Ramadan Diaries

The Evolution of Iftaars

We know that our Prophet (s.a.w) has told us that whoever prepares or offers food to a fasting person will earn as much of a reward as him. Possibly under the influence of this good news, every country in the Muslim world has developed its own iftaar traditions.

In some Anatolian villages, Ramadan nights are shared among the well-off members of the community (especially if there’s a guest sheikh in the village), and each night everybody in the village gathers in one house to break their fasts together. This way, everybody shares the same iftaar without discrimination during the entire month of Ramadan. Nowadays the “street iftaars” organized by the municipality in Istanbul resemble this tradition, but their ability to maintain that feeling of familiarity and coziness that small, personal iftaars can provide is of course open to debate.   

Ever since I can remember, one of the most exciting aspects of Ramadan has been the iftaars we would offer or be invited to. Their difference from the village iftaars in Anatolia was that they would generally be confined to one’s social milieu and would thus reflect the differences in status in social life.

Nowadays these iftaars have shifted from the homes to luxurious restaurants. I’m quite curious about what these iftaars, which unfold in superficial and shallow conversations and consist of soulless foods that anybody can eat any time they want, will evolve into next…

I humbly invite all you dear sisters and brothers to offer small, sincere, and modest iftaars in your homes.



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