1st time in the history of Mankameshwar Mandir, the oldest Shiva Temple in the city, a Roza Iftar function was organised by Pujaris of Temple for their Muslim brothers of the city on June 10th 2018. As the Azaan announced time for Roza Iftar, the Priests and Volunteers start serving the Rozedaars at Dastarkhawn decorated for the occasion. Later Namaz was offered at the same place which is the Arti Sthal alongside river Gomti.
It started in 2016 when few netizen of the city started of with the concept of Universal Brotherhood through an NGO ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’. First in the list was a joint Shia Sunni Namaz on the auspicious day of Eid ul Azha followed by Iftar at historic Yahiyaganj Gurudwara, to name a few of the long list of events.
History of the Temple dates back to the period of Lord Rama. It is believed that this temple is the place where Lord Laxman brother of Lord Rama offered prayers to God Shiva when Rama and his wife Sita left for forests for a 14 years exile. The entire activity was initiated by 1st lady Mahant of Lucknow, Mahant Devyagiri an avid supporter of cultural and religious brotherhood in Lucknow. Born Arunima Singh a student of pathology, Devyagiri is one of the very few lady mahants across India.
To grace the historic occasion clerics and dignitaries of both the religion were invited. Important people from both sects Shia and Sunnis were present at the occasion. Some of them are Imam of the Teeley Wali Masjid Maulana Fazlul Manna Rahmani, Maulana Sufiyan Nizami, spokesperson of Darul Uloom, etc. Ali Khan Mehmoodabad, a graduate of Cambridge University like this knits the social fabric of India. The Cusp of the two religions showed the true colours of Ganga Jamuni Tehjeeb for which Awadh is famous for said Nawab Jafar Mir Abdullah.
The general atmosphere was nostalgic as told by one volunteer Kamal Sharma. Another Satish Kumar said that it is for the 1st time they are seeing any activity of this kind. Mr Bari a resident of old Lucknow said that few antisocial elements try to divide nation on religious lines but functions like this reinstates the aroma of universal brotherhood which is the soul of the country.