PESHAWAR, May 09 (APP):The Sikh dwellers of Peshawar are receiving applause from people belonging to all walks of life for extending respect to fasting Muslims during their holy month of Ramzan by arranging iftar dinners, providing food to poor faithfuls and selling groceries to them on cut prices.
From the last several years as Ramzan begins, Sikh residents in Peshawar come out for according reverence to the holy month of Muslims and arrange iftar dinners for them, announcing special discounts on their grocery shops besides helping the poor fasting faithful by providing them edible goods at their doorsteps.
The scene of turban wearing Sikhs offering sweet drinks to fasting Muslims for Iftar, or a Sikh community member handing over edibles to a deserving faithful reflects strong bond of interfaith harmony and mutual coexistence in our country.
In the current Ramzan, Sikhs maintained their past practice of according respect and reverence for Muslims’ holy month.
“We are serving iftari for fasting Muslims but this time only on Friday due to shortage of volunteers because of corona pandemic,” shared Jatinder Singh, Chairman Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter of National Peace Council for Interfaith Harmony.
Talking to APP, Jatinder Singh said due to prevailing dangerous third wave of corona infection, volunteers are taking precaution and that is why we have restricted Iftar dinners for Friday.
Apart from arranging Iftari we are also focusing on provision of edible goods to fasting Muslims at their doorsteps, Jatinder added.
Being a dweller of city since generations, we know who is in need of financial support in our locality and also because of slump in business due to corona restrictions, so we extend them help.
“The objective behind this practice by Sikhs is to promote love, fraternity, respect and honor among people of different faiths,” remarked Jatinder Singh.
We are living in this country from a long time and wants to convey the message of mutual coexistence among its citizens, he continued.
Jatinder said our Muslims neighbours and friends also mark respect to holy occasions of Sikhs by extending goods wishes.
Similarly both Muslims and Sikhs attend occasions of happiness and bereavement from both sides to maintain the bond of unity, neighbourhood and humanity.
Apart from serving Iftar dinners and provision of edible goods, a Sikh trader in Khyber District near Peshawar has also set a unique example of brotherhood and reverence of holy month by offering grocery items on his shop at cut prices.
Nirinjin Singh, owner of Hardayal Singh Khalsa Store in Jamrud bazar of Khyber District, is focus of attention of citizen because of good gesture of offering edible goods for fasting Muslims at cut price.
“The objective of selling edible commodities on no profit was to receive prayers of fasting Muslims which are more worthy to us than money,” comments Guldeer Singh, son of Niringin Singh.
In the month of Ramzan we don’t make profit from business and sell our items on the purchasing price, making no profit, Guldeer told APP.
In eleven months of the year, we do business and earn money, but in month of Ramzan we have decided to make no earning and to facilitate fasting Muslims as a mark of reverence of their holy month.
“We can observe whispers coming out from the parched lips of fasting Muslims who seek prayers for us and this is what we wanted to get during Ramzan,” remarked Guldeer Singh.
He said local people highly appreciate availability of edible items on much discounted rates besides expressing surprise over reverence of holy month of Ramzan by followers of Sikh religion.
Guldeer said during Ramzan they have a lot of rush of customers and spent whole day in fulfilling orders.
The measures taken by Sikh community of Peshawar are receiving commendations from people from all walks of life and social media users are displaying these news as beauty of Pakistan where people of different religions are living in harmony and respect of each other.
“This is very well coming gesture from Sikh community and is promoting the spirit of interfaith harmony,” comments Prof Abdul Ghafoor, a noted religious scholar, Former Director of Sheikh Zahid Islamic Center and Member of Central Reut-e-Hilal Committee.
Talking to APP, Prof Ghafoor said such practices are winning hearts of Muslims and surely will help in achieving the goal of mutual coexistence.
Shahid Shinwari, a resident of Khyber district, apprised APP that local people are highly praising the generosity exhibited by Nirinjin Singh and his family for selling their merchandise on no profit basis.
“The act of kindness by Sikh trader has enhanced respect and honor of minority community in the eyes of tribesmen,” Shahid observed.
Bilal Ahmad, a graduate from Peshawar who serve as volunteer in iftar dinner arranged by Sikh said he share these pictures on social media with a pride that how people of different faiths are living in conformity in our country.
In each Ramzan I spare time and participate in such iftar dinners to acknowledge the good initiative taken by Sikh community members in promoting respect and love in society by serving fasting Muslims, Bilal said.