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Feeding people is an Ibadaah: Exclusive private Iftar at mosque has no place in Islam


It seems as if the more knowledge we acquire, the less educated we become. Rather than advancing towards more inclusive and civilized way to deal with each other, sadly, with each passing day, we become more uncivilized – more exclusive. By now you are wondering what this rant is all about?

Well if you have been following the buzz among Canadian Muslims on social media about the Manitoba Islamic Association (MIA) Grand Mosque’s not so Grand Public and Private Iftar Sponsorship policy. You would know precisely what we are talking about.

If you have not had the chance, here’s the summary. MIA website Public Iftar Sponsorship announcement, along with simple plate, knife, and fork picture, states: Monday-Thursday Only $650 Per Iftar. That is Followed by a picture of a hand of a Chef Serving food in a covered dish, Friday to Sunday Only, Booking Required.

Essentially, the message of such policies with strong eye catching – stare in your face – the image projects, us the division of classes between, the haves and have nots-A reprehensible practice our beloved Prophet Mohammed PBUH eradicated more than 1400 years ago. Yet, when one takes a closer look at those two announcements the have nots get the least desirable days, Monday-Thursday, limited budget, perhaps, simple meal, hopefully hot. The haves on the other get the prime weekends social events days, with a hot meal, custom made menu, possibly nine-course meal, of course the price would be determined on how deep pocketed the sponsors are.

Here’s our two-bit, if MIA or any other mosque is interested in running a high-end, nine-course, Iftar meal catering services, it should consider doing somewhere in a private restaurant or a hall – not at the mosque. Leave the mosques as a neutral place of worship, welcoming all.

We believe in giving credit where it is due. We must acknowledge that in BC, all Muslim organizations around the Lower and the interior are welcoming sanctuary for all and serving all Muslim for Iftar.

Let be reminded what our Beloved Prophet said, “It was narrated that Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.”  

Our righteous salaf were keen to provide food for others and they thought that this was one of the best of righteous deeds. 

Abd-Allaah ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him), Dawood al-Taa’i, Maalik ibn Dinar and Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Ibn ‘Umar used only to break his fast with orphans and the poor and needy.

They were eager to give up their iftaar for others and some would sit and serve them, such as al-Hasan and Ibn al-Mubaarak.

It is narrated by Abu al-Siwaar al-‘Adawi: Men from the tribe of Banu ‘Adiyy used to pray in this mosque and not one of them would break his fast on his own; if they found someone to join them they would eat with him, otherwise they would take their food out to the mosque and eat with the people, and the people would eat with them.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “You will not enter Paradise until you truly believe, and you will not truly believe until you love one another.” Narrated by Muslim, 54. It also fosters the practice of sitting with righteous people and seeking reward by helping them to do acts of worship for which they gain strength by eating your food.

Sharing Food is an Ibadah and by sharing many other acts of worship such as creating love and friendship towards those who are given the food is a means of entering Paradise.

The problem with some Muslim organizations and their management today stems from the lack of understating of the noble Character of our beloved Prophet and his teachings.

This Ramadhan lets us make it our goal to feed others and Pray that Allah bestows his Rahmah and gives us the understating of feeding people. We also congratulate the Br. Tariq Ramadhan for taking the initiative to feed the homeless and every weekend in Ramadhan and Pakistan Canada Association that spearheaded the campaign to feed the homeless in Ramadhan few years ago.