New Zealand Muslims Open Doors to Share Ramadan Iftar

The Muslim community in Hastings, New Zealand, opened their door on Sunday to welcome their neighbors and share Ramadan iftar meal together, NZ Herald reported.

“It is important for us to share our culture with others so that there is more tolerance and people understand,” Multicultural Association Hawke’s Bay president, and Muslim, Rizwaana Latiff said

Muslims are currently observing Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.

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 Ramadan to get closer to Allah through prayer, charity, self-restraint, and good deeds.

Towards the middle of the holy month, people of all denominations and nationalities in the community were welcomed into the Hawkes Bay Baitul Mokarram Masjid & Islamic Center Trust on Sunday.

The guests were offered a Ramadan iftar meal as well as an opportunity to share the holy month with their Muslim neighbors.

Twenty-year-old, Aalya Khatoon said she felt “so blessed” to be able to fast.

“We fast from our hearts and our minds are clear during this time,” she said.

There are about 50,000 Muslims in New Zealand and about 60 mosques and Islamic centers.

The holy month of Ramadan comes only a few weeks after Christchurch terrorist attacks in which 50 Muslims were killed and dozens injured.

Due to safety fears, Muslim elders were considering canceling four large Ramadan gatherings in Christchurch.

After the massacre, many Muslims in Christchurch were scared of attending big gatherings.