By Daleel Jabir Muhammad
NEW YORK—Prior to the conflict in the country of Sudan that started on April 15, New York City enjoyed a United Iftar celebration at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan. Muslim leaders from across the five boroughs along with Muslims and Christians from the counties of Long Island and Westchester participated in the breaking of the fast at Maghrib (sunset) on April 13.
The Ambassador of the Permanent Representative of The Republic of the Sudan to the United Nations, Al-Harith Idriss Al-Harith, sponsored the occasion which was hosted by Imam Abdul Malik.
Muslims from Yemen, Lebanon, Pakistan, various African diplomatic embassies, and Muslim communities from the metropolitan area, along with members of the Nation of Islam from Mosque No. 7 with Student Minister Arthur Muhammad, dined together in unity with catered traditional Sudanese cuisine. Mr. Al-Harith spoke about the history and goals of Sudan which included peace. “All major movements are seeking redefinition of national identity, citizens rights and constitutional recognition and political and legal reform conducive to effective participation, human rights protection and realization of justice and reconciliation,” he stated.
Distinguished guests, diplomats of various faiths, and leaders were welcomed by Muawia Elbukhari, Deputy Permanent Representative of The Republic of the Sudan to the United Nations, with words of encouragement and unity. “This event represents the common objectives and values that Sudan is proud of and are part of its multi-diverse cultural and linguistic nature.” He went on to say, “It is not only a joyous celebration for Muslims, but it’s also an opportunity to reach out to other communities.”
Imam Abdul Malik, the host of the affair, welcomed all and shared a quote from the Holy Qur’an, the Muslim holy book stating: “O mankind, surely We have created you from a male and a female and made you tribes and families that you may know each other.“ (Surah 49:13)
“The Ramadan Iftar at the United Nations was to share the beauty of Ramadan with the diverse Muslim and Christian communities with the diplomatic community. I believe that is the spirit of Ramadan, that we are to be awakened to a higher consciousness and to make a major shift that must take place from within” he said. “We wanted to make sure that we invited a very wide diverse group of Muslims from America with the diplomatic community in attendance to share in the majesty of the power of Islam to unite the faithful. We are very pleased with the turnout and happy that we were able to serve the community,” Imam Abdul Malik stated.
“We came together under the world body of the United Nations headquarters in New York City and what a blessed and festive time we had with more to come,” he added.