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Since Butetown's beginnings, built on an influx of people arriving from all over through the world through the industry of Cardiff Docks, this area of Cardiff has enjoyed a colourful and multicultural past.

 

although life has changed much since those days of Industry, this heritage still influences the community in which we live and work and worship.

 

Just over 20% of those resident in Butetown are Muslim, and there are two Mosques in the community.  In fact, Butetown was the site of the first ever mosque in Wales.

 

MULTICULTURAL BUTETOWN

RAMADAN

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims as a month of fasting which commemorates their belief in the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief.  This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

 

The Muslim year is a lunar year, so Ramadan moves forward by ten or eleven days each year. The day Ramadan begins is decided by the sighting of the new, crescent moon, and lasts  for 29–30 days.  The word 'Ramadan' comes from an Arabic word which means scorching heat or dryness.

 

Fasting is obligatory for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, are elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding.

 

Fasting during the month of Ramadan was made obligatory during the month of Sha'aban, in the second year after the Muslims migrated from Mecca to Medina.

 

While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations. Muslims are also instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting. It is also accompanied by an increased offering of salat (prayers) and recitation of the Quran.

 

The end of Ramadan is marked by a celebration called 'Eid-al-Fitr', the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.

 

Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking Allah for the help and strength that he gave them throughout the previous month to help them practise self-control.

 

The festival begins at the first sightingof the new moon.  There are special services outdoors and in Mosques, processions through the streets and a special celebratory meal - eaten during daytime, the first daytime meal Muslims will have had in a month.

 

Eid is also a time of forgiveness, and making amends.

 

During Eid-ul-Fitr Muslims dress in their finest clothes, give gifts to children and spend time with their friends and family.

 

At Eid it is obligatory to give a set amount of money to charity to be used to help poor people buy new clothes and food so they too can celebrate.

 

It has always been a natural part of this community's life, this living alongside others who are different, and one thing we have had in common is an acceptance, tolerance and understanding of onr another.  We continue to be committed to this way of life.

 

As our community, Cardiff, our country and the world continue to change, we want this outlook to  continue to be nurtured.

 

So, if you want to know what some of our neighbours are up to, here's a little lowdown of some important times and seasons!

EID AL FITR

muslim procession

A procession of Muslims carrying large banners winds its way through Butetown towards the new Mosque which opening today on Peel Street. Children can be seen watching the parade as it passes by - 1943  © IWM (D 15284)

Muslim Boy

A young Muslim boy named Hassan holds on to the reins as he says hello to the local baker's horse on a terraced street in Butetown. The horse is linked to the baker's cart, which features the name of the baker, T Richards

© IWM (D 15333)