Muslims Come Together To Break Bread
More than one million Muslims continue to mark the Holy Month of Ramadan. It is a time for introspection and sacrifice.
Everyday at dusk, the faithful break their fast for iftar- the meal eaten after sunset.
The Peace Islands Institute organized an annual Ramadan iftar dinner at the Hyatt Hotel in Morristown NJ.
It as conducted with a special focus on how fasting enhances the human experience, and strengthens the spirit.
People from different walks of life attended the event.
Members of different religious groups, government officials, law enforcement officers, scholars and businessmen, celebrated unity in diversity.
Speakers talked about the benefits of fasting. They emphasized how fasting develops an individual spiritually. It is a means to cleansing oneself, reaching for a pure heart.
This was followed by the call to prayer, and the guests then enjoyed a lavish iftar dinner.
There was a lilting performance with the kanun, or stringed instrument as well as the ney, a type of flute.
The new director of the PII emphasized the need to focus on similarities, and live in peace.
“We are living in the same world. We drink the same water and breathe in the same air. For that reason we don’t need to be different. We should focus on similarities instead of differences. We should all live in peace and love,” said Ercan Tozan, the Executive Director of the PII.
It was Senator Nia Gill's first time at an iftar dinner. She was happy to attend an event that expanded her world view.
“I think that culturally it expands your view of the world. In religious terms, it reaches out to you in terms of a message. It was a peaceful, inspiring and healing dialogue," added Nia Gill, Senator of the 34th Legislative District, NJ
Assistant Special Agent , Thomas Masters from Homeland Security praised the PII for being instrumental in uniting groups through dialogue.
Thomas Masters, concluded, “It's a unification of all organizations, cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds. This event articulates the fact that we are a diverse world, and we need to celebrate our differences instead of focusing on the conflicts. We should live in peace.”
With one week to go, to the joyous celebration of Eid ul-Fitr, Muslims across the world unite in prayer. They ring out the message of peace and harmony.
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