On a cool evening in June, Milton’s Muslim community invited Miltonians to breakfast together during the month of Ramadan. The delicious Iftar meal was enjoyed at sunset according to tradition, and held on June 4 at Paramount Fine Foods Milton.
The e gathering was hosted by the local chapter of national organization Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at. Th e evening was presented as part of the Fast with a Muslim Friend campaign in which non-Muslims are encouraged to fast alongside Muslims “to experience what it’s like to start, keep, and break a fast.”
Sameera Ali, who attended with her husband Muhammad, heard of the event through her friend Shazia and her participation in Run for Milton, also organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Sameera loves the message of this evening – in which love for all is celebrated. She makes the effort to show up for events like the ones mentioned above, and show her support.
At the same table sat Juliet Coe and her husband Phillip Coe. The pair, originally emigrated from England, have found a deep connection with the Milton community. Last Ramadan, Juliet attended her first Iftar dinner and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy another this year. She heard about the event on MyFM – Milton’s new radio station.
Restaurant owner Ali Irfan was excited to welcome dinner guests. “It’s our pleasure. I feel a lot of gratitude that they chose our venue and we are extremely excited to be a part of this.” The dinner menu consisted of cheese manakeesh, fattoush salad, falafel, and platters of shish tawouk, chicken schwarma, and barbecued beef tenderloin. Followed by baklawa for dessert.
Lubna Malik, wife of organizer Fwad Malik describes the purpose behind Iftar, and the importance of Ramadan fasting. “For me, it is a time for self-reflection. We don’t eat, but it’s not about not eating. If eating is a necessity, and we can stop eating, then we can consider stopping ourselves from other vices. It gives us time to become a better person.” Malik has three kids ages 6, 7, and 9, but in their sector of Islam, the children practice fasting only sparingly until they are older.
Also in attendance at the dinner was Beverly Wright, with her husband and 12 year old daughter Sabrina Clappa – they were invited by Reverand Dale Skinner. Although the family had never attended an Iftar meal before, they “wanted their daughter, who is always keen to learn, to be exposed to multifaiths.”
Photos by: Denise Cooperwhite