Breaking barriers: Muslim youth clean up 2 temples in flood-hit Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: In an inspiring development from the flood-hit Kerala, two groups of Muslim youths cleaned up two temples in Wayanad and Malappuram on Monday, a leading daily reported.

The awe-inspiring act which overthrew the religious barriers has more to it as some the individuals who took part in the cleaning drive were fasting on the day of Arafah or Arafat, which is the second day of the haj pilgrimage.

As per reports, a team of 18 youth from Mukkam cleaned up the Venniyode Sree Maha Vishnu temple in Wayanad. It was flooded with rainwater and was filled with slush and silt following the floods.

Elaborating on group’s initiative, Najumdeen K, a UAE-based engineer from the group, said, “We were asked if we can help in cleaning up the nearby temple. We told them that we are Muslims and are happy to help if temple authorities are okay with it.”

Najumdeen added that the cleaning process was carried out under the guidance of the temple authorities. He also heaped praise upon the temple authorities for the acceptance they showed.

“Islam says it is the duty of every believer to protect places of worship, even during a war. We believe that we will be answerable to God for what we did during testing times like the current floods. What was most striking was the spirit of acceptance shown by temple authorities. The temple official was overwhelmed by our help,” he added.

The temple committee chairman Pradeep Kumar VC lauded the effort of the youths and said that they cleaned up all places except the inside of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

“The cleaning of sanctum sanctorum can be carried out only by the main priest who was not present. We immensely value their service, ” he said.

Meanwhile, a group of 20 Muslim youths offered assistance for clean-up of an Ayyappa temple in Mannarkkad which was swamped by the devastating floods. Located near Kolpuzha, the temple had been closed four days ago after it was filled with mud and slush.

The secretary of temple management committee K Gopalakrishnan expressed his gratitude for the selfless act by the youths and said that they cleaned up the temple in four hours.

“We appreciate their help at a time when the sanctum sanctorum was damaged in floods.” He further added that the Muslim group’s efforts had highlighted “public unity that transcended caste and religion”, he said.