Last Saturday, a group of 8 people visited Assahaba Mosque in Bristol in order to learn about Ramadan, share in the iftar meal (breaking the fast) and get to know our Muslim neighbours better. The event was part of a series of events we call Sharing Ramadan, which take place in Bristol and in Cardiff, where over 100 people have had the opportunity to visit a mosque, many doing so for the first time.
As we entered the mosque, we felt a real sense of welcome, hospitality and of community. Our host, Abu Jamal, took time to answer questions from our group, and we were then able to continue the conversation as we shared food alongside people from Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan and elsewhere.
Here's what some of the people in our group had to say about the experience:
“Was expecting to be welcomed and to observe, but they really welcomed us in and let us take part in what was going on and the women were fantastic in sharing their stories. Such an amazing idea, I will be recommending it to other people.”
“Having experienced Muslim cultures abroad I had not ever been intentional with my friendships and relationships with Muslims who live around me back in the UK. The evening gave me a chance to do this and to discuss with those there what their faith meant to them and to learn a bit more about the significance of Ramadan and fasting to Muslims. We were welcomed with open arms and well fed and educated! What a privilege to share in the iftar with them.”
“I am really thankful to everyone at Assahaba mosque for welcoming us so warmly. It was a wonderful reminder of the warmth and brother/sisterhood I have experienced before when invited to Muslim homes. It filled my heart to feel the sense of community and togetherness, and the power of collective prayer. I felt extremely welcome and enjoyed the way that, despite the numbers of people, everyone took time to greet us and each other. The work Bridges for Communities is doing in organising these visits is so important and I am very grateful to have been involved.”