These New York Sikhs are fundraising for a mosque in India
Darshan Singh learnt from a Muslim man living in Nadala, in Punjab (where Singh was visiting his family recently) how the village’s growing Muslim population had to pray in shifts in order to fit in the small room they had repurposed as a prayer space. Now, Darshan Singh and his son, who are both Sikhs, are running a crowdfunding campaign to purchase land for Muslims in Nadala, a Sikh-majority village, Punjab, to build their first mosque.
Why? It’s an interfaith act of Punjabi solidarity, explained his son, 28-year-old New York City community organizer Jagpreet Singh. It also serves as a way for him to live out the Sikh concept of sarbat da bhala, a Punjabi term used in Sikh prayer meaning “welfare of all mankind,” he said. “All of our prayers end with this idea of doing work for the betterment of all of mankind and not just ourselves,” he said, adding that he has helped host a Sikh-Muslim unity iftar in New York for the past three years to mark the breaking of the fast during the Islamic month of Ramzan.
More than 35 donors have contributed to his GoFundMe fundraiser, launched on November 15.
Locals estimate that several dozen Muslim families now reside in Nadala, most of whom are working-class families. The village has no mosque or formal Islamic prayer space. Just a handful of Sufi shrines remain in the area. Currently, Nadala’s Muslims hold daily congregational prayers in a small room in the back of a shop that fits about two dozen people. They pray in several rounds on Fridays when they hold congregational Jummah prayer services.
(Extracted from religionnews.com/)