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Mosque Built By Hindu Businessman In Mardan Serves As A Symbol Of Interfaith Harmony

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A mosque in Chaman village of Takhtbhai tehsil in Mardan district that was built by a Hindu in the pre-partition era of the subcontinent serves as a symbol of interfaith harmony.

The mosque was previously known as Chaman Jumaat, set up by Chaman Lal, a Hindu devotee, who is respected by the village elders even today. Chaman Mosque was later renamed as Allah-o-Akbar Masjid.

The mosque was built by Chaman Lal, a local Hindu businessman, for the Muslims of the area in the 1920s.

“It was initially built of mud, but was later rebuilt,” said by Haji Khan, a 100-year-old man, who also served as a muezzin in the mosque for 28 years. “Now the mosque bears very few signs of the old times.”

He added that Chaman Lal was a kind man and the village had been named after him. Haji Payenda also said that 10-marla Chaman Masjid existed in the same area even today, although the building of Takhtbhai High Secondary School, located adjacent to the mosque, was once the residence of Chaman Lal.

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

As a sign of his love and affection for Muslims, Chaman Lal left a worship place in the region, which will eventually be remembered as Chaman Masjid.
However, the young generation of the area appears to be unaware of the fascinating history behind the creation of the mosque.

A journalist, Mehboob Jibran, told Naya Daur that in the Mardan district as well as in other parts of Pakhtunkhwa, a number of such examples showing religious harmony in the area can be found.
“We must preserve these historical monuments in their own colors and shapes for future generations, so that an atmosphere of love, peace and harmony can prevail among other religions and faiths,” he added.

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