Home PodcastJulie Alli Durban Community Members to Distribute Haleem in Ramadan

Durban Community Members to Distribute Haleem in Ramadan

by Thaabit Kamaar
Photo by [SHAP]

Every Sunday during Ramadan, free haleem will be distributed in various communities in Durban. Haleem, like samosas, soup, and pink milk, is a food staple synonymous with the Muslim holy month. Everyone is welcome to collect a portion of haleem, and container size is no concern.

The guest, whose name shall remain anonymous, said he began, with his family, distributing haleem in the community a few years ago. He added they are just one of many families and people in the area and Durban in general that provide similar community services.

The free haleem distribution is a family initiative. They are grateful to have the means to carry out their objectives. As such, they do not accept any donations or money.

“We are fortunate that we have been blessed to be able to serve the community … [And] for every iftar table in and around us that carries our haleem that in itself is a blessing for us.”

Ramadan is a time for retrospection, patience and empathy. It is a time which places a great deal on giving back to the community and the less fortunate.

In doing so, it serves as a reminder of the responsibilities we, as Muslims, have to help those in need. We can offer assistance through monetary donations and food and clothing distribution. If this is not possible, then in simple acts of kindness.

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In the Beginning

The guest said making haleem during Ramadan is something his family have always done. However, as time passed, they began receiving extended family and friends requests. A proposal that, in turn, extended further into their community.

“We’ve always made haleem at home, and it was just for the family. Then it spread to make for family and friends and then the community closest to us. That’s how this thing started some years back. But the last three or four years, what we did was we decided we’re going to invest in some decks to cook haleem. We started with two decks, and we now own ten.”

As the demand grew, the family decided to invest in multiple large pots where they could now prepare substantial amounts of haleem.

“Approximately each deck is about 100 litres, and we make ten. So, we’re basically doing a thousand litres a week.”

They prepare the haleem at a relative’s home and transport it to an area where people can collect it easily and safely.

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“It’s a Mammoth Task” Preparing the Haleem

Many Muslim households tend to prepare weeks in advance in anticipation of Ramadan. Families begin cleaning their homes, spending time with relatives, and doing their clothing shopping.

And in the spirit of Ramadan, the guest said, preparing haleem is no simple task. They must begin an entire month before Ramadan to meet their target.

“Preparation for this thing started about a month ago. In fact, we’re now ready. Other than the greens, everything is ready to go onto the fire … It’s a mammoth task. Standing in front of that fire from [morning prayer before dawn] to about two to three o’clock in the afternoon. It is no easy task at all.”

And given the substantial amounts of chicken and mutton haleem, many of their relatives, friends and community members offer their assistance where they can. Even if it is only to stir pots to keep the consistency of the haleem.


Watch the full discussion here.

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