India Abroad

Indian Christian Businessman In UAE Gifts Mosque To Muslim Workers On Ramzan

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
2507
| May 17 , 2018 , 12:09 IST

In an example of human kindness and secularity, a wealthy Christian businessman from India gifted a mosque to hundreds of Muslim workers in UAE, ahead of the Muslim month of fasting Ramzan, media reported on Wednesday. The mosque, worth $3 lakh has been named as Mariam, Umm Eisa (Mary, the Mother of Jesus) after a mosque in Abu Dhabi.

The 49-year-old businessman, Saji Cheriyan, hails from Kerala's Kayamkulam and built the mosque for Muslim workers living in a workers accommodation that he rented out to 53 companies in Fujairah.

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Cheriyan said that he had decided to build the mosque after he saw that workers had to take taxis to go to the current nearest one.

“They have to spend at least 20 dirhams to go to Fujairah city or another industrial area to attend the Juma prayer in a mosque. So, I thought it will make them happy if I build a mosque here next to their accommodation,” he said.

The new mosque in the East Ville Real Estate complex in Al Hayl Industrial Area can accommodate 250 worshippers at a time and facilities for 700 other worshippers are being set up in the interlocked courtyard of the mosque which would be shaded. The construction for the mosque had begun more than a year ago.

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“The Awqaf officials were surprised and happy when they got to know I am a Christian who wishes to build a mosque. They have offered me all the support and were ready to offer free electricity and water and other facilities,” Cheriyan said, adding that he accepted only carpet and sound system for the mosque from the Awqaf.

“When word spread about my mosque, many other people also offered cash donations, construction materials like sand and paint. But I have politely refused all those offers as I would like to pay from my pocket for this mosque,” he said.

“I have grown up seeing communities living together in utmost harmony. We celebrate all religions’ festivals and I don’t judge or treat people based on religion, caste, colour or nationality. The UAE is another example of communal harmony and tolerance,” Cheriyan said.

The Indian businessman had landed in the UAE in 2003 with just a few hundred dirhams.