Mosque planned by Balclutha Muslim community

From left, back row, Abdul Iraz Kalim, Abdul Imdad Shamim, Bryan Cadogan with Abdul Mahir Zeeshan...
From left, back row, Abdul Iraz Kalim, Abdul Imdad Shamim, Bryan Cadogan with Abdul Mahir Zeeshan, 2, Mohammed Izaz Khan, and (front), Muhammad Izaan Khan, 6, and Mohammed Shomair, 10. PHOTO: NICK BROOK
The Balclutha Islamic Society joined millions of Muslims to observe Eid al-Fitr and announce plans to build a new mosque in Balclutha last Saturday.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of dawn-to-sunset fasting accompanied by prayer, reflection and connection in commemoration of the prophet Muhammad’s first revelation.

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan with community celebration and feasting.

A buffet of sweet and savoury snacks and full-course meals from the different ethnic groups of Balclutha Islamic Society was laid on for invited guests from council, police, Hato Hone St John and other local schools and organisations.

The guests were able to watch and join in Muslim prayer and hear speeches on the basic pillars of Islamic belief and values.

"Growing up in Clutha, it was very much a monoculture," Mayor Bryan Cadogan said.

"I’m 64 years old and excited to be experiencing something new."

The Balclutha Islamic Society meets at a temporary place of worship at 63 Charlotte St and has about 30 adult members originating from countries including Bangladesh, Fiji, Kenya and Malaysia.

General secretary Abdul Kalim said the growing society was officially incorporated this year, and has plans for the first Balclutha mosque.

"We have only just started gathering funds to build the mosque.

"We are not rushing into it yet but making gradual progress towards it," he said.

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