By TCN Special Correspondent,
Lucknow: Muslims of Lucknow thronged Islamic seminary Nadwatul Uloom for offering Namaz led by Imam-e-Haram Sheikh Khalid Bin Ali al Ghamidi on Friday. In his hour long sermon, the Imam condemned violence and urged for peace and harmony in true spirit of Islam.
“Islam has never preached violence. It is a religion of peace and focuses on character building of individuals, “ Sheikh Ghamdi said during his ‘khutba’ (sermon) before leading Friday prayers. “Instead of taking to extremes, one should look for a middle path while addressing the issues. In fact this is what makes Allah (God) and what Prophet preached throughout his life,” he added.
Al Ghamidi leading the prayers
Thousands of Muslims converged from different parts of the state to offer their Juma Namaz behind the Imam. Every possible space near Nadwa was occupied.
All roads leading to the world-famous school of Islamic thought were packed with people who joined the ‘Juma namaz’ (Friday prayer) in every nook and corner of the road to as far as Hanuman setu near Lucknow University including streets, parks, rooftops and even the makeshift parking lot in the adjoining Jhulelal Park.. The main Nadwa mosque its lawns, the lawns of the adjoining buildings were also packed with people.
In an hour-long sermon, the cleric praised the seminary and its founders for its rich contribution to Islam. He said that its contributions are known not only in India but also across the world. After the sermon, which was delivered in Arabic language the Imam led the prayers. After the prayers he made special supplication (Dua) for global peace and unity. The Imam’s sermon was translated in Urdu by one of the clerics present in the mosque.
Though both administration and organisers alike had put the best of arrangements in place for the event, but the traffic along the university road went haywire for several hours, more so after people dispersed post prayers. Organisers said that this was the largest religious congregation in the city in recent years. A similar gathering was witnessed 33 years ago when the then Imam-e-Haram led prayers in the same seminary.
Sheikh Ghamdi is on a seven-day visit to Lucknow that began on Tuesday. On Saturday, he will visit Integral University for interaction with the students and faculty members. The “Imam-e-Haram” is scheduled to meet Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the latter's official residence on Sunday evening before returning on Monday.