Embracing the Spirit of Ramadan: A Celebration of Fasting and Feasting

7 March 2024News & Announcements

Ramadan is a sacred month in the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims both locally and worldwide as a time for fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. It’s a time of spiritual growth and self-discipline, marked by acts of charity and empathy towards others. Abbotsford Community Foundation joins in honouring and celebrating this important tradition, recognizing the values of compassion, unity, and understanding that Ramadan embodies.

Fasting during Ramadan, known as Sawm, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is obligatory for all adult Muslims, with exceptions for those who are ill, elderly, pregnant, nursing, or traveling. From dawn to sunset, Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking, and other physical needs as a way to purify the soul, practice self-discipline, and empathize with those who are less fortunate.

As the sun sets, the fast is broken with a meal called Iftar, a time-honored tradition that brings families and communities together. Iftar begins with the eating of dates and drinking of water, following the example of the Prophet Muhammad, and is followed by a prayer before the main meal is served.

The types of food eaten during Iftar vary widely depending on cultural and regional traditions, but there are some common themes. Many Muslims break their fast with a light soup or salad, followed by a more substantial main course. Rice, bread, and a variety of meats and vegetables are common staples, often prepared in rich and flavorful dishes that reflect the diversity of Muslim culinary traditions. For 40+ Iftar recipes, click here.

In Abbotsford, a city known for its cultural diversity, Ramadan is a time when our Muslim community comes together to celebrate and share in the spirit of the month. Local mosques and community centers host Iftar meals open to all, providing an opportunity for people of different backgrounds to come together and learn from one another.

We recognize the importance of fostering understanding and unity among all members of the community, regardless of faith or background. By celebrating Ramadan and the traditions associated with it, we honor the rich cultural tapestry of Abbotsford and reaffirm our commitment to building a more inclusive and compassionate community for all.

Ramadan is not just a time of fasting and prayer, but also a time of giving and charity. Muslims are encouraged to give to those in need, whether through financial contributions, donations of food and clothing, or acts of kindness and compassion. This spirit of generosity and empathy is at the heart of Ramadan and serves as a reminder of the importance of caring for others, especially during difficult times.

As we celebrate Ramadan in Abbotsford, let us embrace the values of compassion, unity, and understanding that define this sacred month. Let us come together as a community to learn from one another, to share in the blessings of food and fellowship, and to reaffirm our commitment to building a more compassionate and inclusive society for all. Ramadan Kareem!

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We respectfully acknowledge that we are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Stó:lō people, the Semá:th First Nation and Mathxwí First Nation. As treaty People, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, we share the responsibility for the continued stewardship of this beautiful land.