A meal in the Prophet's name
Every year, the Malabaris, a community of Indian Muslims from the Malabar region of Kerala, India, gather to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.
Photographs by Djohan Shahrin
Each year, the Malabar Muslim Jamaat, an organisation that brings together the Malabari community in Malaysia, joins hands with Surau Malabar Hidayatul Islam in Selayang to celebrate the Maulidur Rasul, or the Prophet's birthday.
Children help to wash out large pots a day before the Maulidur Rasul event, where thousands of meals are distributed to participants and the surrounding residents.
Cubes of meat, once washed, are cooked in a process that will continue throughout the night until dawn.
Volunteers place the meat in the huge pots that the children helped wash earlier.
The imam (fourth from left) leads those present in a prayer before the cooking process begins.
Early in the morning on Maulidur Rasul itself, the Malabari gather to have breakfast together with the other visitors who come.
Back in the kitchen, volunteers continue cooking rice in giant pots.
Some of them carefully tip the ingredients for the rice, known as nasi maulud, into a pot.
A total of 37 pots are used for the entire cooking process, in addition to 30kg of rice.
Some 12,000 packs of briyani meals are wrapped and distributed to visitors, surrounding residents as well as the Malabar community in the Klang Valley.
Others set to work packing 1,100kg of rendang to be eaten with the rice.
The containers of food are given to committee members who then distribute them throughout the Klang Valley.
Later, the main ceremony of Maulidur Rasul begins, with the imam delivering a talk in the surau.
This is followed by a lecture in conjunction with the Prophet's birthday.
A book, written in Ponnani which is an Arabic-Malayalam script, made specifically for the Malabari community in Kerala.
A group of Tahfiz students are invited to give a religious reading as part of the presentations.
Participants stand up as they recite the salawat, poetic passages in Arabic in praise of Prophet Muhammad.
Children peek through the cracks in a cloth divider as they listen to the recitation of the salawat.
A boy puts perfume on the hands of attendees after the end of the programme.
Another child carries a tray of sweets to be handed out to those in the surau.
A secretariat member oversees the distribution of the thousands of containers of food.
Members of the Malabari community gather to receive the food at the end of the programme.
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