Iftar Under the Stars 2018

HUNDREDS ATTEND FAST OPENING

Blackburn’s beautiful diversity was on full show in late May as locals were invited to open their fast with the town’s Muslim community.

Hosted by the community group One Voice, around 250 people from across different faith groups are expected to attend the ‘Iftar under the stars’.

Iftar is the meal eaten by Muslims at sunset throughout the month of Ramadan. This year the fast lasts for approximately 19 and a half hours each day.

This Saturday evening saw Muslims and non-Muslims alike sitting down and eating together on the fields of St Mary’s College.

Nisbah Hussain, Group Leader of One Voice Scouts said:

“Events like this allow those of another faith to be involved in an Iftar and gain understanding of why Muslims fast, the purpose of Ramadan and what families undertake through holy month.

“Doing this in the great outdoors, with thousands of stars overhead, is both awe inspiring and humbling. Ramadan is a busy time for families so we felt it was an ideal way to bring our community together.”

Amongst those breaking their fast will be non-Muslims who have fasted for the very first time.

At the start of Ramadan One Voice invited people to fast for a day to support a community cohesion initiative. In 2017 more than 200 took part.

Geoff Wilkinson who is fasting for the third year in a row now said:

“One of the reasons some of my colleagues fast during Ramadan is to consider those less fortunate than themselves. I took part in this initiative last year and I found it uplifting. I did not feel hunger or thirst. I could do something about those feelings later on. No, the experience made me think of those who feel hunger and thirst all the time and perhaps think of what can be done to help them. Regardless of creed or colour, we should do more to help those who can’t help themselves. Initiatives like this can make a difference and I am pleased that I can again play a part.”

Chris Seddon, who was fasting and attended the event, said:

It was a lovely evening. The scouts were doing some amazing craft work. I met so many friends there. Thank you everyone for your welcome and the lovely food. I was ready to have a long drink of water and eat by 9.30pm.”