Catholics offer Muslims a blessed & holy Ramadan

More than 40,000 New Zealand Muslims began the month of Ramadan with the new moon that occurred on Wednesday night.

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Interfaith Relations, have written a letter of support addressed “our Muslim brothers and sisters” offering them “best wishes for a blessed and holy Ramadan.”

“Catholics share with you a commitment to spiritual growth, self-improvement and solidarity with the human family.”

“In his first Ramadan message, Pope Francis said that the offer of good wishes on the occasion of our neighbour’s religious celebration is a way for us to share their joy,” said the writer, Carlo David, writing on behalf of the committee.

“In that fraternal spirit, we look forward to sharing an Iftar meal with you during this holy month and in this sharing, we look forward to deepening our understanding of each other and strengthening our warm relationship.”

Ramadan is the most sacred month in the Islamic calendar.

It is the time when all members of the Muslim faith commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to the prophet Mohammad.

Although it is a month of fasting when no food or drink is taken between sunrise and sundown, Ramadan is also a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship.

Last Saturday in Auckland residents held a night market in Mount Roskill to bring together Muslims and non-Muslims to celebrate.

One of the organisers, 31-year-old Mohamed Jaballah, said it was about bringing together the melting-pot that is the Muslim community.

“We are so diverse. We are literally from all over the world.”

He said this diversity was what made the community so unique, and with so much to offer.

The invitation was also extended to those outside the community, and Mr Jaballah said events like these would allow the public to get to know real Muslims.

“It’s always a positive thing to see non-Muslims coming to these events, to interact with us and to see real Muslims, not the Muslims you see on TV, but actually us.”

He said he had seen many non-Muslims attending the event with friends, and even coming along on their own.



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