Thursday, 27 October 2005

Qaris from Egypt, Iran spread message of peace in India

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 27: A group of Qaris from Egypt and Iran is currently on a mission to India to spread the message of peace during the Islamic holy month of Ramzan and wean away Muslim youth from illegal activities particularly terrorism.
The Qaris came to the city on Thursday after visiting several places in the country including the national capital Delhi. Qaris are people who are specialised in the art of Arabic phonetics and can recite the Holy Quran in the most beautiful of ways. The Qaris of Egypt are known for their exclusively attractive style of reading the Quranic verses.
The team will stay in Hyderabad till November 1 and will perform at various places including mosques. The Qaris will also interact with leaders of various religions during the stay in the city in a bid to foster peace and communal harmony. In Bidar the team was welcomed by Brendra Lingayya, head priest of a Lingayat temple.
"We are really overwhelmed by the tremendous response we got during our interaction with leaders of other religions. We know Indians maintain good cordial relations and communal harmony and our interaction with the people here has only reinforced our belief," says Egyptian Qari Shaik Ibrahim Juma Ibrahim.
Though Qaris from Egypt have been visiting India every Ramzan for the past 15 years, it is for the first time that Iran has deputed one of its Qaris to the city. The tradition of using the services of Qaris during Ramzan to spread the message of peace was first started in the country by former President Fakruddin Ali Ahmad.
The tradition was discontinued after his death. Former prime minister Indira Gandhi reinitiated the process and took up the issue with the Government of Egypt. However, the efforts bore fruits only in 1990, six years after her assassination. Since then the tradition has been continuing without break.
"The basic idea is to wean away youth from terrorism and terrorists. We want to create awareness among people that Islam is all about peace and religious tolerance," says Moulana Peerzada Shabbir Naqshbandi.
Chief Coordinator of the Qaris' tour Hafiz Fayyaz Ali, the Qaris will recite the Holy Quran on Friday at the historic Mecca Masjid before the Jumatul Vida prayers. They will also participate in a programme at Dargah Amrullah Shah in old city at 10.00 pm.
The Qari team comprises Shaik Ibrahim Juma Ibrahim, Shaik Abdullah bin Al Hussain, Shaik Mahmood Al Hassami Estavi and Iranin Aari Agha Pheroz Yavari Gul. The Iranian Consulate in Hyderabad is hosting the Iranian Qari. The State government has accorded "State Guest" status to the Qaris.

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