FOOD & CUISINE
Among members of the Dawoodi Bohra community, as among Muslim communities across the world, food is considered one of the most venerated of Allah’s blessings. Hosting another for a meal or providing food to others is seen as one of the highest and most noble of deeds. The impetus to feed others stems from an age-old tradition that was enshrined by the forefathers of the Prophet Mohammed and has continued to flourish throughout the history of Islam.
The Prophet Mohammed states, ‘There is no deed greater than feeding the hungry.’
The Fatimi Imams, descendants of the Prophet and legatee, were renowned for their generosity and prepared mawaid (platters filled with food) for the masses in celebration of various occasions throughout the year. Most noteworthy among them were the iftar (breaking of fast) meals served during the holy month of Ramadan which culminated in the Eid al-Fitr feast. Simat (also food platters) filled with lavish servings of numerous savoury and sweet dishes were laid out for all to come and partake of, irrespective of social or financial standing.
Drawing inspiration from and continuing these traditions, the 52nd al-Dai al-Mutlaq Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin initiated the ‘Faiz al-Mawaid al-Burhaniyah’ (FMB) programme in 2011. This initiative established community kitchens in the towns and cities where Dawoodi Bohras reside, with the primary aim of providing at least one wholesome and nutritious meal a day to every community household.
FMB has expanded to include numerous sustained efforts to provide food to the hungry and impoverished as well as aid and relief supplies during times of need. In collaboration with its sister initiative known as Dana Committee, which aims to eliminate food loss and waste by ensuring that every single dana (grain) is accounted for, FMB continues to work towards the United Nations’ sustainable development goal of ensuring food security for all and a world without hunger.