Of a Masjid set up in Takhtbhai by Hindu before subcontinent’s partition

Chaman Lal had set up the mosque in a village named after him

Jamal Safi

TAKHTBHAI: While mosques exist in every locality of the entire country, one masjid in Chaman village of Takhtbhai tehsil in Mardan district is such that it had been set up by a Hindu in the pre-partition period of the subcontinent.

The mosque was previously known as Chaman Jumaat, set up by Chaman Lal, a Hindu devotee, who is discussed by the village elders even today. Chaman Mosque was later renamed as Allah-o-Akbar Masjid.

The mosque was built by Chaman Lal, a local Hindu businessman, for the Muslims of the area in the 1920s.

“It was initially built of mud, but was later rebuilt in 1971,” said by Haji Payenda Khan, a 100-year-old man, who also served as a muezzin in the mosque for 28 years. “Now the mosque bears very few signs of the old times.”

Haji Payenda Khan, a 100-year-old man, who also served as a muezzin in the mosque for 28 years.

He added that Chaman Lal was a very kind man and the village Chaman is still named after him.

Sign board of Chaman Village

Haji Payenda also said that 10-marla Chaman Masjid existed in the same area even today, although the building of Takhtbhai High Secondary School, located adjacent to the mosque, was once the residence of Chaman Lal.

Takhtbhai High Secondary School

“While Chaman Lal moved to Katiala area of Mardan after the subcontinent’s partition and then migrated to India, Chaman village and Chaman mosque stayed behind as a sign of Lal’s love for the Muslims,” he added.

As a sign of his love and affection for Muslims, Chaman Lal left a worship place in the region, which will eventually be remembered as Chaman Masjid. But unfortunately, it doesn’t matter to the younger generation of the area as one namazi recently told this scribe in the mosque that it had no importance for him as to who had built this mosque.

A journalist, Mehboob Jibran, told Pukhtun Nama that in the Mardan district as well as in other parts of Pakhtunkhwa, a number of such examples can be found showing religious harmony in the area.

“We must preserve these historical monuments in their own colors and shapes for future generations, so that an atmosphere of love, peace and harmony can prevail among other religions and faiths,” he added.