ALBAWABA - The Muslim call for sundown prayer, signaling the end of a daylong fasting in the holy month of Ramadan was made in an unexpected place in England this week.
Tens of Muslims of different ethnicity and backgrounds thronged into Manchester's Cathedral, where they heard Wednesday's sundown "adhan" echo through the steep walls of the church's gothic architecture, while sitting on the floor with food and drink placed on carpets in front of them. The Anglican church had apparently removed its pews to make room for its guests, their food and drink.
Videos and images of the event went viral on social media platforms, where some praised the church for hosting the fasting Muslims as a sign of tolerance and coexistence in the community. Others, however, accused England of being anti-Islam, but putting on an act to appease its own minority for political gains.
رفع الأذان لأول مرة داخل كنيسة مانشستر العريقة أثناء إفطار جماعي حضره مئات المسلمين في سابع أيام شهر رمضان المبارك pic.twitter.com/sO57AmRp0E— بريطانيا بالعربي?? (@TheUKAr) March 30, 2023
Iftar is the main meal of the day during Ramadan for the world's estimated 1.8 billion Muslims, who break their fast from sunrise to sundown with dates and a glass of water or juice. Soup and super follows. During daytime and while the sun is up, adherents refrain from drinking, eating and even smoking.
Manchester Cathedral, formally the Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George, in Manchester, England, is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Manchester, seat of the Bishop of Manchester and the city's parish church, according to Wikipedia.
من الزوية اخرى https://t.co/5lWsvuILBk pic.twitter.com/VxiMRdPJiw— Abdusalam Shlebak♿️Absi (@absily) March 30, 2023
Muslim's make up nearly 3.9 million, or 6.5 percent, of the population in England.