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When Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid went to Palestine to boost morale of British Army

Following is the text from the 15 June 1945 edition of Indian Information (a journal published by the British-controlled Government of India during the Second World War). The title of the item was ‘Imam’s Visit to Indian Troops in the Middle East’

 

Shams-Ul-Ulema Maulvi Sayed Ahmed, 80-year-old Imam of Delhi Jumma Masjid (Jama Masjid), has expressed great satisfaction at the conditions under which Indian troops are living in the Middle East. He has toured Egypt, Syria, and Palestine, and writes an Indian Army Observer.

 

“During my 20-day tour in the Middle East,” he said, “I visited a large number of units. I saw the tents and barracks where they live, the kitchens, messes, and recreation rooms where they eat, drink, and relax, and the playgrounds where they play games to keep themselves fit.


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“I talked to the soldiers Informally in the absence of their officers. And I visited their hospitals. I am glad to say that despite a host of unpleasant occupations and the great strain of this terrible war, Indian soldiers are very well looked after, and their religious aspects of life are well catered for.

Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid  Shams-Ul-Ulema Maulvi Sayed Ahmed, photo date 06/01/1914
Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid Shams-Ul-Ulema Maulvi Sayed Ahmed, photo date 06/01/1914

“Every camp is equipped with a mosque, a temple, and a gurdwara, which are well attended. My joy was very great indeed when I saw that officers from Jemadar up to the C-in-C are fully alive to and sympathetic towards the needs and requirements of men serving under them, and strive to give them as much comfort as possible.


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“I am quite sure that but for separation from home and relatives Indian soldiers would prefer to live on here for any length of time.”


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