Ramadan 101: What is Iftar?
During Ramadan you’ll hear a lot of talk about “Iftar.” But what exactly is Iftar? Here’s a short explainer.
What is Iftar?
Fasting is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith, and during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset. The pre-dawn meal is known as Suhoor, and the fast-breaking meal eaten after sunset is called Iftar.
What are Iftar traditions?
Traditionally, the fast is broken with dates or something small before the daily evening prayer. Besides fasting, another of the pillars of Islam is the ritual prayer, performed five times a day. This is done throughout the year, and one of the daily prayers is done at sunset. So often, fasters will break the daily fast with dates or a small bit of food, pray the evening prayer, and then eat a full Iftar meal.
What else should I know about Iftar?
Practicing Muslims follow a halal diet year-round, so the Iftar meal will never include pork, alcohol, or other forbidden foods.
During Ramadan, common greetings are “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem” (meaning “blessed Ramadan” or “happy Ramadan”). Feel free to use these with your Muslim friends, and don’t be nervous if you get it wrong. They’ll still like that you tried.
How can I participate in a local Iftar dinner?
We have several coming up this weekend! See our Events page to find one of our Peace Catalyst Iftar events.