The followers of the Sufi saint Dada Ratanchand carry on the tradition of serving food at the Wallajah Mosque for all thirty days of the fast.
It’s dusk in Chennai. The warm evening light streams in from behind the two white minarets of the Wallajah mosque in Triplicane. In the spacious front yard, more than 50 men wearing white fez caps wait silently. A little before the evening prayers begin in the 220-year-old mosque, a yellow truck swings into the driveway. The men immediately spin into action, unloading metal containers of porridge, biscuits, bananas and vadas.
As they have done for the past 35 years, Sindhi volunteers from the Sufidar Trust – who follow the teachings of Dada Ratanchand, a Partition refugee who settled in Chennai – have gathered to serve iftaar, the meal that ends the daily fast during the month of Ramzan.
The trust aims to spread the teachings of the Sufi saint Shahenshah Baba Nebhraj Sahib of Rohri, Sindh. “We believe all Gods are one, only people have turned it into different sects,” said Govind Bharwani, who has been a volunteer with the Trust almost since its inception. “That is what our guruji told us.”
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