Ramadan communal feast turns personal


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 21 May 2020

Pick up line: People lining up to receive nasi berkat and bubur lambuk at the Kapitan Keling Mosque in Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: For the past 200 years, the Kapitan Keling Mosque here has maintained the tradition of getting the faithful to feast on nasi talam on the 27th night of Ramadan.

“People will share a large plate of nasi talam. Everyone will eat together in the mosque on this memorable night, ” said Indian Muslim Community Organisation Malaysia president Mohamed Rizwan Abdul Ghapur, 37.

Yesterday was the 27th night of Ramadan.

Mohamed Rizwan explained that it is called “the Night of Destiny (Laylat al-Qadr). Muslims believe this was when the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad”.

“For the Muslim community, praying on this night is of particular significance.”

But the age-old practice of having nasi talam together has to be abandoned during these extraordinary times due to social distancing rules amid a coronavirus pandemic.

“Previously, we would have ‘nasi talam’ in the mosque with more than 2,000 people eating together after the terawih prayers.

“But due to Covid-19, Muslims had to adapt to a new norm.

“Instead of celebrating in the mosque, we gave out 1,000 nasi berkat sets which included nasi minyak, ayam masak sambal, daging masak kicap, dalca and acar besides everyone’s favourite bubur lambuk, ” he added.

This was to enable the Muslim community to break fast and eat at home with their loved ones, he said.

“Non-Muslims were also welcome to try out our break fast meal, ” he added.

He said they had also distributed 400 rice sets to frontliners at five police stations, a fire station, an old folks home in Jalan Kedah and Penang Hospital as a token of appreciation.

“Rela volunteers helped to make sure the recipients used hand sanitiser and practise social distancing, ” he said.

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