GENT, Belgium – King Philippe of Belgium shared iftar with a Moroccan family living in Ghent, Belgium Monday evening, starting the meal with dates as per the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
“It is a unique event, we are extremely grateful for it,” stated imam Khalid Benhaddou, one of the seven brothers of Mohammed Benhaddou, the man who opened his house to the King, Morocco World News reported on Tuesday, June 13.
Three generations of the family try to break the fast together as much as possible, and the imam added that to share iftar is “a sign of unity and cohesion.”
During the iftar with the Benhaddou family, the King was introduced to the meaning of Ramadan fasting, as the family highlighted the discipline, rigor and perseverance necessary for the 18-hour fast.
Ramadan is the holiest month in 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 the holy month to become closer to Allah through prayer, self-restraint and good deeds.
Around the globe, Muslims observe Ramadan with a set of traditional rituals including family gathering at iftar, religious lessons, special evening prayer and helping the poor, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Benhaddou concluded that the King’s visit to their iftar was “a hand extended to the Muslim community” and that the royal “recognizes Muslims in their experiences of Islam.”