Dar Ul-Isra Mosque in Cardiff will serve thousands of free meals during Ramadhan
A Cardiff mosque is set to feed hundreds of people every night for the next 30 days with the commencement of the holy month of Ramadhan.
The Dar Ul-Isra Mosque will serve thousands of free meals to attendees of the sunset meal when daylight hours end and the fast opens. Food will be served each night at the iftar event by volunteers at the mosque in Wyverne Road, Cathays, when the fast comes to a close.
Organisers are inviting Muslims and non-Muslims to share the food at the mosque, with homeless people also being expected, as in previous years, to join in the evening meal.
Community outreach manager Mohammed Alamgir Ahmed said, “We provide the food to end the fast, called iftar, a three-course meal, to anyone who comes to the mosque at the time of ending the fast.
“We can feed up to 400 people every evening. We even have ‘sharing Ramadan’ nights where groups of non-Muslims come to experience iftar with us.
“This year we have three dates booked in where are expecting about 30 [non-Muslim] guests per night.”
Mohammed hopes that the shared iftar meals will help forge links within the local community and break down any existing cultural and religious barriers.
“Our doors are open and we would welcome the chance to show the public what really happens at Ramadan and what Muslims really believe in, how we live, and how Welsh Muslims adapt to fit in their jobs, studies and lives along with their religion.”
The food at the iftar event will be cooked and served by volunteers at the mosque, some of whom are professional chefs and all of whom are from a diverse range of backgrounds.
Mohammed said, “We may have Indian curry and rice one night, Malaysian food another night, and Middle Eastern food another night because our members come from different cultures.
“All the cooks are volunteers and are not paid. It will be a mix of Arabic, Asian, Middle Eastern and Malaysian food.
“We have done this for years. It will be a military operation. We have no chairs. We roll out mats to protect the carpet and sit on mats.
“It’s very important to show what Islam is really about and that it is about unity in everything.
“What better way to show unity than break bread together with the community?”
Mohammed added that the evening meals have become increasingly popular in recent years with Muslims and non-Muslims alike struggling to afford food.
“Austerity means more people have been coming in recent years. It is a full meal that they may not have had otherwise.
“It is particularly important we have an open-door policy.”
Mohammed added that the mosque is open to both Muslims and non-Muslims, who are welcome to visit at anytime.
Three special dates have been set aside to welcome non-Muslims to share the meal on June 26, June 29 and July 3, in an event organised by the Bridges for Community Charity.