More than 400 Muslims and guests gathered at the Amex last night to hold a fast-breaking meal (Iftar), the first event of its kind to be held in Brighton and Hove.
The stadium was lit at sunset for the call to prayer (Adhan), where Muslims observing Ramadan could break their fast.
The event organiser Ramadan Tent Project, now in its tenth year, described its first event south of London as “groundbreaking”.
Dowshan Humzah said: “The power of football to convene people to better our communities is often underestimated.
“In my 35 year journey as a football fan, I never thought that I could be at the Amex arena breaking fast, praying and inshallah, hearing the Adhan.”
Guests gathered outside in the stadium seats for sunset at 7.26pm to hear Imam Uthman sing the call to prayer (Adhan).
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan started on Thursday, 23 March and requires Muslims to fast during daylight hours
The community listened to speeches from Paul Barber, chief executive of BHAFC, Shazia Arshad, from Islamic Relief UK, and Imam Uthman Jeewa from Al-Medinah mosque.
Mr Barber said: “Football is a sport for everyone and it’s important to share this celebration during the holy month of Ramadan with people from all backgrounds and all faiths to help promote mutual respect, compassion, friendship and understanding in our community.
“We’re one of the first Premier League clubs to host an Open Iftar and we’re very, very proud to do so.
“As a football club we really pride ourselves on our inclusivity and willingness to engage with everyone.
“That’s why events such as Open Iftar are so important and why we hope this event is the first of many more to come at our stadium and our football club.”
Lamb or vegetable Biryani was provided for guests, with fresh fruit and a range of Turkish desserts.
Other football clubs Aston Villa FC, Chelsea and Queen’s Park Rangers are also hosting Open Iftar events during Ramadan in 2023.
Leave a Reply