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For harmony, two Lucknow clerics change Friday prayer timings on Holi

The chief minister’s office has directed all the district magistrates to convene meetings of people of both the communities (Hindus and Muslims) to ensure peace and harmony on the festive occasion.

lucknow Updated: Feb 27, 2018 23:51 IST
Pawan Dixit
Pawan Dixit
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lucknow,Friday prayer,Juma Namaz
Muslims offer namaz on the occasion of Eid-ul-fitr at Bara Imambara in Lucknow, India.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT File Photo)

Two prominent Muslim clerics have decided to change this Friday’s namaaz (prayer) timings as the occasion coincides with Holi on March 2.

The step was taken to ensure communal harmony, said Islamic scholar and Imam-e-Eidgah Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali.

“As the festive occasion of Holi is on Friday, I have decided to reschedule the Friday prayers at the Eidgah. Now, the Friday namaaz will be offered at 1.45 pm instead of 12.45 pm,” he said.

Khalid Rasheed, who conducts the prayers, also said: “Usually, Holi celebrations end between 12.30 pm and 1pm. Friday namaaz is also offered around this time. So, I have requested maulvis of all mosques, especially those in areas with a mixed population, to defer the prayers by around an hour.”

Prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad changed the Friday prayer timings at the Ashifi Masjid, Bada Imambara, from 12.20 to 1pm. “We have decided to reschedule the Friday prayers on account of Holi festivities to ensure communal harmony,” he said.

District magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma on Tuesday said only those who have prior permission from the administration will be allowed to play music through speakers.

Often, people moving in groups on Holi carry big speakers on carts and pick-up vans as part of the celebrations.

The chief minister’s office has directed all the district magistrates to convene meetings of people of both the communities (Hindus and Muslims) to ensure peace and harmony on the festive occasion.

In its directives, the state government has instructed all district magistrates to get all Holika dahan sites inspected in their respective districts and make sure there is no controversy. The district magistrates have also been instructed to ensure there is no controversy about the routes through which various traditional Holi processions are taken out.

Holi processions are common in old parts of the city in Lucknow and Varanasi.

Director general of police OP Singh has asked the district police chiefs to take adequate steps to ensure peace on Holi.

First Published: Feb 27, 2018 23:50 IST