How Inviting Non-Muslims to Iftaar Sends a Positive Message?

on Sunday, August 4, 2013

One of the most staggering idiosyncrasies of our monotheistic religious doctrine is social interaction. Islam encourages mutual reciprocity and synergy. This is what we entitle brotherhood, one of the main teachings of the pious religion indeed. Even in case of non Muslims, Islam has given behavioral directions. The code of conduct that Islam defines for righteous believers focuses on good virtues, morals, dignity and mutual respect, peace, justice, good behavior and equality. According to Al-Bukhari Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.W has been reported to have said:

“The best of you is the best among you in conduct”.

Truly impressive is the lessons of humanity and morality indeed that Islam has delivered to its believers. This philosophy obligates Muslims to be pious and fair in all matters and dealings that they encounter everyday. No matter whom they come across, known or unknown, Muslim or Non-Muslim, it is their religious duty to present Islam for what it is i.e. the religion of peace, love, morality and humanity. Rather than being judgmental about the beliefs of others a wiser conduct would be demonstrating the teachings of this divine religion of Islam by practically applying them.

An elegant and artful way could be adopted to be an influential role model for non-Muslims. Ways of preaching Islam are not only limited to Quranic verses; preaching is also possible by virtue of good conduct. The value of this is quite evident from life of Prophet Mohammad S.A.W.W, through his persuasive acts he not only said but practically did what he wanted to teach. In Surah Al-Nahl of the Holy Quran Allah SWT says:

“Invite people to the way of your Lord, with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are the best and most gracious: For your Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance”

In this regard, the month of Ramadan offers a unique opportunity when Muslims build a positive impression of their religion by its convincing attributes. Islam doesn’t forbid Muslims to befriend people who neither misguide nor lead them astray from the path of righteousness. In fact, healthy interaction among various groups belonging to various believes should be encouraged as it promotes good social relationships with non believers.

Iftaar, being a special feast for Muslims, is organized with special arrangements that do justice to the prime value of this religious observance. Iftar is a shared event. How remarkable is the idea to share it with those who don’t know its real essence. Yes, of course we are talking about non-Muslims. On one hand, this will be highly rewarding, and on the other hand, it is a thought provoking act for non-Muslim guests as it represents a soft image of Islam for them –the true image. For most of the non-Muslim world consider Muslims to be terrorists, extremists and male chauvinists who know nothing but suppressing women, it is really important to clarify their wrong concepts. A conversation starting even from a mere social context can lead to Dawah which is prescribed by Allah SWT himself in the Holy Quran, “Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good exhortation, and argue with the best manner” (16:125). A conversation of Dawah could be highly provocative for the disbelievers and they might ask you questions that they have never had a chance to ask before. It might give birth to an urge with them to discover more about Muslim community and Islamic civilization.

Above all, an Iftaar feast with non-Muslims will result in meaningful cultural exchange too. Islam has put no restraint over such a get together which leaves healthy impacts on society. Not only this, it would also develop a better understanding of Islam. Discipline and obedience of the righteous believers is an effective mean of constructing a much needed positive image of Islam. It is such a good idea to take initiative and purport it as an experiential forum for non-Muslim friends while sharing the true spirit of Ramadan with them. This will not only foster a sense of unity in the community but also cultivate a sense of charity that Islam puts special emphasis. Share your food, customs and stories at Iftaar dinners with non-Muslims during this blessed month and make a difference. Merely by a few good words and deeds, we can surely change the world around us. For Allah loves those who do good to others (2:195)

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