By Qaisar Abbas
MEMBERS of the Thurrock Muslim community gathered together on Friday in a community Ifthar as Ramadan draws to a close.
The Thurrock Muslim community along with other 1.4 billion Muslims across the world are observing the month of Ramadan (fasting). During this month, almost every adult muslim fast as it is a religious obligation.
Fast starts just before 3am with early morning breakfast called ‘Sahur’ and ends immediately after sunset with dinner called ‘Iftar’. Special meals are prepared for both occasions and it is a common tradition to invite each other to Iftar dinners.
Muslims who observe fast, abstain from eating or drinking between Sahur and Iftar. Fasting makes the person feel compassion and empathy towards the poor and less privileged because the fasting person realises the suffering of hunger for almost 18 hours every day and remember those who are in this situation all the time.
The majority of muslims open their fast at their homes with their families and friends. The Grays Islamic centre also arranges daily Iftar Dinners which are attended by more than 50 people of all backgrounds and ages. The daily meals are provided and served by the volunteers.
In the month of Ramadan, eligible Muslims also give (Zakat) 2.5% of their savings to the poor and worthy causes. Apart from paying Zakat, muslims also donate food, clothes, large sums of money and other items to the needy and charities.
Unfortunately during this holy month of Ramadan, very sad incidents of London Bridge and Grenfell Tower happened and as a result dozens of innocent people were killed and injured. Thurrock muslim community made special prayers for the victims and stand shoulder to shoulder with other communities in condemning such incidents.