PAZ, allies hold Iftar for Muslim youths PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 August 2011 13:38

The Peace Advocates Zamboanga, in collaboration with the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP) and Youth Solidarity for Peace (YSP), has sponsored an “Iftar” or breaking of the fast ceremony for members of Islam-Youth Functionaries, Muslim Youth Assembly for Peace of Mariki Barangay, PAGASA Youth Alliance of the Philippines and other young Muslims in the community of Baliwasan, this city.

A simple opening program commenced with the recital of the Holy Qu’ran, followed by a welcome message for Ramadan and Iftar, then the recital of the Dua’a for Iftar by Ustadz Noran Hassan Dari. There followed the actual breaking of the fast, also called “pagbukah” in local vernacular. 
The event was held at Ilang-Ilang Drive in Baliwasan last Sunday, August 14, which was also the 14th day of Ramadan.

Ramadan is a month-long fasting done by Muslims seven years old and above all over the world. It shows loyalty, sacrifice and fulfilling of one’s obligations as believer of Islam. It draws them into closer relationship with Allah (or God).

Guests included Sister Emma Delgado, Executive Secretary of PAZ, Ustadz Dari, and members of YSP.
According to Sister Delgado, this Iftar ceremony was not the first. “It actually was done 10 years ago. But in 2009, we organized an Iftar ceremony with the Muslim
Youth Assembly for Peace in Mariki and just last year, the venue was Pasabolong.”

“In line with the ceremony, we come here not only to witness the Iftar, but we are also here to show respect for our Muslim brothers and sisters and to show support for the solidarity movement as key actors in promoting peace,” she said.

During the program, Aldrin Abdurahim, PAZ Youth Coordinator, urged young Muslims to see through the real meaning of Ramadan. “It reminds us that every day in our lives is a Ramadan. To sacrifice, to be and to live with Allah’s desire of how we should as Muslims live.”

“Ten years ago, we did not go out and have fun or bonding during the fast, we just stayed at the mosque. But now, younger generations are different, they are exposed to many things. Fasting is just an ordinary thing for them.  But the best way to live with it is being sincere and loyal to the religion that each is brought up to,” Ustadz Dari said. 

The young people of the Baliwasan community showed their cooperation and shared not only through the physical preparation but also their hospitality as well, in that Muslims and Christians can share the experience as part of their cultural tradition.

“We share this experience or story of peace, which we hope to continue through the next generation, not only as an experience but as an inspiration as well,” Sister Delgado said in closing. — Karel Mellanes/Peace Advocates Zamboanga