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Ramadan gets underway for 2017

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The Suleymaniye Mosque in Dalston will be one of several hosting iftars during Ramadan

London’s Turkish-speaking Muslims begin a month of fasting and reflecting

The holy month of Ramadan began on Saturday 27 May this year and will run until Wednesday 24 June.

It will be marked by London’s Turkish-speakers with community events and the nightly fast-breaking meal, known as the iftar.

Turkish diplomatic agencies – including the embassy and consulate – will play to host to these meals, as will some of the community’s most prominent mosques.

The Suleymaniye Mosque, which opened in 1994, can host up to 300 people for an iftar and will be holding many events throughout the holy month.

The distinctive Aziziye Mosque – which was once a cinema – will be offering Quran readings and interpretative sessions after afternoon prayers at 1.45pm. There will further prayers in the evenings after the night-time adhan as well as the traditional iftar.

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. It is also the second largest religion with over a billion followers.

Muslims believe that Islam was revealed over 1400 years ago in Mecca, through Muhammad, the last prophet to be sent by God.  Muslims across the world fast during the holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, as one of the five pillars of Islam.

This year Ramadan begins on 18 June and continues until 16 July, ending the holy month with ‘Eid-ul-Fitr’ (Ramazan/Şeker Bayramı in Turkish), the festival of Breaking of the Fast.  During the month of Ramadan, fasting Muslims will abstain from food, drink and certain other activities during daylight hours.

Muslims see this as a time of worship and contemplation and to fulfil God’s commandments and grow one’s soul while strengthening family and community ties, and be on one’s best behaviour.