OXFORD – About 400 people gathered at East Oxford’s Asian Cultural Centre to break their Ramadan fasting, in a Grand Iftar event staged by the Oxford Muslim community, Oxford Mail reported on June 2.
“We hope you enjoy the Iftar and to get to know each other. This evening is about connecting communities,” Tayyaba Hameed, co-founder of Oxford Homeless Project addressed the guests during the iftar.
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. It started in North America on Wednesday, May 16.
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.
Saturday’s event was organized by the Oxford Homeless Project and the Oxford University Islamic Society who teamed up with Big Iftar UK, Oxford Brookes Islamic Society, and the Asian Cultural Centre.
Organisers welcomed people of all faiths, dedicating food stalls for different cuisines from around the world, as well as family-friendly activities.
Attendees were invited to bring a dish to share foods and sit around tables outside to have iftar.
They had a beautiful backdrop as the sun set at the venue which had been specially decorated with balloons and lights.
Among those who enjoyed the celebrations was Lord Mayor of Oxford Colin Cook. This year’s iftar is not the first since the celebration has been held in Oxford since 2015.
The English city of Oxford lies in the south of England. In the 2011 census of England, 59.4% of the population were Christians, 24.7% were atheists, while 3.7% adhered to other religions, and 7.2% didn’t give an answer.
The census also informed there were 2.7 million Muslims living in England where they form 5.0% of the total population.