03 June 2018
18 Ramadhan 1439
Prior to the commencement of the third Ashra in Ramadan (the third leg of 10 days in the ninth Islamic month) the Indian Muslim Social Service Association (IMSSA) jointly conducted its third annual Harmony Iftar at on 3 June 2018 at the Multi-Purpose Court opposite Khatib MRT. After a decade of organising harmony iftars, Harmony Iftar 2018 served as a milestone for Indian Muslim Social Service Association, IMSSA, as Mdm President Halimah Yacob, graced the event for the very first time.
Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Social and Family Development & Ministry of Education, Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Er. Dr. Lee Bee Wah, Mr Kwek Hian Chuan Henry, Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang, Member of Parliament for Nee soon GRC, Mr Ong Teng Koon, Member of Parliament for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC also joined us for the Harmony Iftar 2018. We were also very honoured to have with us respected religious leaders of different faiths from the Harmony Centre.
This event was jointly organised by IMSSA and Nee Soon GRC, and supported by North West CDC, Masjid Darul Makmur and 100 plus from F&N Foods Pte Ltd. With each of the 19 Community Centers (CC) in the North West District having invited 40 beneficiaries and their families, from their respective constituencies, this iftar had nearly 5500 attendees – largest thus far. Therefore, the objective of the event was accomplised – to gather the residents together and experience breaking of fast together as a one big community.
Through this event, we were able to attain the theme; ‘Show love, Spread love and Be loved’ through the effort taken by every one to provide an evening meal to all, regardless of race and religion. This feat would not have been possible without our 200 volunteers from different schools and external organizations to help us to achieve our objective together. The volunteers came from 12 organisations, namely Anderson Junior College, Catholic High, Masjid Darul Makmur, Nanyang Polytechnic Leo Club, National Junior College, Nee Ann Polytechnic Muslim Students’ Society (NPMSS), Raffles Institution, Raffles Girls’ School, Singapore University of Social Sciences and Youthcorps.
We are extremely contented with our first experience helping out in such an event that has allowed to be part of the packing of food, laying out of food on the tables and being as road marshalls or ushers. We learnt a lot through these different tasks.
– Student Volunteer
Nearly 800 beneficieries residing in the Noth West District were able to attend the iftar as the 19 CCs made transport arrangements for their respective beneficiaries. The beneficiaries were elated to meet at a close proximity both Mdm President Halimah Yacob, and her husband, Mr Abdullah. Alhamdulilaah. The beneficieries were further enlivened when Mdm President presented the beneficiaries with $50 worth of green packets as she met them. To ginger up the atmosphere, exciting performances were lined up for all. The performances include nasheed performance by children from PAP Community Foundation and Darul Makmur Muslimah Team, and story-telling from students of ‘Alive’ programme. The live performances ended off with a beautiful live azaan from Ustad Zainol, which signalled the time for breaking of fast. Instantly, everyone began to feast on the food laid before them – Mutton Briyani, Chicken Masala, Aglio Oglio, Chicken Pie, Kueh, Dates, Mandarin Orange, Mineral Water, 100 Plus. The children were as equally thrilled to devour the kids meal, specially prepared for them, and their colourful slushy drinks and peanuts that they collected from the booths setup.
By the end of the day, the residents were beaming, signifying the love felt by all thorugh the iftar. Harmony Iftar is a wonderful example of Singapore’s racial and religious landscape. We have friends and neighbours from many different backgrounds gathered here with us. More importantly, the Iftar event provides our non-Muslim friends with a better understanding and representation of Islam. In essence, we were glad to bond with the residents together over our iftar event.
Every act of goodness is charity, even it it is just a smile.
Hadith Sahih Bukhari
We appreciate our donors, supporters, sponsors and volunteers, who contributed to the great success of this Harmony Iftar @ Nee Soon. Alhamdulillah. We are glad to have done good through cooking with love and spreading love as we shared our knowledge and culture of fasting.
May we continue to strive spread love by carrying it foward – as a one big community.