It was an evening of blessings and thanks as police officers, paramedics, and fire fighters were invited to celebrate Ramadan and the breaking fasting at a Preston mosque.
Members of the emergency services were on Wednesday evening (May 22) invited to the Quwwatul Islam Mosque in Peel Hall Street to gain further understanding on why Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, and other activities, from sunrise to sunset, every day for the ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar – otherwise known as Ramadan.
Addressing the mosque before fast was broken, mosque co-ordinator Khalid Ibrahim said: “This year there have been certain incidents that have taken place around the world to make us appreciate what we have around us.
“In New Zealand in a mosque, 50 people were killed within a matter of seconds.
In Sri Lanka, 250 people were killed within a matter of minutes.
In California, a person went in to a place of worship and tried to kill a Rabbi in a synagogue.”
Khalid then explained how the first call the mosque received after the New Zealand terrorist attack was from the police, asking how the mosque can be patrolled and safeguarded, if needed.
“You realise the blessings we have on our doorstep,” Khalid added.
“These people serving our community every single day, 24 hours seven days a week.
"They are on our doorstep every minute that we need them.
“Today is about the privilege in welcoming [the emergency services] to our mosque.”
Assistant Chief Constable of Lancashire Police, Terry Woods, then took the microphone, saying he was “very humbled” by those words.
“Our DNA is neighbourhood policing,” ACC Woods added.
“It’s based on trust and that’s based on a relationship. I’m committed to it and my staff are.
"Regardless of what happens with money and finances you will always get that commitment.”
Fast was then broken at 9.30pm, 13 minutes after the sun officially set in Preston.
And in spirit with the distinct generosity of the mosque’s community, guests were invited to try the food; a mixture of almonds, dates, cucumber slices with water and kahwah, a traditional Indian green tea.