(L-R) An Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rocket carrying the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, an island off the coast of southern Andhra Pradesh state on July 14, 2023 (Photo by R. SATISH BABU/AFP via Getty Images) and people offer namaz at the Islamic Center of India in Lucknow in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh for the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3, on August 22. 2023. (ANI Photo)
AMONG billions who were praying for the success of India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission which was expected to touch the moon’s surface on Wednesday (23) were Muslim children at the Islamic Center of India in Lucknow in the country’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh who offered namaz, informed Lucknow Eidgah Imam scholar Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali on Tuesday (22).
Speaking to news agency Asian News International, Mahali said, “Children offered namaz at Islamic Center madrasa and prayed for the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3.”
He also told the Press Trust of India that a special ‘dua’ (prayer) was held at Darul Uloom Farangi Mahal, a seminary in Lucknow, where students of madrasas (exclusive religious schools) took part in large numbers.
Mahali said the moon has a significance in both Muslim and Hindu cultures and therefore, they have a special attachment to the mission which took off on July 14 from Sriharikota in the south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh.
Chandrayaan-3 is likely to make a soft landing around 6.04 pm Indian Standard Time, the Indian Space Research Organisation said on Monday (21) and added that they will have a live telecast of the process starting around 5.20 pm.
Mahali, who congratulated ISRO over the mission, said India will be the first country to succeed on the unexplored lunar south pole if the mission landed successfully. He added that the students study science and harbour a lot of curiosity about the mission.
On Tuesday (22), ISRO said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that the mission was on schedule and the systems were undergoing regular checks.
“Smooth sailing is continuing. The Mission Operations Complex (MOX) is buzzed with energy & excitement!” the agency said.
Hindu prayer ceremonies were also being held across the country for the mission’s success.
The Uttar Pradesh government asked all state-run schools to hold screenings of the soft landing. In Gujarat, school students were invited by the state’s Science and Technology Council to witness the event.
Many private schools and colleges also organised similar programmes for the students.