While passing by a mosque or any public place in the evenings these days, one might spot people in large numbers assembling and making elaborate preparations for the meal of the day.
These are men of various ethnic backgrounds and origins in different attires preparing to share their first meal of the day from a single platter while helping each other with drinking water, dates and other delicacies of breaking fast.
They stand in perfect unison for prayers in rows reiterating the vow to stay away from food and drinks and all material pleasures in life during the day and enhance humanity at the iftar venues.
They are in unanimity to committing oneself to Allah Almighty and is quite a common scene these days as the holy month of Ramadhan is progressing further.
A cross spectrum of places in the Sultanate host huge gatherings that emanate a sense of bonhomie among the believers from, besides the hosting Omanis, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and you name it. They all sit on the mat with dates just a few minutes before the prayer to break fast, and are busy saying prayers for the bounty and generosity of Allah Almighty.
The Sultanate has been witnessing such scenes since the beginning of the holy month some eleven days ago and at various mosques, iftar tents, mass iftar venues like the Grand Mosque, and Muttrah Souq are strongly sending out messages of togetherness.
“We have been catering to hundreds of passersby everyday with dates, water, juice, laban and the like for more than a decade now. All these are possible with the support of the traders and other small scale vendors inside the souq,” Abdul Latheef, a volunteer at the Muttrah Souq told the Observer.
The holy month of Ramadhan is an attempt to instil some virtues of camaraderie and togetherness telling the world that humanity is just one.
The month which is designed for enhancing friendship and humanity and revitalising the relationship with the fellow beings in thirty days and to replicate the good thoughts and deeds in the rest of the year is probably the month that witnesses the largest charity initiatives in the country.
All adult believers, of sound mind and who are healthy, must fast for thirty days during the month of Ramadhan.
People from different walks of life gather for mass iftars and suhoors that aim to cement bonhomie among all humans no matter what their background is but to be united with just one purpose, that is to fast and gain Allah Almighty’s blessings.
Social gatherings happen at different public places, iftar tents besides mosques as part of iftar. Oman’s traditional dishes are often highlighted, including traditional desserts, and particularly those made only during Ramadhan while international iftars are a key feature during the month. They sit shoulder to shoulder in lengthy rows sharing dates and various other dishes reaffirming their trust in the Supreme power.
The popular mosque, Sultan Qaboos mosque in Ruwi, and Grand Mosque in the Wilayat of Bausher host several hundreds of people with regular provisions from a number of kind people every day.
These pious believers share the rare moments of breaking fast at the Grand Mosque during the whole of Ramadhan with the food supplied by the mosque and brought in by people and companies supporting the cause.
The number of guests to these iftars is increasing as well as the amount of food packets and fruits brought in by people to cater to the increasing number is also surging by day.
The mass iftar, conducted with the support from good Samaritans in the society, is also a great help to the travellers and workers who find it difficult to reach home in time for breaking fast. Due the mosque’s location, several people on the move have been able to break their journeys and join in these iftar gatherings that are testimony to unity and bonhomie.
They are striking perfect chords of unity, love and compassion for each other.