Compassion. Generosity. Discipline. Honesty. Selflessness. Tolerance. These principles lie at the heart of Islam. Our Muslim brothers and sisters are bound to give, share and take care of others – whether those joined by family bonds or by friendship, or simply those less fortunate than themselves.
Faith doesn’t just mean believing in God – it means tangible actions and rituals, built around the Five Pillars of Islam. Carrying out these Pillars (Iman, serving god; Salah, prayer five times each day; Sawm, fasting during Ramadan; Hajj, making the pilgrimage to Mecca, and Zakat, charity) is the foundation of each day and is like a compass to guide one through life.
Thus, as a Muslim, charity is not just something to be carried out when the mood strikes you; it really is a lifelong duty. There are even rules on how much each person should donate from their earnings each year. Giving generously and regularly, and offering aid to those less fortunate – both within and outside the community – is part of the essence of Islam.
During Ramadan, this essence is alive more than ever. Alongside the rituals of prayer and fasting, giving is a natural element of this auspicious month. It is a time for sacrifice and self-discipline; and parting with hard-earned money for the benefit of others is a reminder that we are not defined by our possessions, but by our purpose.
Whether you are fasting or whether you are of a different faith, Ramadan is an opportunity to honour the universal values of love, giving and unity. In doing so, we just might remind ourselves that we all have much more in common than we think. In these troubled times of extremist madness and lazy scapegoating, such a celebration of our universal spirit seems good and right.
So – wishing you all Ramadan Mubarak! May your prayers and fasts be accepted.
During Ramadan, the month of giving, we are privileged to be supporting two wonderful charities: Magic Breakfast, in London, and Akshaya Patra, in India. Both charities provide nourishing, free school meals for children who don’t get enough food at home. So, for every guest who eats with us this month, we’ll feed another two in need, meaning every meal we serve equals three full bellies.
Every evening at the time of breaking fast – which falls around 9.20pm – we’ll be serving the traditional dates and refreshing Nimbu Pani to anyone waiting outside for a table, to keep you going until dinner!
UPDATE – MAY 2017
After reflecting on these partnerships, we felt inspired to do more. So at Diwali the same year, we committed to providing a meal for a child in need for every guest who dines with us, ongoing. A meal for a meal.
We are absolutely thrilled to share that since Ramadan 2015, thanks to your kind support, we’ve now donated OVER 2 MILLION MEALS to children in the UK and India! We are beyond grateful to you all, dear patrons, and to our brilliantly big-hearted team.
During this long, dark month, you may find much-needed comfort in this Pineapple & Black Pepper Crumble recipe. It’s almost too easy to make, and will warm, soothe and satiate. (It can also be made vegan with simple substitutions.) May the vibrant pineapple inspire joyful memories of faraway places and warmer climes!
IN THESE DYING DAYS of ’21 I am here again, dear reader, at the bar in our restaurant in Shoreditch. I am the stubbled and scruffy regular, squinting at the bartender through slightly wonky glasses, brooding over the year gone by.
Christmas is one of our very favourite times of the year, and its jovial spirit is upon us. Lights are twinkling, the scent of mulled wine is wafting through the air and many parties are afoot. Feast in our cafés, join us for an evening of Christmas carols, enjoy your favourite Dishoom delights in the comfort of your home, or allow our Store to cater for your party and gifting needs.
Christmas is fast approaching, but there's still time to decide on gifts for friends, family, neighbours and the like. Fortunately, the Dishoom Store stocks a range of extremely lovely products to suit all manner of recipients (though you may be sorely tempted to keep them for yourself!)