Next week, we enter the blessed holy month of Ramadan. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to wish you all Ramadan Mubarak.
We pray that during this most spiritual of months all Muslims have a chance to become better acquainted with the true teachings of our beloved faith. It is a time for spiritual and physical cleansing, and we therefore encourage all our worshippers, both young and old, to read the Holy Qur’an as much as they can, and to ideally complete it at least one during this month.
Please remember our Masjid and those less fortunate in your prayers.
The family of young Rashan Charles, who died earlier this year, have asked us to announce the plans for his funeral, which will take place on Friday 6 October. A commemoration service will be held for Rashan at two local places of worship in Dalston, East London, before he is laid to rest at Manor Park Cemetery.
At 11 am, we will hold a funeral service here at the mosque, where Rashan’s father Eesa Green is a regular parishioner. After prayers conclude at midday, the funeral cortege will collect other members of the family and proceed to nearby St Mark’s Church for a second service at 1pm, in keeping with Rashan’s mother’s wishes. A further service will be held at the graveside at Manor Park Cemetery, E7, at 2.45pm.
The public are invited to join Rashan’s family and friends at any of these services.
Just 20 years old, Rashan Charles died on 22 July after being restrained by police officers following a chase on Kingsland High Road, less than a mile away from the mosque.
The mosque’s board of trustees are long-term friends of the family and have been actively supporting them through their bereavement and quest for answers on how their son died. Masjid Ramadan has been the centre of several public meetings concerning Rashan’s death.
We have stepped up security following a visit by Metropolitan police officers, who are investigating a threatening letter sent to the mosque.
Last week, we received a threatening handwritten message in the post. Featuring a skull and bones, it warned: “I am coming to your mosque in August to make you vermin pay. Muslim blood tastes particularly sweet.”
Erkin Guney, the chairman of the board of trustees for Masjid Ramadan, said he was going through the mosque’s mail last week and opened the initial envelope to find a second one inside with the threat written on the front and more menacing words, “A Muslim Slayer Production”, on the back of the envelope next to a small hand drawn heart. In shock after reading the threat, Mr Guney told his wife, who promptly called the police.
A local police officer visited the mosque on Friday and spoke to Mr Guney about the letter. The officer said the Met were “taking the threat seriously” and that it is being investigated by counter-terrorism.
On Friday 8 April, Masjid Ramadan welcomed the honourable Ismail ibn Musa Menk, also known as Mufti Menk, a Muslim cleric and the Grand Mufti of Zimbabwe. He was part of a trio of guest speakers at special event called Walking in the Light of the Qu’ran. Also speaking was London-based Shaykh Hasan and Abu Bakr al-Shatri from Saudi Arabia.
Three thousand people from all over the country attended the talks at the mosque. In unprecedented scenes, there were queues going around the block on to Stoke Newington Road and down Shacklewell Lane as people patiently waited to be admitted.
You can see Muftu Menk’s talk in full here.
Later this month, Masjid Ramadan will be seeking to alter Britons’ perceptions of mosques by hosting a unique multi-faith festival. Members of the mosque will be working with PranaMotion to deliver an interactive multi-faith festival of music, dance, eclectic prayer and storytelling to celebrate diversity and unity.
The Golden Egg Love Fest will run all day on Saturday 22 April (Earth Day) and Sunday 23 April. This co-creative collaboration of musicians, dancers, spoken word artists, and community facilitators from diverse ethnic and faith backgrounds will welcome people from all religious backgrounds and those with none in a “spirit of love”.
The family-friendly festival is a strictly alcohol and drug-free zone, with all food suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Its programme encourages festival-goers to focus on and stimulate their spiritual, physical and mental wellbeing.
While some may frown upon such events taking place at a mosque, our chair Erkin Guney believes in a more progressive and inclusive approach to Islam that is reflective of his Turkish Cypriot Sufi roots.
Mr Guney said, “Islam is a peaceful religion and at its core, it’s inclusive of other religions, cultures and philosophies, as well as non-religious ones. By hosting non-Islamic events at the mosque, we welcome many non-Muslims who get the chance to view Islamic culture from a different, more positive perspective to the one that is constantly being relayed to them by the media.”
“For me, encouraging interaction between different cultures and faiths is essential. It’s a way of contributing to peace among our diverse communities,” he added.
We welcome your enquiries, so please contact us to discuss your requirements.
“A small note to thank you sincerely for your kind understanding after our mother passed away. Without your care, co-operation and advice, this already difficult time would have been much harder.”
"Many thanks for your help & support with the arrangements that were quite fraught with difficulty. Your calm concern was so appreciated, also Erkin your inclusive approach to Islam would have been what our father wanted."