By Nerissa Hosein. Ramadan is a special month for us in the Muslim community. It is the ninth month in the Muslim calendar. It is also the month of fasting for us where we can reflect and give thanks to Allah for our many blessings and mercy. At sunset most mosques offer the traditional Iftar or breaking of the fast gathering where food is prepared and shared to all those who have observed the days fasted.
It is not an easy fast, especially for us in the Caribbean with the heat, but it is something we Muslims do gladly without second thought.
We start the fast at dawn and go straight through until sunset. We resist all foods and drinks. We also keep away from gossiping, back biting, bad language and any such thoughts that will corrupt our peace of mind.
Iftar is offered as a way of us giving back to the community
In many Muslim homes the Iftar is also offered as a way of us giving back to the community and our family members who have observed the fasting. We prepare many dishes and open up our home to those who can come and break the fast with us.
It is a special time. It is almost a practice for our biggest celebration of Eid for which we do all these customs and more.
A customary dish for breaking the fast is the dates. It is believed that the Prophet Muhammad broke his fast with three dates. Other little finger foods such as samosas, pies, puffs and sandwiches are offered to break the fast. When this is done, the gathering moves to pray the Maghrib prayer. After this is done, dinner is usually served followed by dessert.
It is believed in the Muslim religion that those who open up their homes for the Iftar will be blessed as it is seen as a form of charity.
Every year my family usually hosts at least one or two for our fasting relatives. We all gather together and it is a time filled with family, prayers and most of all peace. It makes the coming Eid even more anticipated. It is always a joyous occasion when family can eat and pray together along with the members of our community.
August 2015 – Issue 17 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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