Hundreds of residents attended the first of two Big Iftar meals hosted at the Morden Mosque last week (May 15).
The event was organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK (AMA UK), who manage the Baitul Futuh Mosque AKA Morden Mosque.
Iftar is the evening meal taken by Muslims to break the daily fast many observe during the holy month of Ramadan.
For this year’s Ramadan the Ahmadiyya community decided to open the doors of the Mosque, the biggest of its kind in Western Europe, and invited residents of the area and beyond to take the Iftar meal inside and join in guided tours which happened at the mosque during the event.
Ibrahim Ikhlaf, Director for Outreach and Public Affairs for AMA UK, said the Big Iftar has helped challenge misconceptions about Islam.
“The feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive,” Mr Ikhlaf said.
“The event was successful in clarifying aspects of Islamic belief which are often misunderstood. This was achieved through mosque tours, question and answer session and a speech on the Islamic perspective of fasting,” he added.
The second of the two planned Big Iftar events is scheduled for the coming weekend (Saturday, May 25) at the Morden Mosque and Mr Ikhlaf said he hoped the successes of the first event would be extended to Saturday’s opening.
Among community residents who attended the meal was Sutton Council Leader Ruth Dombey, who praised the welcoming atmosphere fostered at the mosque for the Big Iftar.
Cllr Dombey said: “The atmosphere (was) very very special, the people are so warm and welcoming… I learn something new each time I come.
“It demonstrates that we have so much in common; people of faith and none are striving together for so much together.
“There is a sense of peace when I go into the mosque, it’s very different to going into a church, it is the simplicity of the lines, the white colour, the quietness that is very special.”
The next free-to-attend Big Iftar meal is taken place this Saturday (May 25), 7pm, at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden. For more information go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-big-iftar-britains-biggest-mosque-baitul-futuh-tickets-60679801921