Imam Ali Islamic Center in Sweden holding online religious programs in Ramadan

TEHRAN, May 18 (MNA) – Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Imam Ali Center in Stockholm, Sweden has shifted to holding online religious rituals during the holy month of Ramadan. In an interview with Merh news agency the spokesperson of the center elaborated on its activities and rituals.

In Ramadan, Muslims across the world fast, abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, ingesting medicine, from sunrise to sunset in observance of one of the religions' primary holidays. In Scandinavian countries, including Sweden, Muslims do Ramadan rituals, too. 

In an interview with Mehr news agency, the Spokesperson of Imam Ali Center Akil Zahir provided some information about the center and its activities in Ramadan. 

Here is the full text of the interview:

Imam Ali Center in Stockholm County, Sweden

Tell us bout Imam Ali Center, please. What is its mission, responsibilities & activities?

Imam Ali Islamic Center, in Sweden, is an independent, religious, and ideal association founded by a group of Shi Muslims, 1997.

The association organizes its activities in accordance with Islam and Swedish law. The Center maintains regular activities such as daily communal prayer, Friday prayer, psalm reading and other religious and cultural celebrations that interest Muslims, especially Shia, in Scandinavia.

The Center aims, inter alia, to create a more friendly relationship and cooperation with various institutions, including government, to facilitate the integration of Muslims into Swedish society.

The Imam Ali Islamic Center also has an administrative department that offers religious ceremonies, divorces, certificates, and other services. The Center offers education for children and adolescents, as well.

Muslims praying at Imam Ali Center

How many Muslims and Shites are there in Sweden? Tell about their community and social-religious interactions.

We have no exact figures to tell us about the number of Muslims in Sweden. This is because it is forbidden to ask citizens about their faith.

But according to some estimations, there are up to 800,000 Muslims in Sweden. We believe that at least 30 percent of them are Shi'ite Muslims.

In recent decades, Muslim organizations have been able to establish themselves here in Sweden. They have their mosques and associations that hold Islamic activities.

There is also a good relationship between religious communities and the state here in Sweden.

Quran recitation competition held at Imam Ali Center back in 2017

What Islamic rituals are held at the center in Ramadan? 

In our congregation, we coordinate various religious programs, cultural ceremonies, education, children activities, and other activities.

In previous years, we used to hold daily programs in Radamn when we recited the Qur'an, read the dua (a prayer of supplication or request) and answered Ahkam questions. During the second half of the holy month of Ramadan, the number of programs used to increase as we celebrated Imam Hassan's (A) birthday, observed the Qadr nights, and hold a special program in connection with the Imam Ali (A) martyrdom.

Our programs have always been held in three languages ​​at the same time, in Persian, Arabic, and Swedish. Several thousand people used to participate in these programs.

But now during the Corona pandemic, we have canceled all such programs. We are running them online.

We are having several activities and programs online and in the said languages. We try to keep in touch with our members as before.

We are under specific conditions due tot he outbreak right now and we must get adapted to it. It is necessary to use the resources that are available in a good and efficient way.

Imam Ali Center in coronavirus pandemic

Are you in contact with Muslims and Islamic centers in other Scandinavian countries?

We are informed of the great mosques and Islamic associations in other Scandinavian countries. We sometimes get in touch with them and try to exchange experiences. An example of collaboration has been about prayer times in northern Europe, which has been a challenge for Muslim organizations in this area.

Interview By: Haniyeh Sadat Jafariyeh

News Code 158640

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