Two clergy from the Church of Ireland Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross – the Rev. Elaine Murray and the Rev. Tony Murphy – were welcomed to the Muslim Foundation of Cork’s Community Interfaith Iftar (Breaking of the Fast in the Holy Month of Ramadan), held in Blarney Street from 8pm till 11pm on Friday 23rd June.
In attendance also were the deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Fergal Dennehy, members of the Cork 3 Faith Forum and other guests. The Imam, Imam Ahmed Ihab, welcomed all the guests and gave a wonderful explanation of the deeper meaning of Ramadan, explaining how the fasting helped to focus people’s minds on exactly what their priorities should be and how attitudes of patience and gratitude was enhanced during the long hours of fasting, especially for Muslims in the northern hemisphere.
The children recited from the Holy Quran and gave a little presentation on the joys of Islam. As many of the guests had decided to fast from sunup in solidarity with the community, the refreshments were gratefully received. Never have watermelon and dates tasted so delicious! After short prayers, a tasty meal was served and enjoyed by all.
A lovely gift of an engraved glass plaque was received by the Rev. Elaine Murray on behalf of Bishop Colton who could not be present due to a prior engagement. The Rev. Elaine Murray also received a gift of a 1 kilo packet of dates from a representative of the United Arab Emirates embassy. During Ramadan, the Cork Muslim community had been donating to the Emirates Red Crescent, a volunteer humanitarian organization that supports official authorities in times of peace and war.