29th July 2019 by

Community Iftar Blog by Rayhan Ahmed

Well what can I say? The biggest event in the ISOC’s history only just came and went the other day!

The Community Iftar: over 400 people joined together to break their fast under the night sky. The feeling was one of unity and celebration. The unity of people from all walks of life and a celebration of community spirit.

The hanging lights gave it all an ambient feel, despite the sun setting and the night claiming the skies, there was an abundance of Noor, light, all around. From the hearts of the people to reflections off the volunteers’ high vis vests; the place was alight like no other.

The sheer number of people was amazing to see! The connection of human spirit was something else. This Iftar embodied what Ramadan is.

The volunteers had worked tirelessly hours in advance of the event to make sure everything was just right. Tarp was spread, tables were set, food and water delivered. Our members came out in large numbers, the student body working together to make this a success. Their diligence and their hard work made the event what it was. May Allah reward them for their sincerity of the work they did for the sake of others.

The joining of the Ummah was achieved. To be together and be peaceful together. The warm hearts of the people kept the atmosphere warmly glowing.

The amount of people who arrived was breath-taking. People from all over Birmingham; people from other cities; had come for this event. People from different backgrounds, different cultures and different faiths – all were welcome and all were present. It was a spectacle to see such diversity and inclusion at the Iftar.

Words of unity and peace were spoken. Messages of achievement and amazement were given. We showed the world what we are capable of, what greatness can be achieved when we all move with one aim, one purpose.

A few lines that will stick with me for a long while from UBISOC’s Head Sister, Maryam Mahboob, was this, ‘In Islam it doesn’t matter who your neighbour is, Muslim or not, they deserve your courtesy. ‘Adab’ is Islamic good manners, but it goes beyond this. It is what you gain from praying and fasting, as it facilitates an inward transformation of the soul, one that seeks to connect to others, for their sake and the sake of Allah.’

Such a powerful message, one that encourages us to always be good to those around us, no matter who they are. One that seeks to show that generosity has no threshold. That all are deserving of it, that by praying, fasting and breaking fast together, it allows you to understand what it truly means to foster and replenish a kind human soul.

A spectacular moment of the Community Iftar and honestly the most uplifting was Maghrib Salah. Never did I think we would see the day where the Adhan would ring throughout all of campus, where the words of the Quran would be elevated to such a level that it could be heard all around you. The words seemed to echo throughout all of Birmingham in that moment. The call united us all, it was something unprecedented here at UoB.

We made history. All of us. The volunteers who worked tirelessly to serve everyone. Our Isoc who worked months in advance to ensure this event could go ahead. To all of you who came that night to be a part of it.

The food was as tasty as it was plentiful. Nigerian chicken, chicken curry, biriyani, falafels, jollof rice, food from many cuisines made it here and showcased how diversity and culture can be expressed within our faith.

It was the joining of all that made this possible. The good will of those who organised it and the good company of those who came to attend.

Jazakallah Khair to everyone who came, Ramadan Mubarak to everyone and I sincerely hope these last few days of Ramadan are everything you need them to be!

Rayhan Ahmed

June 2019

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