Islamabad-Call for prayer being echoed from ‘Rematul-lil-Aalimin Mosque’ in Pakistan’s capital attracts its surroundings like all other mosques five times a day. What makes it different however is that it’s the only present day mosque in Pakistan introduced and being administered by eunuchs regardless of sects and beliefs.

Country’s first in its nature, the mosque and adjacent seminary has been completed this year in Bari Imam, few miles away from country’s Parliament. Its exclusivity lies in the fact that it has been collectively built by eunuch community open for all schools of thoughts and sexes.

Earlier, the world’s first ever mosque and adjacent seminary named “Waria” by the transgender was constructed in Yogyakarta Indonesia for the locals trans community and shemales in 2016.

That brain child of Ibu Shinta Ratri, 53, an Indonesian transgender was forced to close because of threats posed by a local hard core terrorist group affiliated with ISIS.

At Bari Imam, the local transgenders and she-males use to offer their prayers in the mosque built on local donations and charities and are being administered by a four-member body. The locals made fun of us, Kashish the transgender behind the project told, even some clerics have issued decrees against us, accusing us for humiliating and defaming religion by construction of this mosque.

“We use to go to ‘Rematul-lil-Aalimin Mosque’ for namaz and do not let in the sectarianism, racism, and other socio and politico divides, this mosque is open for all human beings and sects to come here and bow before the Lord, Kashish added.

The mosque is not limited to practice religion only but also acts as a class room serving the souls belonging to the slums of Bari Imam from where the local children are being taught reading and reciting Holy Book as well as English.

Ghareeb khusroo, a transgender with long beard who is a member of tableeghi jamat said that many transgenders in Pakistan are associated with tableeghi jamat and come here for tableegh. He added that many members of their community are involved in religious activities.

Wearing red T-shirt and trousers but with a covered head, Kashish further elaborated that at the moment 75 students come to ‘Rematul-lil-Aalimin Mosque’ for free of cost dual classes.  Asghar 12, a student from the seminary said that he joined Rematul-lil-Aalimin seminary for learning Quran and English along with his younger brother, as they are street vendors, selling small items at shrine of sufi saint ‘Bari Imam’ a few yards away.  

“I cannot afford school tuitions, so this is not a only mosque but an academy for us as well”, Asghar responded to a question. While responding to a query, Kashish was of the view that the mosque is about to complete. We have hired the services of a prayer leader hailing from Sargodha who will lead prayer, perform the call for prayer and deliver occasional sermons as well.

Molana Naeem, a local cleric while talking to the scribe said that mosque is God’s home and should be free for everyone. It should be a sign of harmony.

–The writer is a freelance contributor.