Eid al-Fitr – Vatican asks Catholics and Muslims to join hands to help the needy

To mark the festival of Eid al-Fitr New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Interfaith Relations has passed on a message from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) to Muslim communities in New Zealand, along with their own greetings.

Eid al-Fitr celebrates the end of of Ramadan. Literally the word means the “Festival of Breaking the Fast.”

Because Islamic calendars are lunar, on the 29th day of Ramadan the crescent moon will show whether Eid falls on July 6 or 7.

In the message the President of the PDIC cardinal, Jean-Louis Tauran, said “We join our prayerful good wishes to those of Pope Francis for abundant blessings during Ramadan and for a lasting joy of Eid al-Fitr. Happy Feast to you all!.”

Muslims and Christians working together

The message also expresses the hope that “all work together in assisting those in need.” It is a source of great hope when we experience or hear of Muslims and Christians joining hands to help the needy.”

“When we do join hands, we heed an important command in our respective religions and show forth God’s mercy, thus offering a more credible witness, individually and communally, to our beliefs.”

How is Eid al-Fitr celebrated?

At Eid al-Fitr people dress in their best clothes, decorate their homes with lights and decorations, give treats to children, and enjoy visits with friends and family.

A sense of generosity and gratitude colors these festivities. As the month draws to a close, Muslims are obligated to share their blessings by feeding the poor and making contributions to mosques.

Rotorua Muslims share with the needy

In Rotorua members of the Muslim community prepared food for those in need at Love Soup Rotorua this last before eating together to show “they [homeless] were not invisible”.

Shiffa Harunani says they tried to fast with both their mouths and with their actions, “to be a good human being.”

She said she and her husband donated food to charity Love Soup Rotorua each week, but as part of Ramadan they decided to cook the dinner themselves.

They also invited the Muslim community to join in.



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