Hindu at Taj Mahal’s Namaz

I have always been interested in different religions, particularly in Islam and finally I got an opportunity to learn something about it. I shared the apartment with a Muslim guy named Sana in Gwalior during my tour guide training and now we are very good friends. We shared the apartment for 6 weeks in Gwalior and then traveled together for next one week in Jaipur and Agra and I stayed at his apartment in Delhi. I had always wanted to learn about Namaz (the prayer to Allah). I was in Agra on Id and I was staying with Sana, his friend Khesal and Prem. We were staying at hardly five minutes walk from Taj Mahal.

Sana is a different kind of Muslim. I remember him once telling that he was an atheist whereas Khesal was really strict Muslim. He used to go for Namaz by leaving the class during training period. Sana was open for everything, even for drinking which is completely prohibited in Islam. It was Id day and Sana and Khesal both wanted to go for Namaz at Taj Mahal. Id is a day when entry is free to Taj Mahal so they decided to go to Taj Mahal for Namaz. I also asked Sana and Khesal to take me with them. Sana was open for it but Khesal seemed a bit concerned taking me to a mosque.I had already talked about Namaz with Khesal on the night before to Id and I had some idea about how it would be like and I was so excited for it but I was a bit scared also at the same time.

I did not want somebody to stop me and tell to leave the mosque because I was a Hindu. I talked about it with Sana and he said everything would be fine if I follow his instructions. He asked me to hide the red thread I had over my wrist and asked me to take care of my Janeu so that nobody could see it. I was excited for the Namaz but I was feeling a bit scared. I asked my friend Prem to come with us to the Namaz and he seemed okay at first but later he said that he did not want to come with us. He was also a kind of Hindu who did not know Hinduism well because Hinduism teaches to respect all the religions. Well, I went to the Taj Mahal for Namaz with Sana and Prem.

I bought a handkerchief to cover my head and was pretending to be a familiar guy to Islam. I think there were at least twenty to thirty thousand people at Taj Mahal for Namaz and I am sure that I was only Hindu there, and worst thing about me was that I was a Bramhin. Finally the Namaz was started and now I was seriously concerned about me doing anything stupid. Sana had already taught me basics of Namaz and I was just looking at other people around me with my half opened eyes but still I made a mistake but fortunately Sana saw me making this mistake and stopped me from doing so. Sana had told me that people repeat Ayats of Kuran during the Namaz but I did not know anything so I started repeating the Gayatri Mantra and somehow I was able to complete the Namaz without anybody letting know that I was a Bramhin doing Namaz there.

I was so happy to have completed the Namaz. Sana had told me that the people who do Namaz regularly never get any joint pains because they have to sit and stand up several times and now I seriously believe it. I think I had to sit down, band my whole body and put my head on the ground and then stand up for at least five times and the right way to perform Namaz is to perform it five times a day. So I am sure that if anybody is performing Namaz for five times a day, he would never get any joint pains and it is a very good physical exercise. After performing the Namaz, I went in the Muslim neighborhood right behind the Taj and saw Muslism celebrating the festival. It was really a nice experience performing the Namaz and I would really love to learn it properly and would love to whenever I get anyone like Sana who secures my safety and take cares of me.

8 thoughts on “Hindu at Taj Mahal’s Namaz

  1. Very interesting. If u go into detail every act of namaz is a benefit. When u touch u r head to the ground static electricity is transferred to the ground. Also spinal fluids rush down and rejuvenate the spine. Blood flow to the head increases which decreases stress.

    Also try reading Hadith which is a complete manual of the human machine. It is the manual Allah has given us to operate the machinery that is our body.

    May you be guided on the straight path inshaAllah.

    My prayers are with you.

  2. Nazir,

    Thanks for your prayer for me. I absolutely believe that Namaz is super beneficial for human body and soul. I would love to learn more about it by reading Hadith as you have suggested. And I feel like I am on the right path by having respect to all the religions. ईश्वर अल्लाह तेरो नाम, सबको सन्मति दे भगवान!

  3. You prayed the Gayatri Mantra in the Islamic prayer? Too cool! I love that. 🙂

    I’m a gay Muslim woman who has always liked Hinduism and yoga. I often kind of have both going at once too. I visit mandirs and even though I can’t really participate in the goings-on, I have feelings of reverence for it being sacred space. I feel lost when visiting a mandir because I have no idea what to do, and no one offers advice; I don’t know if they avoid me for being an obvious non-Hindu foreigner, or if it’s just normal for no one to talk to anyone else there. So I just sit there and feel the sacred space. I’ve written studies comparing hatha yoga and Islamic prayer, and the similarities are astonishing. My thesis is not that one tradition borrowed from the other, but that both derive from the same ultimate source. I like that you’re supporting gay rights here and just wanted to give you a shout out for that. I’m angry that I can’t go to mosques when I’m in India, because they don’t allow women in, which is deeply wrong. I mean, look at this, a Brahmin dude can go pray namaz in the mosque, but as a Muslim woman I can’t! Insane. Fortunately that is beginning to change these days as Muslim sisters reclaim their equal rights.

    I found your blog while searching the lines of verse you quoted: ईश्वर अल्लाह तेरो नाम, सबको सन्मति दे भगवान. I heard Sheila Chandra singing that and wondered what was the origin of it. I also saw a picture of Gandhiji once next to these lines on a sign. The language looks a little different from standard Hindi. Is it a dialect? Having learned Hindi as a foreigner, I only know the standard language and not the variants. I feel better every time I hear someone quoting these lines. Gives me hope for the world. The relationship of Hinduism and Islam is NOT just centuries of conflict and hatred. There are also centuries of friendship, sharing, and spiritual communion, many instances in which the differences between the religions were overcome by friendship and understanding. Sad that all the good side of the history seems to have been forgotten today.

  4. Bahnapa,

    Thanks for writing. I am glad that you made such a beautiful comment on my blog. I think ईश्वर अल्लाह तेरो नाम, सबको सन्मति दे भगवान is mix of Hindi and Gujrati. These words like तेरो (तुम्हारा in Hindi), भायो (भाई in Hindi) is used in Gujrat. I am also sad that Indian mosques don’t allow women. Many people talk about this issue. I have heard that even Arab mosques also allow women but I don’t know why Indian mosques aren’t like them. Anyways, I was able to do the Namaz and it was a really nice spiritual experience. I still practice Namaz sometimes at home but am not perfect yet. I try to learn Namaz online and hope that someday I will be more confident and will participate in Namaz at mosques without help of any of my Muslim friends.
    Your research sounds really interesting. Is it available online? If yes, then please send me a link. I would love to read it. I am always interested in similarities between different religions and I am sure if our religious and political leaders can talk about similarities rather than talking about differences and how one religion is greater than other, we will definitely have a beautiful world.

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