29 November 2023

By Al Qalam Reporter

Following on the resounding success of over 5000 people attending Durban’s first Mass Iftar last year, the organisers are enthusiastically planning this year’s event – with people of all faiths once again invited to participate in this all embracing peace initiative.

Preparations are at an advanced stage to ensure even greater inter-faith dialogue and co-existence. This year, the event is scheduled to be held on Sunday, 10 May 2020, at the Kingsmead Cricket stadium, starting at 3pm.

The event is expected to be bigger than last year. The organisers have extended an open invitation to the people of Durban to come in their numbers and be a part of this event. The organisers represent a group of Muslim organizations, individuals and well wishes who have banded together to promote this event.

In an interview, one of the organizers Nazeer Malek told Al Qalam : “The rationale for the Mass Iftar is to invite people of all faiths to share in the ‘breaking of bread’ which is widely accepted as a symbolic gesture of promoting peace and harmony. It is an open invitation to all. “In the recent past, Mass Iftars were held in many countries (and were often hosted by people of different faiths) across the globe. This served as an important catalyst in uniting diverse people,” he said.

In South Africa, Mass Iftars were held in most major cities and is now gaining momentum. South African Muslims see it as a way of reaching out to members of different faiths to spread goodwill and tolerance among this country’s diverse and beloved rainbow nation.

For Muslims, the best time to do this is during the spiritually uplifting month of Ramadhan, hence the popularity of the Mass Iftar. Malek said for those unsure about the intention of the Mass Iftar event, they can rest assured that the approach taken is not a proselytizing one but instead it is an invitational one where leaders of different faiths also address the event.

Last year’s Mass Iftar drew a crowd of almost 5000 people. People from all walks of life and leaders from different faith-based groups came in their numbers to be a part of this peace initiative.

It also attracted the support of many high ranking city officials (including the Deputy Mayor), dignitaries and community leaders. Speaker after speaker reiterated the need for peace and harmony throughout the world in general and in South Africa in particular.

At the 2020 Mass Iftar, arrangements have been made for seating for the elderly, meals (including veg), salaah facilities, security, parking, medical care, pardah facilities (if required) etc.

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