On Friday the 25th of May, members from the St Thomas Uniting Church in Craigieburn and guests from the Australian Intercultural Society broke bread to signify unity and solidarity in celebrating the month of Ramadan with an iftar dinner to remember.
Rev Peter Weeks was the MC for the night and members of his congregation hosted the evening of food and fellowship with support from the assembly of the Uniting Church. The Uniting Church representative for Victoria & Tasmania Synod’s Uniting through Faith initiative, April Kailahi was also present to be a part of fruitful discussion.
The call to prayer and some verses from the Holy Qur’an were read by Mr. Gokhan Ozkan followed by meaningful verses from the bible being read out by a Uniting Church representative.
Akif Canbolat, a university student, spoke about what this holy month means for Muslims and its significance with his speech on the spirit of Ramadan. He spoke about this month being a time when Muslims focus inwardly and on their relation to God. A month where one takes on the qualities of angelic beings as they suppress their physical desires for food and water.
Despite it being a communal month in that many Muslims invite their friends, family and colleagues to attend their iftar dinners, Ramadan is also importantly a time for the individual to be closer to God through worship, rememberance and spiritual growth.
Akif also touched on what significance hospitality plays in the month of Ramadan, touching on a call to open our arms and embrace everyone, to do it for the sake of goodness, for the sake of humanity, fully accepting the other for the way they are.
The night ended with a fun quiz on topics such as the Craigieburn region, with questions about the Christian and Muslim faiths also making for some interesting answers by the attendees.