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London Muslims, Jews Celebrate Ashura, Succot

LONDON – Muslims and Jews in Brondesbury Park, London, came together at a special interfaith festival to mark Ashura, a day celebrated in both Abrahamic faiths.

“The Succah in a Mosque initiative brings together the Muslim and Jewish communities promoting dialogue and learning about our commonalities,” Rabbi Natan Levy, head of the operation for Faiths Forum for London (FFL), told Kilburn Times on Tuesday, October 10.

“Food, people and a hut with no doors, where everyone is invited, is a great combination to build on the foundations created from last year’s event.”

Hundreds turned up to The Al Khoei Islamic Centre, in Chevening Road, hosts of the Brondesbury Park Synagogue’s Succah on October 8.

In the Jewish faith, the Succah is a temporary structure used to commemorate the Jewish exodus from Egypt during the festival of Succot.

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This was the second year that the Jewish and Muslim communities have come together to celebrate the festival of Succot, which further strengthen the bond between them.

This year the event was about reinforcing that connection and setting an example to communities across the UK.

Fasting the 9th and the 10th of Muharram is a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) that goes back to a long time before imam Hussein.

For Sunnis, `Ashura’ marks the day that Prophet Musa, peace be upon him, was saved from the Egypt’s pharaoh.

Muslim scholars have agreed that it is good to fast on the day of `Ashura’, although it is not obligatory.

`Ashura also marks the killing of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) in the year 680 AD in Karbala.

Black flags, which represent a symbol of sadness for Shiites during Ashura, are seen over Karbala.

Shiites make up around 15 percent of Muslims worldwide.

They represent the majority populations in Iraq, Iran, and Bahrain and form significant communities in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.