© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Local Mosque trades community dinners for food pack deliveries

Asha Abdi
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Al-Noor Mosque to deliver food packs during Ramadan.  Asha Abdi.

Kiwi-Muslims are adjusting the way they observe Ramadan due to COVID-19.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims spend this time fasting, praying as a community, and reflecting on the year.  

During this time, Al-Noor Mosque usually holds daily meals at sunset for students, travellers, expatriates, and people away from family or people facing financial difficulties. 

The Women's Coordinator for The Muslim Association of Canterbury, Tooba Habib, said those people who need assistance are still there and may be in very tough situations due to the lockdown. 

“MAC management decided to deliver the iftar packs in the Canterbury area to those who are in most need of it. So, no one has to fast on empty stomach or break the fast while there’s nothing on the table,” Habib said. 

This initiative is funded by The Office of Ethnic Communities.  

During the day in Ramadan, the mosques usually get more crowded as people try their best to perform prayers in congregation. As centres of communities, mosques play a central role in the activities surrounding Ramadan,” Habib said.  

Habib said there were other initiatives in the pipeline to support the community through Ramadan during COVID-19.

"We advise people to pray with the people in their bubble, while some mosques are working on virtual sermons for the Imams and other spiritual leaders," she said.