CAPE TOWN – Bringing followers of the two faiths closer, Cape Town synagogue hosted a special iftar on Saturday, allowing Muslims and Jews to observe iftar and Sabbath together.
“Jews and Muslims, we come from the same origins and roots and our journeys have been similar journeys,” Rabbi Greg Alexander at Temple Israel Synagogue told TRT News on Sunday, June 11.
Held for the first time, the event was held at a synagogue as part of the month of Ramadan.
Taj Hargey, Imam (prayer leader) of the Open Mosque in Wynberg, led the prayers for Muslim participants at the synagogue.
He praised the event as aiming at fostering interfaith dialogue.
The demographics of South Africa encompass about 52 million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions; Muslims comprise just over 1.5 percent of the population according to the CIA World Factbook.
The last census was held in 2011, the next one is slated to take place anywhere between 2016–2021.
Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, started on Saturday, May 27.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.
It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur’an.
Many men perform i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), spending the last 10 days of the month exclusively in the mosque.