Sunnis, Shias offer Eid prayers together in Lucknow
The prayers were offered at historic Imambara Sibtainabad in the heart of Lucknow will play.
As part of a citizen-driven initiative called ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ (S2S), a joint Shia-Sunni namaz was held in the Imambara lawns to send out the message of universal brotherhood. the The prayer was led by a Sunni cleric in a venue that is often perceived as “a Shia monument”.
“The initiative is significant in light of global sectarian strife, particularly in Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan, where large-scale violence often has roots in sectarianism.”
Shia and Sunni namaz on both Eids is usually held separately in Lucknow. While prominent Shia mosques include the Asafi Masjid in Bada Imambara, the largest Sunni congregation is at Eidgah. According to an estimate, while there are 1.25 lakh Shias in Lucknow, the number of Sunnis is five times higher, reported the Times of India.
The S2S initiative began as a Whatsapp group in the city, which eventually led to the creation of multiple sister groups as the app allows maximum of 100 members. A Facebook event was subsequently created and has gone viral since. An e-invitation to the event has in fact been shared hundreds of times on the social media website.
Mohammad Haider and Atif Hanif, who are part of the core group, said this is an attempt to find common ground, forget artificial differences, and accentuate the similarities between the two sects.