Swaran Singh from Punjab, who sells cloth material on pavements for a living, has become a hero overnight. The social media is going gaga about his gesture towards communal love and harmony. The other day, the musalees aspiring to offer Salah at Syed Karam Shah (RA) Masjid at Gole Market, Karan Nagar area, Srinigar, were about to return dejected as there was no space left for them on prayers mats anywhere, not even on the main road of the busy area.
This is when Swaran Singh offered fresh suit pieces out of his stock as prayer mats. Many of the namazees couldn’t believe their eyes that the man from another community was offering them suit pieces showcased in his shop to be laid down on the main road. “Don’t worry, use it, what better can be its use than to offer prayers on it,” Swaran Singh said.
While one of the men offered him some money in return, Swaran Singh replied: “This is no business. I do it to please the Almighty,” Kashmir Observer reported. Swaran Singh, a resident of Ludhiana, has been coming to Kashmir during summers, for several years. “I was a young man when I started coming to Kashmir to earn a livelihood. I owe a lot to the people of this land. Though media would often project a wrong picture of this place, I never found it unsafe,” he told Kashmir Observer. “This has been my favorite spot. It gives me solace to sell goods outside Masjid, where people pray to one Almighty, which is similarly true for Sikhism,” Swaran Singh added.
He said over the years he discovered that by offering some of the suit pieces to namazees doesn’t affect his business but actually brings fortune. “My business has been doing well due to this and so I make it a point that no one on the road misses his prayers due to shortage of prayer mats,” he said.
The Masjid Intizaamiya is all praise for the vendor. While hailing Swaran Singh, Ghulam Qadir Batloo, the President of the Masjid Intizamiya, said: “This has been his contribution for several years that he is always ready to offer help to the namazees.” Ghulam Qadir said though the Masjid has a dedicated stock of prayer mats reserved for main roads during Ramzan, musalees often outnumber the prayer mats.