Ramadhan and Eid celebrations at Crawley Mosque

Ahmadiyya Muslim community (AMA) in Crawley celebrated the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr (Saturday, April 22).
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On that day, the Noor Mosque in Langley Drive was packed with men and women who had been fasting throughout the thirty days of Ramadhan from dawn to sunset. The fast lasted around 14 hours each day where no drink or food was allowed to be consumed during daylight hours.

It is a month of heightened spirituality and developing self-control and building greater empathy with those who suffer hunger and malnutrition.

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Muslims become very charitable during this month especially those who are not permitted to fast like children, elderly, pregnant women, those on their menstrual cycle or anyone who is travelling, is ill or finds fasting difficult, as taught in the Holy Quran, the holy book of Muslims.

Noor Mosque. Credit: Tariqmc@hotmail.co.ukNoor Mosque. Credit: Tariqmc@hotmail.co.uk
Noor Mosque. Credit: [email protected]

Noor mosque during the month also hosted an Iftar dinner (the breaking of the fast meal) for non-Muslims with over 70 guests attending including The Mayor, Cllr Jilly Hart and neighbours and friends.

Building good relations with neighbours was emphasised in the various talks that were given at the mosque during Ramadhan and greatly appreciated by the guests attended and members of the AMA community who learnt about purpose of fasting and disciplines we can inculcate in our daily lives.

Noor mosque was particularly blessed this year with a young man in his twenties who led the late daily prayers by Haroon Ahmad who has committed the whole Quran to memory reciting leading those special prayers.

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As at other towns, the day of Eid started with special breakfasts, prepared at home, is taken as the first day of returning to normality followed by a visit to Noor Mosque for the Crawley Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

Ifatr meal: Credit: Tariqmc@hotmail.co.ukIfatr meal: Credit: Tariqmc@hotmail.co.uk
Ifatr meal: Credit: [email protected]

The AMA president for Crawley AMA community, Adeel Shahzad said:“Every year the month of Ramadhan is greatly anticipated by all Muslims and everyone is eager to take part despite the tough discipline that is required. Fasting teaches us to become more self-disciplined because not only do we refrain from eating and drinking for a few hours each day, but for the whole month we refrain from using abusive language, keep control of our anger and spend more time in prayers and reading the Holy Quran. It prepares us to become better individuals and become more empathetic towards those less privileged”.

Following breakfast all family members try to attend the mosque wearing clean, well perfumed clothes and are led by the appointed Imam into the Eid prayer and then gives a short sermon.

Attaul Haq, in his sermon reminded followers of “The benefits we have gained of becoming better individuals during this month should not be forgotten until the next year when Ramadhan returns, but it is an opportunity inculcate the good values as an intricate part of our daily lives and be of those who help others, develop a loving, empathic nature and to become more charitable. But more importantly to build a more personal and loving relation with the Almighty and all whom we meet and engage with”.

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Following the sermon, members greeted each other with hugs, wishing each other “Eid Mubarak” which means Eid-congratulations. Mosque goers were then treated to some delicious refreshments prepared by the local hospitality team, led by Mohamed Haaris.

Community in Noor Mosque after Eid prayers. Credit: Tariqmc@hotmail.co.ukCommunity in Noor Mosque after Eid prayers. Credit: Tariqmc@hotmail.co.uk
Community in Noor Mosque after Eid prayers. Credit: [email protected]

An exciting atmosphere of friendship, bond-ship and joy was clearly visible and just as at Christmas, gifts are often exchanged at home with loved ones, especially the children. Extended families then meet up at each other’s houses or restaurants and have a special feast and treats.

Holy prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammed PBUH* also visited graves, a tradition followed by many who visit graves of loved ones and elders who had passed away and not able to join the festivities.

Ahsan Ahmedi, the outreach and external affairs secretary at the Noor Mosque who organised the Iftar meal and outreach activities at the mosque stated:

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“It is always a pleasure to invite our neighbours, friends and people from the local community to share our joys and witness Islam in action to improve their knowledge of Islam and help them understand what true Islam is and how it engages with communities. It has helped us to improve a wonderful relationship with the larger community here in Crawley and it helps our members to engage and integrate with society and become useful residents serving others and make our towns more prosperous both economically and culturally. It's what makes Britain great”.

Members greet after Eid prayers: Credit: Tariqmc@hotmail.co.ukMembers greet after Eid prayers: Credit: Tariqmc@hotmail.co.uk
Members greet after Eid prayers: Credit: [email protected]

He added, “That just as we celebrated many of the late Queen’s celebrations at the mosque, we will next be holding the King’s Coronation on Sunday 7th where we will decorate our mosque and invite our neighbours and friends to share in the celebrations. It was how the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Assoc., Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah (2nd Jesus) and Mahdi (reformer) exemplified that principle at the time of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Loyalty to one’s nation was exemplified by the Holy Prophet of Islam and his companions, and we the Ahmadiyya Muslims do the same”

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