Muslim sisters’ ‘nikah’ in Shiva temple in Uttar Pradesh

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Muslim sisters’ nikah in Shiva temple in Uttar Pradesh. Reuters Image. For representational purpose only

At a time when Uttar Pradesh has witnessed an increase in communal violence, a small temple of Lord Shiva at a village in the state’s Bulandshahar district, turned into a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity when it became witness to the marriages of two Muslim girls.

The “nikah” of the sisters was solemnised at the Shiva temple at the Ramnagar village of the district on Monday by the “kazi” in the presence of hundreds of people from both communities.

According to reports, Iqbal Khan, a resident of the village, had fixed the marriage of his two daughters, Nazma and Muzma, with two youths of the same district. Though the nikah ceremony was scheduled to be performed at his residence, Khan wanted the ceremony to be a symbol of communal amity and brotherhood. He had also expressed his desire to some of his Hindu friends.

Khan was surprised when he was approached by members of both communities a few days ago with a proposal to solemnise the nikah of his daughters at the Shiva Temple in Ramnagar.

“It was like a dream come true for me,” said Khan. He readily agreed.

Khan discussed the matter with the families of the two grooms, and they too said they had no objection to the arrangement. The priest of the Shiva temple also happily gave his permission.

On Sunday, the wedding party of the two girls arrived at the temple for the ceremony.

While the kazi performed the ceremony in accordance with Islamic traditions, a local Hindu family made arrangements for the community feast on the occasion.

The two girls were given a traditional and tearful send-off by hundreds of people from both the Hindu and Muslim communities on Monday.

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