Hundreds of people packed into one of the biggest mosques in Blackburn for a huge Iftar event.

The first ‘Grand Iftar’ at the Madina Mosque in Oak Street, last night (Tuesday) attracted more than 350 guests. Iftar is the time of day when Muslims break their fast during Ramadan.

The event was attended by regular worshippers to the mosque, invited guests from the local neighbourhood and non-Muslims.

The free meal was part of ‘Taste Ramadan’, a national initiative that welcomes people from ‘all faiths and backgrounds interested in connecting with the community and learning about other cultures’.

Both the male and female sections were full, with guests served a range of delicacies including samosas, rice and pakoras at sunset just after 6.40pm.
Food was served by a team of dedicated mosque volunteers.

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Hafiz Abdul Alim said: “It was wonderful to see so many people and events like these are really important by helping to break down misconceptions and foster community relations.”

Dean of Blackburn Cathedral, Peter Howell Jones “I have really enjoyed it today. The food and the welcome were superb.  It is great to meet so many people for friendships to build.

“It has been really good to get here tonight and share in the Iftar.”

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Mark Taylor, known as ‘Mr Wheeler’ said he was overjoyed to be invited and had travelled from the other side of town.

He said: “The welcome has been great and the food was excellent - it was more than I was expecting.”

He was joined by Ahmed Farooq from the Offload Northwest group. He said: “It was a full house and wonderful to meet people.”

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Mosque president Noor Mohammed said: "We would like to thank everyone who turned up to make this such a fantastic event and the volunteers for their efforts.

"As a mosque, we have been keen to host such events and share the spirit of Ramadan with our neighbours."

The event was supported by local businesses including Kebabish Blackburn, Prince Hair Cut, Plus Workwear, Northern Dholis and Waheed’s Restaurant.

Throughout the month of Ramadan with the Iftar falling at a little earlier time than in previous years, a number of mosques and community groups have been hosting similar events for the wider community.

This week further events are planned in Blackburn, Nelson and Burnley.