Assalamualaikum! MLC Ivan Hosts the 4th Biggest Iftar Party at Fr Muller Convention Hall
Mangaluru: Assalamualaikum! (May Peace Be Upon You) MLC and Parliamentary Secretary-Revenue Dept-Govt of Karnataka- Ivan D’Souza hosted an ‘Iftar Party’/’Iftar Souharda’ at Father Muller Convention Hall, Mangaluru on Wednesday, 29 May at 5.30 pm extending Love, Friendship, Unity, and Harmony during Ramadan Season between Muslims and other Religious Community. A large number of People of All Faith- Muslims, Hindus, Christian joined in this Souharda, and complimented Ivan for his kind gesture in hosting Iftar Part for the Fourth time, thereby showing his love and affection towards Muslims.
Iftar-that’s right! It is the Meal that Breaks the Fast at Ramadan. It is the month of Ramadan (Ramzan) in the Islamic calendar and, for those who believe in it, each day of the month follows an identical routine: a fast from sunrise to sunset. At sundown, after a whole day of not eating or even taking a sip of water, the fast is broken. It is the time when the family gets together and eats a light but energy-giving healthy meal. This is Iftar or the meal that breaks the fast.
But ask anyone about the famed Iftar parties and the response: “Oh Iftar! They are very good parties/get-together where Muslims after their fasting mingle with each other and friends. So, how many of us know what the term Iftar party really signifies? What is this new meaning of that word? Are Iftar parties as we know them a new phenomenon or have they been part of the Ramzan ethos always? I found out today when an Iftar get-together/party was hosted by Ivan D’Souza. The guests at the party were predominately from a mixed community, comprising of Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Corporators, entrepreneurs, Priests, professors, students, rich and the poor.
Ivan D’Souza escorted the dignitaries of the event on to the dais, namely Kodijal Ibrahim-former MUDA Chairman; Dr Prof. Devraj-Former Principal SDM Law College; Bhasker K Moily-Ex-MCC Mayor; Ramanath Rai- Ex-Minister; Mohammed Kunjathbail- Former MCC Deputy Mayor; Rev Fr J B Saldanha- Parish Priest St Sebastian Church-Permanur; Janab Mohammed Kunhi- President-DK Jamat Islam Hind, Mangaluru; Sashidhar Hegde-Ex-MCC Mayor; Janab Kalander Shafi Madani–Khatib of Jumma Majid, Jappinamogaru; Janab Rashid Ullal-President, Sayed Madani Darga, Ullal; MCC Ex Corporators-Asha D’silva, Naveen D’souza, Ashok DK; among many others.
The party began with a “Dua” by the students of Jumma Masjid Jappinamogaru. In the terminology of Islam, duāʾ also transliteratedDoowa, literally meaning “invocation”, is an act of supplication. The term is derived from an Arabic word meaning to ‘call out’ or to ‘summon’, and Muslims regard this as a profound act of worship. The Islamic prophet Muhammad is reported to have said “Dua is the very essence of worship,” while one of God’s commands expressed through the Quran is for them to call out to Him: And your Lord says: “Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer):— Quran. The Imam also briefed about the meaning of Iftar and narrated about fasting during Ramadan.
In his welcome address, Ivan D’Souza said, “This one month of fast for Muslims is a period meant to be devoted to self-purification, helping the poor and concentrate on God. It is not a time to enjoy or feast. Unfortunately, this is what Iftar parties have come to signify. I feel blessed to host this fourth Iftar get-together with an aim to bring peace, love, friendship and harmony between Muslims and other religious folks. We should all live in harmony and peace, and never give a chance for hate and communal tensions. For me, every person is equal irrespective of caste or creed. Therefore I have been hosting Souhardas during Christmas, Diwali and Ramadan. Let’s celebrate Iftar with peace and love”.
Janab Mohammed Kunhi- President-DK Jamat Islam Hind, Mangaluru addressing the gathering said, “Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer, charity, and performing the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Observant Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk for the entire month of Ramadan, with a single sip of water or a puff of a cigarette considered enough to invalidate the fast. Muslim scholars say it’s not enough to just avoid food and drinks during the day, though. Muslims are also encouraged to observe the five daily prayers on time and to use their downtime just before breaking their fast at sunset to recite Quran and intensify remembrance of God. How do Muslims break their fast? After a sunset prayer, a large feast known as “iftar” is shared with family and friends. Iftar is a social event as much as it is a gastronomical adventure. And you all will come to know today what Iftar party is. Let us all enjoy the Iftar get-together and observe the Ramadan season with peace, love and harmony”.
Rev Fr J B Saldanha- Parish Priest St Sebastian Church-Permanur speaking on the occasion said, ”We Catholics also fast during Lent season, just like Muslims who fast during Ramadan. In the Catholic community, at the beginning of Lent, the great journey of conversion, the Church gives us the ‘weapons of penance’ which are fasting, prayer and alms-giving. These ‘weapons’ are not meant to be merely exterior practices, but as a reflection in the works of our interior conversion, to trust ourselves to the mercy, goodness and providence of God. In a similar way, Muslims also follow these three things during Ramadan time. We need to have this kind of get-together very often to bring awareness about peace, love, friendship and harmony- which is kind of lacking these days. What does the Bible say about peace?” Peace is something everyone wants, yet few seem to find. What is peace? It can be defined as “tranquillity, harmony, or security.”
Depending on the situation, it could mean “prosperity” or “well-being.” There are different types of peace, including false peace, inner peace, peace with God and peace with man. While going to bed every night, we should retire with peace and not with hate and anger in our hearts. Let’s spread the message of love, peace and harmony during the sacred Ramadan time and create unity and harmony among all religions”.
Kodijal Ibrahim speaking on Ramadan said, “Millions of Muslims around the world mark the start of Ramadan — a month of intense prayer, dawn-to-dusk fasting and nightly feasts. Why do Muslims fast? The fast is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate. Muslims often donate to charities during the month and feed the hungry. Fasting is an exercise in self-restraint. It’s seen as a way to physically and spiritually detoxify by kicking impulses like morning coffee, smoking and midday snacking. Ramadan is a time to detach from worldly pleasures and focus on one’s prayers. Many Muslims dress more conservatively during Ramadan and spend more time at the mosque than at any other time of the year. Muslims traditionally break the fast as the Prophet Muhammad did some 1,400 years ago, with a sip of water and some dates at sunset. That first sip of water is by far the most anticipated moment of the day. And that’s what we call Iftar, and we are here to take part in the Iftar party after the fast is broken. Thanks to Ivan Dsouza for hosting this Souharda with an intention to bring peace and unity between all faiths during Ramadan”.
Former Minister Ramanath Rai stressed on the need to develop peace and harmony among all communities. “We need to stay away from communal fights and riots, which is presently seen at a few places. Let us during Ramadan look for peace, love and harmony, and live in unity and harmony” added Rai. Prof Devraj also spoke and urged the people to stay away from hate and communalism, which divides the community. Few other dignitaries on the dais also spoke during the occasion and stressed the need for unity, love, friendship and harmony among all religious communities. During Deepavali, Christmas and other festivals we should organize a get-together to bring awareness about unity and peace, and develop a society free of communal tensions, racism, discrimination and hatred, urged these speakers during the occasion.
The Iftar party was compered by J Nagendra Kumar, Ex MCC Corporator and the formal function ended with breaking the Fast at 7 pm with snacks and sumptuous dinner, comprising of Chicken Biriyani, Fruits and juice. Bon Appetit!
In conclusion, India is a land of rich culture and everyone should work hard towards building India and protecting its culture. Mothers should nurture young minds by filling them with moral values and love. When we work towards educating children, then our festivals find meaning. We are working hard towards destroying humanity by remaining adamant on our views. Patience is most rewarded; when it is lost, society tends towards destruction. We should all work in unity to maintain peace and harmony in the eyes of God we are all equal and we should never incite communal riots and hatred among different faiths. Today Iftar Souharda has brought us all together irrespective of religions. So during this Ramadan season let us spread the message to the world to love another and maintain peace throughout. Let the light of Ramadan shine upon us and take away the darkness and give us peace and prosperity. Thanks to Ivan D’souza for his kind gesture in organizing this Iftar Get-together for the FOURTH time.
The Iftar get-together ended with a few Bollywood songs sung by Gangadhar Attavar. Team Mangalorean extends our Muslim Brethren the Ramadan wishes well in advance with a message-“Ramadan Kareem. May this holy month bless you and your family with togetherness and happiness and all your good deeds, prayers and devotions get acceptance by Allah Almighty. Ramadan Mubarak to you and your family. May the holy essence of this auspicious month remain in your heart and life!”