The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

April 12, 2011

Lakhs participate in Muslim congregation in Ludhiana

Lakhs of Muslims from all over the country participated in the Majis-e-Ahrar's conference organised in Ludhiana in Punjab. It was perhaps the biggest gathering of Muslims in Indian Punjab after partition.

Muslim leaders representing almost all the major schools of thought including Barelvi, Deobandi and Shia attended the programme which was held at Dana Mandi ground.

The Majlis' president Maulana Habibur Rahman Sani Ludhianvi said that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was the last prophet and any attempt to confront Muslims on this issue will be resisted strongly.

"That Muhammad was the seal of prophethood is a belief central to all Muslims and the members of the community can't accept any dilution in this belief."

The Majlis had organised the event to mark the centenary of the movement 'Tehrik-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat' which was launched to counter the Ahmadiyya sect's controversial proclamation regarding their leader Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyani.

Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad was the final prophet and the seal of prophethood. However, the Ahmadiyyas gave their leader Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyani the status of a prophet, which caused a schism between the sect and mainstream Muslims.

The Ahmadiyya sect was based in Qadian town in Indian Punjab. After partition, the Ahmadiyya leadership shifted to Pakistan's Rabwah town. In Pakistan, Ahmadiyyas have been officially declared as non-Muslims due to their beliefs.

After independence, most of the Muslim population from Indian Punjab had migrated to Pakistan. Except Maler Kotla town in Sangrur district, the Muslims had almost disappeared from the entire state in the wake of post-partition killings.

But in the last few decades, Muslims have become visible in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and other major cities of Punjab. Muslim population is estimated to be over 1 million in Punjab now.

The recent conference-cum-rally organised by the Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam-e-Hind was the biggest such gathering of Muslims in Indian Punjab in the last 60 years.

The programme had started with recital of the Holy Quran. Later Urdu poets rendered 'naats' praising the Prophet. Eminent Shia cleric Maulana Kalb-e-Jawad, Ulema, Sajjada Nashin Ajmer Dargah and clerics from J&K, West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra, UP and other states were present during the programme.

TIH Bureau

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