Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ramadan: Scarcity, God's Generosity, Community Building

The temperatures surpassed 100 degrees in Albuquerque on a scorching day in June. This type of weather creates an additional challenge for the Muslim faithful who are fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Fasting not only means abstaining from food, but also from water. One purpose of the fast is to recognize the fellow human beings who have no access to food and water. The extreme thirst caused by 100-degree temperatures certainly brings to mind those who live in places where water is scarce. The scarcity is not the point. Ramadan is not only about sharing the Earth with those with lesser means but also recognizing that God gives us bountiful resources to share.
It's becoming an annual tradition. (Do two consecutive years make a tradition?) The Turkish community in Albuquerque (via the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest and the Turkish Raindrop House) again invited the Interfaith Hunger Coalition to share an iftar meal on a Tuesday in June of 2017. Iftar is the meal served at sunset during the holy month of Ramadan, as Muslims break the daily fast.

A year ago, we also shared an Iftar meal with the Turkish Raindrop Foundation and the Dialogue Institute (which is an endorsing member of the Interfaith Hunger Coalition). We are so thankful to have this relationship with the local Turkish community.

According to  institute director Necip Orhan, sharing this fast-breaking meal with friends is a tradition for Muslim families in Turkey.

Among those who broke bread with the Turkish families in Albuquerque were members of United Methodist, Quaker, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and Baha'i congregations. Sarah Rahman, a member of the Islamic Center of New Mexico (and the steering committee of the Interfaith Hunger Coalition), was also in attendance.

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