A CHURCH BUILT BY MUSLIMS IN SICILY
FOR THEIR CHRISTIAN BRETHREN
Allah’s name in the Arabic script
There are surprising things in the world. And often they go unnoticed. Muslims lived in harmony with other religions as commanded by Allah. The stupid and malignant people who destroy churches anywhere should understand that there was a time when Muslims built churches for their Christian brethren. There are examples in the world but the best example is in Sicily and it is called CAPELLA PALATINA PALERMO. A strange chapter in the history of mankind.
A blog is not a space for a detailed analysis of this church, and it is indeed worthy of seeing by all. There is a classic rare book published on the same with details of drawings and scripts. It even carries the Arabic script at places with names of both ALLAH as well as PROPHET MUHAMMED (PBUH). Historians wonder to this day the background in the making of this church.
There are other amazing features. For those Mullahs who rail against Figurative Painting, the Church is full of sculpture and Iconic Christian imagery, surrounded by Arabic Kufic Script. MUSLIMS HAVE DRAWN JESUS CHRIST, LADY MARY AND ALL THE OTHER SAINTS IN THE CHURCH. If this is not broad mindedness, then what else is? This is tolerance reached to newer and newer levels. And it is to be appreciated by all.
The many Churches in Lahore were obviously designed by English Architects in their requirements, but many were later handed over to contractors like Muhammed Sultan and architects like Raheem Baksh Mimar and Kareem Baksh Mimar, and it is a matter of record too. A number of certificates are there to this effect. For instance Major D. Bennet, Member of the Church building at Meean Meer cantonment writes a certificate dated 20th December, 1856, that:
” Certfied that Emoo (Raheem Baksh), Raj Mistree, was for many years in the employment of the late MAJOR SHARP OF THE ENGINEERS,who I know had the highest opinion of him; he was the person most depended upon while building the splendid Church at Meean Meer, and he had instructed him in a Plan drawing , which he understands well. He deserves every encouragement being a most intelligent and active workman. I attach a note of Mr Sharp written about him.”
The mosque, the Mandir and the Gurdawara built at Aitchison College was also designed by a Chughtai family member, who was a Drawing Master at Aitchison College itself. Mian Kareem Baksh Mimar was also involved in its embellishment at that time. He was an expert in Chuna Kari of the type that is on Asif Khan’s mausoleum. The modern times have brought decay to the broadmindedness of the Muslims.