An Iftar for Introspection

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By Nigar Ataulla

Bangalore: Iftar parties often consist of meeting, breaking the fast, eating, and then dispersing. But this was one iftar party with a difference.
Organised on 25th July on the terrace of Feroze’s Estate Agency by the Quran Study Circle, it brought together Muslims and people of other faiths, both men and women. Special care was taken for vegetarian food for those who don’t eat meat.
After the maghbrib prayers, Arif Vakil, co-founder of ‘Sufi Comics’ (for details, see www.suficomics.com) gave an introduction to the objective of the iftar gathering. This was followed by a talk titled “Charity, Sacrifice?” Sorry, I Have No Time!” by Dr. Taha Mateen, Director of Acura Hospital and HBS Hospital, who also heads the Quran Study Circle. His mesmerizing lecture was the highlight of the iftar meet.
Focussing on the question of accountability of human beings to God for everything they say, do, feel and think, Dr Mateen put forth many questions of a reflective nature which everyone ought to repeatedly ask oneself. He stressed that fasting was the most blessed time to go within, introspect, and meditate on one’s deeds, actions, thoughts and words. He touched on the day-to-day life of people and how ethics and morality ought to play a major part in every aspect of our lives, be it professional, social, personal or in the community.
Dr. Mateen raised pointed questions to the audience while reflecting on human accountability to God and the importance of charity that the month of Ramzan should inspire us to appreciate:”When was the last time you smiled kindly at someone? When was the last time you forgave someone? When was the last time that your conscience pinched you when you did something that was forbidden? When was the last time you helped a poor person?” and so on””questions that everyone of us ought to always ask ourselves.
The lecture followed by a question and answer session, proved to be an enriching experience.
Guests were presented with a little gift bag, containing a copy of the translation of the Quran in English and a Sufi comic book, which added to the special flavor of this wonderfully inspiring “Iftar for introspection”.