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Malegoan NGO sponsors Umrah of 10 Imams and 10 muezzin

Bundu Kaka Bachhau and Shafiq of Bara Balote Dar Matar Mandal Foundation speaking to mediapersons

Shah Taj Khan/Malegaon (Maharashtra)

Ten Imams of mosques and an equal number of muezzins of this suburban town of Mumbai would go to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah – pilgrimage to Makkah and Madina on the lines of the Haj – after the Eid.

Their pilgrimage is being organized and sponsored by the Bara Balote Dar Matar Mandal Foundation, an NGO that works for the Hindu-Muslim unity and communal harmony in the city and surrounding areas.

The Foundation has members from both Hindu and Muslim communities and is headed by Bundu Kaka Bachhau, a wealthy businessman. Announcing the decision, Bachhau said he believes in helping others as he believes that God rewards humans after death not on the basis of his religion or caste but his deeds and karma on earth.

To pre empt objections that many Muslims could raise, Shafiq consulted scholars and even obtained a a fatwa (religious decree) that sponsoring of Umrah was fine. He said if any wrongdoing in this is proven by religious organizations, the Foundation will cease the plan.

Bundu Kaka Bachhau and the Fatwa

The Foundation has asked the interested Imams and Muezzins to contact them. The only condition is that they must have passport. At the end the beneficieries will be selected through a draw of lots.

The same Foundation had sponsored the visit of poor Hindu caretakers and workers of temple for a Chaar Dham yatra earlier. The idea of sponsoring the pilgrimage for Hindus was floated by Shafiq, a popular social workers who, as member of the Foundation. is in charge of anti-corruption-drive.

Speaking to mediapersons Shafiq explained that he used to give some tips to a poor woman who was looking after a temple for a paltry remuneration. “I often used to give Rs 50/100 to this woman out of religious sentiments.

One day, the woman asked Shafiq, “Son, I have been coming to this temple for many years but I wish to visit Chaar Dham. I am poor and cannot fulfill this wish till before I die.”

Here is the video of the Press conference:

Shafiq said since the woman was like a mother figure to him, he asked Bundu Chacha Bachao if the Foundation could help help.

The meeting that took up the matter was decided that many mosques in the city have women and men who have been serving for years for a honourarium also have similar desires. Like the Hindu woman, they too can not undertaken expensive religious obligations.

Bundu Kaka Bachau said while plans were being drawn for the Char Dhamm yatra, Shafiq also spoke about the bad financial condition of the Imams and Muezzins of the mosques due to which they are unable to even think of going for Umrah. He proposed the idea for muezzins and imams’ visiting to Saudi Arabia.

Bundu Kaka Bachao said he and other members of the foundation liked Shafiq Bhai’s proposal. “This is also a religious matter. Therefore, we have decided to honor the Imam and Muezzin with an open heart in the joy of Umrah.”

The Bara Balutedar Matar Mandal Foundation, has entrusted Shafiq, Jabar Shah, Azhar Shaikh, Sabar Haji, Muzaffar Bhai, Jafar Mirza, Shakeel Tirak, Pond Du Seth to finalise the plan for sending Imams and Muezzins on pilgrimage.

Lal Masjid of Malegoan

Bundu Kaka Bachao told mediapersons that Imams and Muezzins are also our protectors. “We consider them family members. They have as much respect and honour in our hearts as Muslims. I am happy to express this determination that God is using us as instruments for this work.”

Bara Balutedar Matar Mund Foundation has been organizing Iftaar parties during the Ramazan. “We in Malegaon work for the welfare of all in the spirit of humanity without any distinction of East and West, caste, religion and creed.”

The NGO has extended help to the Muslims affected by violence in the Muslim areas in the past. To deal with water shortages, the foundation bought 5 tankers in 2018. These tankers supply drinking water to thousands of rural folks.

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It also organises coaching of poor students. As a result last year 66 Malegaon city youth were selected as police officers.

It also organizes a wrestling competition, and the mass weddings of poor women. “We do not discriminate between Hindus and Muslims. We are human beings and consider service to humanity as our priority,” Bundu Kaka Bachho said.

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