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Embodying the Spirit of Ramadan: Members of the Community Join Together for Iftar at the Academy

We were delighted to host our first-ever Community Iftar at the Academy, where we were greatly pleased to welcome students and their parents as our guests for this special occasion.  A Community Iftar, typically held during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, is a gathering where Muslims come together to break their fast at sunset.  It is not only a religious observance but also a social event where people from diverse backgrounds, including Muslims and non-Muslims, come together to share food, conversation, and community spirit.

As visitors gathered, they were given a programme outlining the evening’s events and had the opportunity to take part in a number of activities led by our students.  Among these were readings from the holy Qur’an, a Ramadan knowledge quiz, a prayer activity based on the concept of Tasbeeh (rosary beads) and a craft and colouring activity station for our younger visitors.

At six o’clock, everyone assembled for a time of silent reflection and prayer.  This was a time for personal prayers where Muslims pray for less fortunate people around the world, especially those whose lives are impacted by conflict and those who suffer from hunger and starvation.  The time of personal prayer is also when the lives of departed loved ones are remembered.  This was followed by a Dua (a short supplication to the Lord) led by Academy student, Adam Musa, in which the congregation were invited to participate.  People were either free to join in or observe the act of worship.

Further prayer followed to open the fast led by Ateeq Nisar of Year 9.  The breaking of the fast took place at 6.13pm to coincide with sunset.  Academy staff and students had prepared Iftar gift packs which contained water, dates, a soft drink and a chocolate.  These were distributed among our guests for their enjoyment and to symbolise the breaking of the fast.  

Following the breaking of the fast, the Adhan was recited by Year 11 student Muhammad Junaid Saleh, asking the congregation to join in the fourth prayer of the day which is call the Maghrib prayer.  Maghrib (evening) prayer is one of the five daily prayers in Islam.

After prayers had concluded, Headteacher, Mr Burton, formally welcomed everyone to the event and thanked everyone from the community for attending.

Mr Burton told us: “I want to express my gratitude to all of the Academy’s staff and students responsible for providing the Community Iftar, where over 100 staff, students, parents and community members from across our catchment area came together to break the fast.  It was humbling to be there and see the joy on people’s faces as they saw how much effort and care had gone into the event.”

“Thank you to Mrs Mulla, Mrs Rudd, Mrs Elsegood and every other member of staff who made that remarkable event come to life.  It was truly a testament to a community having faith in its local school and it’s certainly one of ‘those nights’ one doesn’t forget,” he added.

Everyone present was then invited to the meal, which was served in the main hall that had been specially decorated for the event.  A communal hot meal was served, consisting of various savoury traditional foods prepared by outside caterers and this was followed by cakes, fruits and sweets with soft drinks and tea or coffee.  The social gathering enabled people to meet together giving them the opportunity to connect with others, make new friends, and strengthen existing relationships.

We are most grateful to our staff and students who volunteered to assist with the event making it a huge success and without whose support the event would not have been possible.  It was a fabulous team effort and we are delighted that the Community Iftar was well received by those attending.