival comes once in a year for our Hindu brothers. Thus, to ensure that our Hindu brothers can play Holi and we can also offer namaz, we have decided to change the timings. Many people I have spoken to so far, have agreed… as all of us want to ensure that the right message goes out to the community,” said Mahali, as quoted by The Indian Express, an English daily.
He further also added that this was the first time timings for Friday namaz has been changed for Holi.
This comes a day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a law and order overview meeting in regard with arrangements for Holi. At the meeting, strict instructions have been given to the officials to safeguard peace during the festival. According to a government spokesperson, Adityanath had asked officials to ensure that peace committees comprising members of different communities meet and the festival is celebrated cordially.
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People’s reaction on Imam’s initiative:
Rajenrda Gupta, a management student at Babu Banarasi Das University (BBDU) said, “This is a great initiative taken by the Imam. We all should welcome it and congratulate him”.
Another student from BBDU, Akansha says ‘I am happy to know that such people still exist. That’s the bond we have, however hard people try, we will never stand divided. I am proud’.