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Lakhs throng Deoband for prayers led by Imam-e-Haram Dr As-Sudais

Friday March 25, 2011 11:08:08 PM, & Agencies

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Deoband (Uttar Pradesh): Lakhs of Muslims from different parts of the country thronged the prestigious Darul-Uloom seminary in this Uttar Pradesh town to participate in the Friday prayers led by the chief Imam of the Masjid-al-Haram in Makkah - Islam's most sacred site.

Imam-al-Haram Dr Abu Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman As-Sudais, especially took time off from his busy schedule in New Delhi to fly down in a helicopter to Deoband to offer namaz, which attracted Muslims from far-off places.

He was accompanied by former Indian cricket captain turned MP Mohammad Azharuddin, union Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmad and Urdu daily Sahafat's editor Hasan Shuja.


Dr As-Sudais was received at the helipad by Darul-Uloom rector Maulana Mohammad Ghulam Vastanvi and other top members of the institution's faculty.

Dr As-Sudais is visiting India on the invitation of Jamiatul Ulema-e-Hind.

All roads leading to the world-famous school of Islamic thought were packed with people and when it came to offering the 'namaz', people joined the ritual in every nook and corner of the town, including streets, parks, rooftops and even highways on the outskirts.

In an hour-long 'khutba' (sermon), the cleric praised the Darul Uloom for its rich contribution to Islam.


He also made a fervent appeal to all for observing peace and harmony, which he described as the "true essence of Islam".

He returned to New Delhi shortly afterwards.

The Makkah mosque, encircling the Kaaba, and the Prophet Mohammad's mosque at Madinah in Saudi Arabia, collectively called the "Harmain-al-Sharifain (the sacred sanctuaries)", are the two most sacred sites for Muslims and the centre-points of the annual Haj pilgrimage.


Earlier, Dr As-Sudais arrived in New Delhi March 24, hours before his actual schedule. At the airport, he was received by Saudi Ambassador, and other dignitaries including Jamiatul Ulema-e-Hind president Maulana Arshad Madani.


Dr As-Sudais met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh later in the evening.


During his three-day stay in India, Dr. As-Sudais will visit various places in the national capital besides addressing the conference organised by Jamiatul Ulema-e-Hind at Ramlila Ground on March 26. He will also meet various groups representing the Indian Muslims including Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.

On March 27, Dr. As-Sudais will visit the Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadees Complex at Okhla and lead the afternoon prayers. The prayer will be followed by his address.

Dr As-Sudais is regarded worldwide as one of the most loved and respected Muslim clerics. He is leading the prayers at the Grand Mosque, Makkah in Saudi Arabia since more than a decade.

This is Dr. As-Sudais’s first visit to India. Earlier, he was scheduled to address a peace conference in Mumbai in November 2010 but his visit was cancelled in the last moment. The Mumbai Peace Conference was however addressed by Dr. Saud As-Shuraim, his colleague and another Imam of the Grand Mosque with equal stature.







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Picture of the Day

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in a meeting with the Imam-e-Haram, Makkahtul Mukerrema, Fazilatus Shaikh Dr. Abdur Rahman Abdul Aziz al Sudais, in New Delhi on March 24, 2011. Dr Sudais is in India on a historic three day visit.

(Photo: Shivraj



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