An Indian Christian businessman made the news recently as he built a mosque for Muslim workers in the United Arab Emirates. He also showed generosity by serving iftar meals to as many as 800 workers in the ongoing month of Ramzan.
The 49-year-old businessman identified as Saji Cheriyan hails from Kerala’s Kayamkulam. He built the mosque in 2018 for Muslim workers who are living in a worker accommodation which he rented out to 53 companies in Fujairah.
Cheriyan built the Mariam Umm Eisa (Mary, the Mother of Jesus) mosque after he came to know that workers were spending extra money on taking taxis to go to the nearest mosque to offer prayers during the holy month. Ramzan began on May 7.
Cheriyan, who initially landed in the UAE in 2003 with just a few hundred dirhams now hosts iftar for about 800 people including workers and other senior employees of several companies at AC convention centre in the same complex, as reported by Gulf News.
“The mosque opened on the 17th night of Ramadan last year. So, I could offer iftar to the worshippers only for the remaining days. From this year, I would be doing it every day,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
The iftar meal comprises dates, fresh fruits, snacks, juice, water and biryani.
“I have made arrangements to offer different types of biryani so that they don’t get bored eating the same dish every iftar,” he said.
Abdul Qayum, a 63-year-old Pakistani bus driver, who had iftar meal appreciated Cheriyan’s efforts from the bottom of his heart.
“The world needs people like him. If there are no people like him, the world will end. We are praying for him. Allah will bless him,” he added.
Vajas Abdul Wahid, an Indian appointed as assistant manager with a company, added there are employees of more than 50 companies residing in the area.
“Senior employees and labourers are staying in separate accommodations. But, when we come here, we are all equal. We pray and have iftar together, he added.
The mosque situated in the East Ville Real Estate complex in Al Hayl Industrial Area can accommodate around 250 worshippers at a time. Facilities for another 700 to pray in the interlinked courtyard of the mosque, which will be changed by the time it opens, have also been arranged properly.