Uniting Church and Muslims break Ramadan fast in friendship

graham sturdy

Rev Graham Sturdy outside Scots Memorial Uniting Church.

Tasmanian Christians and Muslims are leading the way in promoting religious goodwill as Scots Memorial Uniting Church in Hobart prepares to host a ritual Iftar meal to break Friday’s fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Moderator Rev Sharon Hollis will be a special guest at the meal together with Hobart Mosque Imam Sabri Samson.

Kazi Sabbir, who is the vice president of the Tasmanian Muslim Association, said this was the first time the association has been invited by the Uniting Church to attend an Iftar dinner.

“This has given us the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the wider community in Tasmania and it has also elevated us one step further towards building a strong and peaceful society in Tasmania,” he said.

Ms Hollis said that the Uniting Church is holding a number of Iftar dinners around the nation in association with Muslim community groups to build understanding and friendship between adherents of the two faiths.

“Gathering to break bread with acts of welcome and hospitality bears witness to our desire to love our neighbour, to be good neighbours,” Ms Hollis said.

“These meals allow us to see our shared common humanity and to learn in humility about our differences, which make the world a richer place to live in.”

People will gather for the dinner at church hall from 4.30pm on Friday 1 June with the meal to be served at 4.46.

Imam Sabri will provide an opening prayer. He will also explain the significance of Ramadan and the ritual observance of an Iftar meal, where the dawn to sunset fast is broken.

Dates and fruit juice will be served to break the fast, followed by halal chicken with potatoes, rice and salad. There will be fruit salad for dessert.

The meal will be prepared by congregation members, who are being guided by Mr Sabbir on halal requirements.

“Here at Scots Memorial Uniting Church we are delighted to be hosting this Iftar meal and we are really looking forward to welcoming friends from the Mosque” Scots Memorial minister Rev Graham Sturdy said.

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