For centuries the Rahman family have looked after a Hindu shrine in Northeast India – an interesting enough story but what’s fascinating is that the family is… (you guessed it) Muslim. Every morning 73 year-old Motibar Rahman sweeps the Burha Gosair Than and lights candles for Shiva, one of Hinduism’s foremost deities who many followers believe resides inside the shrine.
“Before me, my father used to do this work and his father before him. Our family has been the keepers of this holy place for the past 500 years,” says Mr. Rahman.
The shrine is located in the Assam state, part of a historic melting pot of ethnic groups and faiths wedged between Muslim-majority Bangladesh and (mostly) Buddhist Myanmar. 61% of Assamese are Hindu and 34% Muslim, according to a recent census.
“Apart from the Hindus, lots of Muslim people also come here and offer prayers,” explains Mr. Rahman. “People including the Hindus and Muslims say that their prayers are often fulfilled.”