Salam. Its nearly two thirds of Ramadhan. In this entry I’ll share about my experience of having Iftar and performing Tarawih prayers at the Newcastle Mosque.
Daily Iftar (Monday to Saturday)
The daily iftar is usually held at the rear of the mosque. A temporary tent is constructed using scaffolding with some Arabic style decor. This is how the tent looks like. Despite the way it looks, it still can withstand the rain and strong winds here.
Only male Muslims will come for the daily iftar here.
Inside the tent, about 5 minutes before Maghrib, people will gather and sit around the foods. For the breaking of fast, there will be dates with sour cream, samosa, spicey soup, juice and milk served for everyone.
Then, we will perform our congregational Maghrib prayer before having the main course. For the main course, usually they will serve briyani rice with curry – chicken, lamb or beef. There was one time when they served lamb with lots of chips instead of rice.
Weekly Community Iftar
The weekly community iftar is held every Sunday and it is a potluck iftar where the locals are encouraged to bring food and share with the rest. It is also known as family iftar where all Muslim, brothers and sisters including children will come for iftar.
To cater a larger number of attendees, the iftar takes place at the hall next to the mosque and is separated for male and female. All sisters will pray in the hall while the brothers will pray in the mosque.
The cool thing about this Iftar is the number and variety of food. It surely reminds me of the Ramadhan buffet in hotels back in Malaysia. But the foods are limited, so each week I try to have all the foods and delicacies.
Eventhough maghrib starts at about 5.20pm, the Isya and tarawih prayer will start a little bit later. Isya’ prayer starts at 7.30pm followed by Tarawih.
After 4 rakaat of Tarawih, there will be a short break where they made announcement, tazkirah and refreshment. Some volunteer will help distribute drinks or snacks while waiting for the daily quiz.
The quiz is about Quran and general knowledge in Islam. Everyone can participate by submitting the entry form with the correct answer in a glass jar provided. Winners will be selected by random pick from the jar. Among the prizes are a $20 Coles Gift Card. That’s cool isn’t it?
After the break, the tarawih resumes. Basically, the Imam will read a whole page in Quran per rakaat during the first eight rakaat. In the remaining eight, the Imam will read short verses from Juz Amma. The prayer ends at about 9.10pm.
There’s no moreh after that but there are always some foods or snacks left outside the prayer hall for people to have a bite after the prayers.