Streatham mosque delivers dinner to neighbours during Ramadan

A Streatham mosque is going above and beyond the call of duty this Ramadan by delivering dinner to all its neighbours every night of the fast.

Hyderi Islamic Centre, on Estreham Road, Streatham, has always offered nearby residents food which is leftover after iftar, the daily meal with which Muslims end their Ramadan fast.

This year, however, members decided to go a step further and deliver fresh food to the doors of neighbouring houses every night.

Akeel Alidina, who worships at Hyderi, said: “We’ve been here for thirty years and the residents have been really good; we’re often busy, having noisy events, there are parking issues and so on.

“This is a great way of building relationships and giving something back.”

The people living in neighbouring streets are asked if they would like any of the food cooked at the mosque: curries, chicken, chapattis and dates.

Alidina says: “We haven’t eaten all day so we tend to feast out. It’s good.

“There’s so much animosity out there, bad stuff being said about religions, so it’s good to get together and show that we’ve got morals and a real story to be told here.”

The iftar has been well-received, and Hyderi is feeding 30 to 50 nearby neighbours a night in addition to the 200 or so that eat at the mosque.

Paul Dean, 42, of Lewin Road said: “To think that the community who are fasting every day are thinking about sharing their food is admirable.

“And one month without cooking is great for me and my family; may God bless them!”

The outreach effort is being funded by worshippers at the mosque themselves, who held a raffle and a bake sale to help buy in ingredients.

Engaging the community is high on Hyderi’s list of priorities.

They regularly host interfaith events, including a remembrance day service, and have their own football team.

Two weeks ago they held a vigil for victims of the Manchester bombing which was attended by Streatham’s MP, Chuka Umunna.

They also have a nursery on site, of which London mayor Sadiq Khan’s daughters are alumnae.

Mosque president Mazaher Remtulla said: “Ramadan certainly has it’s challenges, however we’re so pleased to be able to do something nice for our neighbours and the community that surrounds us.”

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