Mosque built by Hindu businessperson in KPK village becomes a symbol of interfaith harmony

Previously known as Chaman Jumaat, the mosque was set up by Chaman Lal, a Hindu devotee, who is admired by the village elders even today.

A mosque in a village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) built by a Hindu in the pre-partition era of the Indian subcontinent serves as a symbol of interfaith harmony.

The mosque is located in the Chaman village of the Takhtbhai tehsil in the Mardan district of the province.

Previously known as Chaman Jumaat, the mosque was set up by Chaman Lal, a Hindu devotee, who is admired by the village elders even today.

The Chaman Mosque was later renamed as Allah-u-Akbar Mosque.

The mosque was established by Chaman Lal, a local Hindu businessperson, for the region’s Muslims in the 1920s.

“It was initially constructed of mud but was later rebuilt,” said Haji Khan, a centenarian, who also served as the mosque’s muezzin for 28 years.

“At present, the mosque bears very few signs of the old times.”

Khan expressed that Chaman Lal was a kind man, and the village had been named after him.

Another local, Haji Payenda, said that the 10-marla Chaman Masjid is located in the same area it was initially established.

Nevertheless, the building of Takhtbhai High Secondary School, located adjacent to the mosque, was once Chaman Lal’s residence.

“While Chaman Lal moved to the Katiala area of Mardan after the subcontinent’s partition and then migrated to India, the Chaman village and the Chaman mosque stayed behind as a sign of Lal’s love for the Muslims,” he added.

As a sign of his affection for Muslims, Chaman Lal left a worship place in the area, which will be remembered as Chaman Masjid.

However, the younger generation in the area appears to be ignorant of the fascinating history behind the mosque’s creation.

Journalist Mehboob Jibran told Pakhtun Nama that in the Mardan district and other parts of the province, various examples showing religious harmony could be found.

“We conserve these historical monuments in their colors and shapes for our future generations so that an atmosphere of peace and harmony can prevail among other faiths,” he added.

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