News Release

Interfaith Groups Invited to Commemorate Ramadhan

Communities in Adelaide and Melbourne recently commemorated the daily fasting of Ramadhan in an “Iftar” or fast-breaking dinner shared with members of various faiths. 

In Adelaide, the Ahmidiyya Muslim Community hosted an interfaith event where other faith leaders were invited to speak about their perspectives on religious fasting.

Speakers included Rev. Sue Ellis, Moderator of the Uniting Church in South Australia's Presbytery and Synod; Ms Gunhild Jonsson, Secretary of The Multifaith Association of South Australia (representing the Association’s President, Ms Philippa Rowland), speaking about the Buddhist view of fasting; and a young missionary Atif Ahmad Zahid, from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Katrine Hildyard MP, Lane Rochow member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and  Amir (National President) Imam Inam-ul-Haq Kauser, Missionary In-charge for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Australia who gave the concluding remarks.

Lane Rochow participated with Marion Stake (diocese) President Jason Ellis and expressed the respect the LDS Church has for other faiths, the value each faith brings to the community and the practice of fasting from the LDS perspective.

He explained, “Latter-day Saints often fast personally (as they feel to do so) for several reasons including: as a way of worshiping God and expressing gratitude to Him; to seek personal revelation; to exercise and strengthen faith or develop greater spiritual power; to seek particular blessings in time of need whether for ourselves or on behalf of others; and as a form of self-mastery- to prioritise spiritual matters over physical desire.”

The National President in his final comments remarked several times that Ahmadiyya Muslims and Latter-day Saints have much in common. He cited our fasting practices as an example, highlighting that both religions require a generous donation to the needy in connection with the abstaining of food for proper fast observance.

A prayer was offered by the Amir Iman Inam-ul-Haq Kauser to close the fast. Participants then moved into the dining area to socialise over the delicious Iftar meal.

In Melbourne, MP Nina Springle organised an Iftar dinner and invited representatives of the Dandenong Interfaith and Casey Multifaith Network to attend along with Ahmet Keskins CEO of the AIS, police leaders, deputy mayors from the Casey Council, local Imams and the Egyptian Vice Consul Reem Zahran.

The purpose of Ramadhan was explained which for those of the Muslim faith, is a period of daily fasting to remind them of the suffering of the poor and celebrates the completion of the writing of the Qur’an by Muhammad, their founder.

After the sunset prayer ending the month long daily fasting period and thanking God for the strength he has given, a delicious Iftar dinner was served.

The spiritual and physical needs of the world require goodwill and cooperation among different faiths. Each of them makes a valuable contribution to the larger community of believers. In this light, the sharing of beliefs and the Iftar dinner at the end of Ramadhan is a gift of understanding to benefit all.

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