Harmony Centre at Borella Juma Mosque

To restore harmony between Muslims and non Muslims

By Latheef Farook

On Tuesday 4  September 2o23  a  “ harmony Centre” was  opened at the Borella Juma Masjid premises to educate and enlighten non Muslims  of Islam and the Muslim community’s  overall contributions to the country  for more than eleven centuries.

Unlike European colonial powers such as Portuguese,Dutch and British  who entered the island to loots it’s wealth,  Muslims visited the country as traders, established close relations with   kings who made them settle down here and become part and parcel of the country.In the subsequent  centuries Muslims fought shoulder to shoulder with Sinhalese Kings against    European  colonial powers, brought in foreign exchange, served as medical men and in numerous other position and became integral part of the island.

However since the defeat of LTTE in May 2009  this centuries old friendly ties were disrupted  due to   racist politics. Islam and Muslims were demonized. Muslims were  violently attacked,their  businesses, industries and even homes were burnt by organized  gangs besides   killing innocent Muslims.On top of all Sinhalese minds were poisoned against Muslims to the detriment of the country as a whole.

Awthard Reyal President. Borella Jumma Masjid
Hassan Fareed Moulavi President-Nida foundation









Thus numerous moves were made to  clear the misunderstanding and bring the two communities together in the larger interest of   the country . The idea of establishing Harmony Centre was first mooted by Hassan Fareed Moulavi,Presidenyt  of  Rajagiriya based Nida Foundation.

However they wanted a location of easy access  and  approached the Borella Juma Mosque.    Awthard Reyal , the president of Borella Juma Mosque committee, readily accepted the  proposal  .Since then the two sides -Nida Foundation and the Borella Mosque committee- started working together the details which finally ended up in the  setting up of the“ Harmony Centre”  which is a permanent feature at the mosque.

Buddhists,Christians and Hindus together with  Muslims attended the opening ceremony during which trained staff explained the purpose of  the centre   which is opened daily  from 9 am 5 pm. Especially trained people were  employed   full time  to explain  to visitors besides answering all their questions to clarify their doubts.

In fact first such move to  reach out to non Muslims was made by  Centre for Islamic Studies,CIS, which has   taken the message of Islam and Muslims through Mosques all over the Island.Most non Muslims in the island were not aware about Islam and the contribution of Muslim community to the country as Muslims   have failed to use   local media,especially, Sinhalese media. So far the community doesn’t even have  a one hour TV program  .

This  contributed a great deal  to the  misunderstanding of  Islam and Muslims especially in the wake of powerful media campaign demonizing Islam and Muslims.Under such circumstance Harmony Centre is the need of the hour and many who attended the inaugural function urged the need to  take this message to mosques all over the island  to reach out larger section of  non Muslims.

Mosque officials explaining Islam and Muslim history to guests

A specially trained member of the staff explaining the purpose of the centre to a section of the invitees attended the inaugural ceremony of Harmony Centre .


source : https://latheeffarook.com

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