India

Mosque to be rebuilt on Ayodhya Hanumangarhi temple land

AYODHYA: Nearly 24 years after Babri Masjid was demolished, resulting in communal strife across India, a 300-year-old dilapidated mosque would be rebuilt on land belonging to Hanumangarhi temple in Ayodhya. Days after local civic body declared Aalamgiri Masjid ‘hazardous’ and pasted notice banning entry into building, Hanumangarhi temple trust, which is in possession of the masjid land, not only allowed its reconstruction and agreed to bear cost but also welcomed Muslims to offer namaz in premises.

The Aalamgiri Masjid was built with the consent of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb by one of his generals in Ayodhya in 17th century. The structure and its land situated in an area called Argara came in possession of Hanumangarhi temple of Ayodhya after Nawab Shujauddaulah donated the land to the temple in around 1765, on the condition that namaz would continue at the masjid.

However, gradually the practice of offering namaz came to an end and the masjid was lying abandoned with no renovation or maintenance. Seeking its condition, Ayodhya municipal board recently put up a notice on its wall and banned entry into the masjid. It galvanized a group of local Muslims and they met Hanumangarhi’s chief priest Mahant Gyan Das, requesting him the permission to get the masjid repaired. Their meeting ended in a pleasant surprise.

The temple management not only allowed the local Muslims to get the masjid reconstructed, but also offered to bear the cost. “I asked our Muslim brothers to renovate and reconstruct the masjid on our expense and also issued no-objection certificate for Muslims to offer namaz as this is also a ‘Khuda ka ghar’,” Mahant Gyan Das told TOI. “I am also extending support to reno vation of a mausoleum on the premises which is as old as the masjid,” added Gyan Das, who has been holding iftar for Ayodhya Muslims during Ramzan.

Historian Roshan Taqui said, “After the battle of Buxar in 1764, Shujauddaulah, the Nawab of Awadh moved his capital from Faizabad to Lucknow. During his reign in Faizabad he had already donated the land in Ayodhya for construction of Hanumangarhi temple. After he shifted to Lucknow, when a delegation of mahants visited him and appealed for more land, the nawab donated four pucca bighas of land that already had on it a masjid built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.”

“There is a mausoleum of Aurangzeb’s general who built the masjid in its premises. Though the name is not clear, it was built by a courtier of Aurangzeb on the emperor’s special directions,” added Taqui. Sadiq Ali, a local Muslim leader said, “The Muslim community is thankful to the management of Hanumangarhi and specially to Mahant Gyan Das who is renovating the masjid for us to offer namaz in.”

“I am also extending support for the renovation of a mausoleum on the premises which is as old as the masjid,” added Gyan Das, who has been holding iftar for Ayodhya Muslims during Ramzan.

Elaborating on the masjid, historian Roshan Taqui said, “After the battle of Buxar in 1764, Shujauddaulah, the Nawab of Awadh, moved his capital from Faizabad to Lucknow. During his reign in Faizabad he had donated the land in Ayodhya for the construction of Hanumangarhi temple. After he shifted to Lucknow, when a delegation of mahants visited him and appealed for more land, the nawab donated four pucca bighas of land that already had on it a masjid built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.”

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  • Would Muslims allow a Hindu temple in Mecca or Medina ? No mosques should be allowed in Holy cities of Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, period

  • I think both the comments have missed the point. The nawab gave the land to Hindus even though it had a mosque on it. Please appreciate this. There is a symmetry in the mosque being reconstructed. This is a fine example of communal oneness. All hindus and all muslims christians, sikhs Jains and parsis should celebrate each other’s festivals because they belong to all of us. Regarding Mecca and other places it just reflects the ignorance of the Saudis and the solution is to put pressure on the Saudis to clean up their act.

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