Serving Iftar to thousands daily

by / Tuesday, 16 July 2013 / Published in IFTHAR2002, Newspapers, நிகழ்வுகள், ரமலான்

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Volunteers of the IMAN Cultural Center work long after their office hours these days. They labour to prepare Iftar for over 4,000 people every day during the month of Ramadan.

  • Qadijah S. Irshad
  • Published: 00:00 November 21, 2002
  • Gulf News

 

Volunteers of IMAN Cultural Center race against time to deliver food every evening

Volunteers of the IMAN Cultural Center work long after their office hours these days. They labour to prepare Iftar for over 4,000 people every day during the month of Ramadan.

Abdur Rahman, Liaqath Ali, Amanullah, Mohammed Thaha, Badesha Basheer, Mohammed Noordeen, Mohammed Muslim and Yahya Mohideen spend their evenings fulfilling their Ramadan task of marketing and delivering food to the large number people breaking fast at Lootah and Baluchi Mosques and at their Iftar site tent in Deira. The group belongs to the Iftar committee affiliated to the 27 year-old IMAN, based in Dubai.

“The work is especially important during Ramadan which is the month for mercy and forgiveness with Muslims striving to fulfil one of the basic tenets of Islam – giving to the poor,” says Abdul Rahman, general secretary of IMAN.

“Not only does fasting lead to self purification, but the pangs of hunger and thirst makes man more conscious of the sufferings and agony of the poor and the destitute and it brings him down from the high pedestal of comfort and ease and inculcates in him sympathy and compassion for others.

“Although the focus of the holy month is on fasting and discipline, the volunteers’ work highlights another key aspect of it, which is charity. The more charity work you do during this period, the more you will be rewarded. After all, Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) used to say, ‘Wealth is not diminished by Charity’ and that’s what we believe in,” he explains.

The Iftar preparation is sponsored by prominent UAE nationals and well-wishers. The daily challenge faced by the 80 volunteers is to make sure that everything goes smoothly, from the preparation to the distribution of food in time for Iftar.

“We have been doing this for the past 25 years, but the strength of this endeavour has really increased in the last decade. This year, the official Iftar venue of IMAN, where we prepare the food and have a tent for Iftar, has been provided to us by Al Futtaim Group and officially approved by the Ministry of Awkaf and the Dubai Municipality. Syed M. Salahuddeen, the president of IMAN is in charge of it,” he explains.

While 20 cooks are hired to prepare the food at the site under hygienic conditions, the meal pack includes fruits and dates, kanji (liquid rice with pulses, herbs and meat), a savoury snack of samosa and vada, which, although prepared the South Indian way, seems to appeal to the taste buds of all nationalities, including some UAE national who come to break their fasts at the tent.

“We are glad to see that all kinds of people, irrespective of nationality, colour or occupation, attend our Iftar ceremonies and sit together to break their fast. This unity and brotherhood is what Islam is about,” concludes Abdur Rahman.

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