Dharmapuri (TN): In a gesture of communal amity, a Karnataka based Muslim businessman has become an ardent devotee of a Lord Siva temple in a border village in neighbouring Krishnagiri district and has been extending his support for its development.
57-year-old S Mohammed Sabhiyulla alias Babu Anna developed faith in the presiding deity of the temple at Dhappakuli village bordering Karnataka as he believed his prayers there had helped him win a long-pending court case.
Sabhiyulla, a millet trader and maintaining a marriage hall in Aanaikkal in Karnataka was upset due to his two decade old family property dispute. A friend to whom he narrated his problem brought him to the temple, situated in Western Ghat section in Denkanikottah, early in 2004 to offer prayers and perform pooja.
He believed his prayers resulted in the judgement coming out in his favour that year, after which he became an ardent devotee of the presiding deity.
"The judgment in my favour solved my family`s uncertainty and helped me retain my ancestral property. This happened only because of the blessings of Lord Siva", Sabhiyulla told PTI.
The businessman said he and his family members decided to develop the dilapidated temple. They constructed a shed in which devotees perform poojas and take rest,renovated the huge Nandhi statue and painted the whole construction from their own funds as a thanksgiving gesture.
They also made arrangements for free meals for devotees on all days since 2007, temple priest P Basappa said. "If a devotee comes to the temple for performing pooja, I ask him to have a meal. I myself cook it based on the number of visiting devotees" he said.
"As a strong devotee of Lord Siva, I wanted to develop the temple. As my community people are aware of my history, no one came against my decision to develop a Hindu temple", he said.
Sabhiyulla and his wife Kusster John have been regular visitors to the about 200-year-old temple once a year to perform pooja since 2004. They also plan to give donation to the temple for performing "Kumbabisegam".