In a remarkable display of communal harmony and shared heritage, 350 Muslim devotees completed a 150-kilometer pilgrimage on foot to visit the newly inaugurated Ayodhya Ram Mandir, reaffirming the idea that Lord Ram is an ancestor to all.
After six days of determined walking from Lucknow to Ayodhya, the group of 350 Muslim pilgrims, led by the national coordinator of the Rashtriya Muslim Manch, Raja Raees, and the provincial coordinator, Sher Ali Khan, arrived in the holy city with a sense of achievement and deep reverence.
Upon reaching their destination, the pilgrims were visibly moved, with tears of pride as they chanted the name of Shri Ram. The journey was not an easy one, with the devotees taking rests at predetermined stops every 25 kilometers to gather strength for the trek ahead. Despite worn-out shoes and weary feet, the sight of Ram Lalla, the infant representation of Lord Ram, provided them with profound spiritual fulfillment.
Raja Raees, the group’s leader, expressed that Lord Ram is a figure of respect for everyone, irrespective of religious backgrounds. He emphasized that embracing another religion’s place of worship does not mean abandoning one’s faith. “Our country, our civilization, our constitution do not teach us to hate each other. When a person from one religion visits a place of worship of another religion, it should not be misconstrued as abandoning their own faith,” Raees explained.
The pilgrimage was not merely a religious act but also a gesture of respect towards the nation and humanity. “By coming here, we have not become infidels or committed any offense. Instead, this strengthens the culture of love and unity in our country,” said Raees. The group was welcomed as a symbol of unity and integrity, showcasing the diverse yet cohesive fabric of Indian spirituality and culture.
Before their auspicious visit to the Ram Mandir, the group also paid their respects at the shrines of Sadhu Ram Surat Sahib and Udhar Sahib, further cementing their inclusive approach to devotion. Together, they recited the Hanuman Chalisa, a set of verses in praise of Lord Hanuman, a central figure in the Ramayana epic.
Following their visit to the temple, the Muslim devotees sought blessings from the chairman of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust and Mahant Nritya Gopal Das Maharaj of the Maniramdas Chawni. Their journey culminated in a momentous experience that combined religious reverence with a message of peace and togetherness.
This pilgrimage by Muslim devotees to the Ayodhya Ram Mandir stands as a powerful testament to India’s pluralistic society and the potential for religious unity. It underscores the shared values and heritage that transcend the boundaries of faith and serve as a beacon of hope for an inclusive future.