Hundreds of people came together to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the home of Blackburn Rovers.

Blackburn Rovers' Ewood Park is among the iconic UK venues to be hosting an Open Iftar event this year.

The series of events which take in venues across London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester and Belfast are being organised by the Ramadan Tent Project.

The Open Iftar events invite people from all walks of life and brings communities together of all faiths and none to 'break the Ramadan fast, share food, and have wholesome conversations’.

In Blackburn over the weekend, attendees were welcomed by comedian Tez Ilyas who invited a range of speakers to say a few words.

Among them was Blackburn Rovers’ manager John Eustace, Maulana Fazlur Rehman Hassan, chaplain at Royal Blackburn Hospital, and Yasir Sufi.

There was also a special speech by members of the Saliheen Mosque Scout Group.

Asian Image:

Just before sunset the Islamic call to prayer echoed throughout the stadium before guests were invited inside the Jack Walker Stand for the meal.

Blackburn Rovers newly launched South Asian Supporter’s Forum (SAS) helped to bring the event to the town for the first time.

Chair of Rovers SAS, Dr Zayd Rawoot and City lead, Ramadan Tent Project, Dr Karishma Rawoot said: "We had well over 350 people join us for a really special evening at the first ever Open Iftar held in Blackburn.  It was great to see people of all faith backgrounds and none coming together, turning strangers in to friends.  

"The feedback that we have received from all corners of the wider community has been overwhelming."

"The whole concept behind Open Iftar by the Ramadan Tent Project is to bring communities together to better understand each other and for the first time in it's 11 year history we were able to successfully deliver an Open Iftar in Blackburn and give all those in attendance an opportunity to become friends with a stranger. 

"Rovers SAS are so proud Ewood Park has become the latest addition to a list of iconic venues which includes Wembley Stadium, The Royal Albert Hall, Trafalgar Square amongst many others to have hosted the event.   

"We would like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to Blackburn Rovers Football Club, the Ramadan Tent Project and all our wonderful volunteers without whom the event would not have been a success."

Head of operations at Blackburn Rovers, Lynsey Talbot, said: “It was a fantastic evening and a great pleasure to welcome more than 300 people to our first Open Iftar at Ewood Park.
“As a club, we are really proud of our heritage and our diverse community, and it was an honour to be the first EFL club this year to host an Open Iftar event at their stadium.
“I would like to thank everyone who helped support including Ramadan Tent Project for supplying food and Rovers SAS for their hard work co-ordinating the event.
“We had a fantastic group of volunteers who also played a key role on the night in ensuring it was a great night for all those involved.”

Asian Image: Ewood Park was among the iconic UK venues to be hosting an Open Iftar event in 2024.
The 2024 Open Iftar calendar will also see the first ever Open Iftar take place at venues such as Tate Modern, Pug's Yard, Windsor Castle Learning Centre (Royal), and the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
Founder and chief executive of Ramadan Tent Project, Omar Salha, said: "This year’s theme, ‘Heritage: Past, Present & Future’, aims to fulfill a deep understanding and appreciation of our shared cultural heritage in Britain.

"The month of Ramadan is an embodiment of the rich Islamic culture, tradition and heritage that is observed by millions across the globe as a journey of self-reflection, spiritual sustenance, and mindfulness.”