AMIA hosts a multicultural Iftar event
Celebrating Iftar is an important tenet in the Muslim faith. Iftar or Fatoor is the evening meal when people of the Muslim faith break their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. It is a time spent with loved ones, friends and members of one’s community.
The Australian Malayalee Islamic Association (AMIA) in NSW recently hosted a communal Ramadan Iftar program at the Auburn Centre for Community.
Attending were a many prominent invitees, among them MP for Granville Julia Finn; K. S. Verma from the Indian Consulate in Sydney, and Inspector Matthew Glasgow from the NSW Police Force.
From the community, Fr Thomas Kurunthanam, President of SydMal Babu Varghese, and President of the United Indian Association John Kennedy, graced the occasion.
The event aimed at appreciating the relevance of having a multicultural and multi-faith platform, for a closer understanding and dialogue in a mutually respectful environment.
Mohammed Hashim, President of AMIA NSW addressed the gathering and urged all for a stronger multi-cultural and multi faith understanding.
“The everyday Iftar during the month of Ramadan is an opportunity for families to share food, share the experience of a successful day’s fast, which helps to increase the love and affection among families,” Hashim said. “When entire families involved in group prayers, it not only nourishes them bodily, but intellectually and spiritually as well.”
He urged all attendees to organise similar programs to foster better relationships and closer friendships across communal lines.
“I see this large gathering with participation from multifaith representatives and various members of the community as a bridge to understanding each other’s cultures,” he said.
He added that he hoped the event would go some distance in bringing about an appreciation of the traditions of fasting and fast-breaking.
AMIA’s primary objective as an association has been fostering a friendly, mutually supportive and learning environment for migrants and their families by holding on to Islamic teachings, values and principles. This underlying theme resonated at the Iftar event.
AMIA, NSW is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2011 by like-minded Muslim brethren from Kerala (a southern state of India) living in Sydney. It promotes socio-cultural activities such as regular get-togethers, in line with the primary objective of learning about Islam while fostering friendly relationships with members of the wider mainstream.
Events such as AMIA’s Iftar help break down social barriers and promote understanding in the increasingly polarised world of today.
During the holy month of Ramadan (the month of fasting), Muslims all around the globe observe “the fast” from dawn to dusk. This practice is one of the five pillars of Islam, intended to teach Muslims discipline, help them reconnect with their spirituality, and remember the less fortunate. It is a time devoted to purify the soul, refocus attention on the almighty, and practice self-sacrifice and patience.
Ramadan is much more than abstaining from eating and drinking. It is the month of prayers, charity, compassion and neighbourliness. It calls for self-examination, increased religious devotion and to strengthen ties with family and friends.