Eid and Everyday Life - Working with the Muslim Community in Bradford
by Deacon Marian Sharp and Mrs Awais Moghul. Asian aperitifs (curry snacks etc).
The talk organised by Churches Together in Settle and District, attracted over 50 people at the Friends Meeting house, Settle on 16 February. The speakers were from Touchstone, the Methodist Resources Centre at Bradford were Mrs Awais Moghul and Deacon Marian Sharp.
Asian food (supplied by Awais Moghul, Kathleen Kinder, Althea Shevill and the Royal Spice Restaurant) served at 6pm gave a tasty start. £105 raised in donations was divided equally between WWF-Pakistan, World Vision Pakistan Earthquake Appeal, and Touchstone.
Awais, who is from Pakistan and is fourth generation Catholic, told us about the basic beliefs of Islam. She pointed out that Christianity and Islam have some prophets in common.
There are two main Eid festivals: Eid-ul-Adha (the feast of the sacrifice) and Eid-ul-Fitr (the feast at the end of the Fast of Ramadan). Eid-ul-Adha is the most important celebration in Islam. It honours Ibrahim's (Abraham) readiness to accept God's will in his being prepared to sacrifice his son Ismail. It is celebrated at the end of Hajj, which is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca . People say “Eid Mubarak” for both festivals and it translates as "blessed festival," and can be paraphrased as "May your religious holiday be blessed." She showed us some Eid greeting cards.
Awais works with a writers group in Bradford “Writers for Peace” that has both men and women members, from a variety of religions. She also works with the Women's Interfaith group made up mostly of local Muslim women from the houses around Touchstone, and some Christians of different denominations.
Marian told us more of this women's group, including their trip to the seaside last year, and their Advent-Eid Parties. Mary Hewitson of Stainforth and Judith Allinson of Langcliffe had attended one of these in November. – Judith was impressed by the play that five of the young Muslim children had performed, showing them praying before sunrise at Ramadan, then hearing the news by telephone of the earthquake in Pakistan .
Marian said she had had to learn a lot about Muslim customs. Strict Muslims can only eat meat that has been prepared in a certain way – so if entertaining Muslims, it is best to make sure vegetarian food is available. Even fruit pastilles have gelatine in which comes from animals. In the room at Touchstone that they use for services, they have also put a prayer mat, for visiting Muslims.
A joint countryside walk with women and children from the Interfaith group and with women from Settle Churches is being planned for July in the Malham area.
(This may be run with the help of the “Learning in Limestone Country” project firstname.lastname@example.org which can help bring community groups out from Bradford and Lancashire cities 015242 51002 I mention this in case you know of an inner city group that would like to come out walking)