Wednesday, June 21, 2017

USA: New Orleans-area Ahmadiyya Muslims invite community to share nightly Ramadan feast


As sunset drew near on that Wednesday, everyone filled a plate with dried dates, fruit salad and pakoras, a fried chickpea fritter, and waited until precisely 8:02 p.m. to eat.

Photo credit: Chris Granger / NOLA.com
Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: OLA.com | The Times-Picayune
By Anna Maloney | June 21, 2017

Just before sunset on Wednesday (June 14), members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community gathered at their center in Kenner, as they do each evening of Ramadan, to pray and break their fast.

Like millions of Muslims around the world, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect abstain from eating or drinking, from dawn to dusk each day during the holy month. The means nothing by mouth - not even water.

Ramadan runs from Friday (May 26), through June 25, 2017.

At iftar, the nightly breaking of the fast, the faithful begin by praying, the men on one side of the center, the women on the other. The men lead the prayers, which the women listen to through a speaker. The youngest children play and wander throughout the center.

As sunset drew near on that Wednesday, everyone filled a plate with dried dates, fruit salad and pakoras, a fried chickpea fritter, and waited until precisely 8:02 p.m. to eat.

After that snack, they prayed again before enjoying a potluck feast prepared by the women of the community.

On this recent Wednesday, the lively meal featured homemade bread; spicy, curried mixed vegetables; aloo gosht, which is a goat and potato stew; chicken patties; chicken biryani; and salad. For dessert: tea and zarda, a sweet Pakistani rice with nuts, coconut and raisins.

In these turbulent times, this Muslim community is eager to share not only their food but their way of life with others as a way to combat extremism, said Rafi Chaudhry, president of the center.

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