Amreli, Gujarat, September 17— The three Muslim brothers offer Namaz five times a day and fast every Ramazan, but for a day they adopted Hindu customs and rituals – in order to give cremation with full Hindu rituals to a Brahmin, their father’s friend of four decades.
Bhanushankar Pandya has been living with them for years. When he died, the brothers did not hesitate in wearing dhotis and a janeu (sacred thread) to cremate their ‘uncle’.
“When Bhanushankar uncle was on his death bed, we procured Ganga jal for him from a Hindu family. When he passed away, we told our neighbours that we wanted to perform his last rites in accordance with rituals followed by Brahmin families. We were told that the janeu was a must to lift the bier. We readily agreed to it,” Zubair Qureshi was quoted as saying by The Times of India. His two brothers Abu and Naseer were standing with him. The three brothers work as daily-wage labourers to earn a living.
The pyre was lit by Naseer’s son Arman. “We are also going to have Arman’s head tonsured on the 12th day because that is the custom Hindus follow,” Naseer said.
Their father Bhikhu Qureshi and Pandya were friends for 40 years since they met as labourers. Qureshi died three years ago.
Pandya would also celebrate Muslim festivals with the Qureshi family.