21 May 2018, Manchester, UK
The Dawoodi Bohra congregation of Noor Masjid in Levenshulme yesterday treated neighbours and friends to a delicious communal meal and shared with their guests some of the history and customs of Ramadan. The meal was taken outside the front of the masjid on Sunday evening, with the community gathering for prayer and iftaar – the meal for breaking the daily fast during Ramadan.
The same evening, members of the community visited local shelters to provide meals to the homeless and hungry of Manchester, a cause that is close to the hearts of Dawoodi Bohra communities all over the world.
Those who attended the dinner included Afzal Khan CBE, Shadow Immigration Minister and MP for Manchester, Gorton. Mustafa Abdulhussein, Vice President of Noor Masjid, commented: “The Dawoodi Bohras have enjoyed playing a significant role in the local community for many years. We are delighted that so many of our friends and neighbours in Manchester came to our mosque to join us for a meal to break our day-long fast and learn about the history and customs of Ramadan, such as fasting, prayer, community meals and charity.”
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims do daily fasts. From about one hour before dawn to sunset, Muslims do not eat or drink anything. At sunset, the fast is broken and a normal meal is taken. Then prior to the beginning of the next fast, a meal or a snack is also taken. Thereafter nothing is consumed, not even water, till the following evening. In addition, devout Muslims attend prayer sessions at the masjid at dawn, at midday and at sunset. Some stay up for part of the night immersed in prayer. The recitation of the Quran is done more frequently this month. Most endeavour to complete the recitation of the whole Quran from cover to cover at least once during the holy month.
During Ramadan, Manchester’s Bohras, break the fast together at the masjid. After the prayers are complete, men, women and children sit together at a round tray called a thaal and partake of a meal. The meal for each day is provided by any one member of the congregation at his or her expense. And all members eat the same food.
Dr. Abdulhussein continued, “The food provided to guests yesterday was the same food the Dawoodi Bohras ate at the end of the fast after sunset. As our guests will testify, the Dawoodi Bohras are renowned throughout the world for their culinary skills. Some of our community members knocked on the doors of the neighbouring areas and delivered food to those who were ill and could not leave the house. It was a very satisfying evening indeed.”
About The Dawoodi Bohras of Noor Masjid and Ramadan al-Moazzam
The Dawoodi Bohra community has lived and worked peacefully in the Manchester area for many years. The Prophet Mohammed teaches that love of one’s country is part of faith. The Dawoodi Bohra community in Manchester prides itself on its long-term friendships with people from all faiths. The Noor Masjid was inaugurated in 2008 and is the primary place of worship for the Dawoodi Bohra community in the Greater Manchester area.
Ramadan al-Moazzam is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The Islamic calendar is lunar and is about 11 days shorter than the standard solar calendar, so the start of the Islamic year changes every year. This year it started on 15 May and ends on 14 June. Dawoodi Bohras fast on other days of the year too. These are single or multi-day fasts occur throughout the year. These fasts are also done in the same way as in Ramadan, but they are not mandatory.