What is World Iftar Day that is taking place on May 18, 2020?

World Iftar day is a celebration to bring global awareness about fasting in the month of Ramadan and the joy and unity that every fasting person feels at the time of breaking their fast which is known as Iftar.

Most people know that Ramadan is a month of fasting which includes abstaining from food and water, but not many people know that Iftar is one of the most spiritually important times of the day. 

Imagine close to 2 billion people around the globe experience the beautiful feeling daily in the month of Ramadan.

We have 7.5 billion people in the world today and we want everyone to feel that elation we experience at the time of breaking our fast.

Ramadan and iftar, in particular, is a time for charity by sharing our food with others, it’s a time for prayer, unity, love and gratefulness for the blessings that we have.

It is also a wonderful opportunity to get to know one another whether Muslim or Non-Muslim, neighbour or distant, it is truly a time of togetherness by breaking bread with our near and dear.

Who started this initiative and what inspired it?

For so many years stemming from my time in the USA I have experienced open days where we would have communal iftars inviting people from all walks of life. Outside of the Muslim world it is also not known that many mosques around the world engage in communal iftars every day in the month of Ramadan.

I, Afdal Feroz, wanted to find a way to bring people from all walks of life together under the banner of unity and peace and what better way then to break bread together on one united day. 

My inspiration came from the teaching of the Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) who said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَفْشُوا السَّلاَمَ وَأَطْعِمُوا الطَّعَامَ وَصِلُوا الأَرْحَامَ وَصَلُّوا بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّاسُ نِيَامٌ تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِسَلاَمٍ 

“Oh mankind spread peace in the world, feed others, uphold ties of kinship, pray in the later parts of the night while others sleep, and you will enter paradise with peace.” [Sunnan Ibn Majah / Narrated by Abdullah bin Salam].

What are the long term plans and ambitions?

This year we are asking everyone to stay at home and virtually join in. Our mid term goals are to provide iftar for everyone in every city around the globe, whilst our long term goals is to provide iftar for everyone globally everyday in Ramadan, so no human goes to sleep hungry in the month of Ramadan.

Our Motto: No human to go to sleep hungry in the month of Ramadan!

What type of support have you seen so far?

We have seen tremendous support from the local and global community.

If you are to go to our Instagram page you will see the sheer volume of pictures and videos that have come in globally and are still coming in. We have a team of 11 volunteers across 3 continents that are working tirelessly to answer questions and post up pictures that are coming in.

In addition to this we’ve seen Islamic scholars really rallying behind the day and sharing the day through there own social media platforms. 

I am also scheduled to do a show on BBC Radio on Sunday morning at 7:45am and also a live interview on Monday afternoon with the BCC news network. We’ve also been contacted by various other news outlets from other parts of the world. 

What opportunities exist for Dawah and interfaith with this project?

Unlimited! That is the wonderful thing about this initiative/project. As our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) stated that we should spread peace and also feed others, that is exactly what we are doing.

We are building a spiritual bond through a physical necessity with everyone that comes to have iftar with us.

Imagine the opportunity to do Khidma (act of good) for those that are in impoverished countries and the type of bond you will have with that person, especially when done for the sake of God. 

How can you get involved? 

  1. Send us a picture or video, mentioning which city you are from, of you celebrating Iftar to our Instagram and facebook page @worldiftarday.
  2. Make sure to include the hashtag #WorldIftarDay on your social media platforms.
  3. Make sure to publish this on your social media to encourage others to get involved and to help spread the word.

Help us make this initiative go viral so that we can truly make a difference in the world and help eliminate hunger.

Let’s be part of introducing World Iftar day and join together to promote humanity through unity!

Written by Afdal Feroz

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Sh Afdal Feroz was born and raised in the USA. He undertook the traditional style of learning Islam and embarked on his Quranic memorization at the age of 9 following this with his Alim course studies. He has been an Imam and Khateeb, delivering lectures and courses, for the past 31 years.