Charity and Social Justic in Islam – Interreligious Iftar Seminar

by Brian Freedman, ICCI intern

Last Tuesday, the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) co-sponsored an interreligious event for Iftar, the daily breaking of the fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Religious leaders from across Israel gathered at the Konrad Adenauer Conference Center in Mishkenot Sha’ananim to celebrate Ramadan and participate in a discussion about the role of charity and social justice in the three Abrahamic faiths.

The featured speaker was an Islamic court judge, qadi in Arabic, from the Israeli-Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye. Qadi Muhammad Abu Obeid, a graduate from Essex University Law School in England, emphasized the communal nature of Islam and the responsibility Muslims have to care for the well-being of the less fortunate members of their communities. He noted that many ills in society emanate from the desperation of the miserable and poverty-stricken. The duty of Muslims, therefore, is to supply sadaqah and zakaat, two different forms of almsgiving in Islam, which “can help the poor and make a more balanced, peaceful and loving society.” Islam frees people from their selfish proclivities and puts them on a path toward altruism and “human justice,” he added.

Continue reading

Reflections on Ramadan: S.A. Ibrahim

A week before the beginning of this year’s month of Ramadan (now in its 14th day), Mr. S.A. Ibrahim sat on a plane and wrote down reflections “not only from a long time back – half a century ago, but also of a distant place, Hyderabad.” In a special letter he recently shared with us, he tells us of his childhood as a young Muslim boy in India, of the excitement of the days leading up to Ramadan, the special dishes and customs of the holiday itself, and the meaning of this month to him both as a child then, in India, and as an adult now, in the U.S. We invite you to read this letter at:

Mr. S.A. Ibrahim is chief executive officer of a US-based global credit risk management company. He is a Muslim American businessman of Indian origin, who is active in promoting interreligious dialogue. In 2011, Mr. Ibrahim received ICCI’s “Building Bridges and Bonds” award at a special dinner event in Washington, DC.

Reflections on Ramadan: Haneen Mgadlh

Ramadan Karem.

For me this is one great opportunity to share with everyone what this great holy month means. For Muslims, and maybe for everyone.

Ramadan is one of the religious festivals of the Islamic community that is widely celebrated all over the world.

Why it is Important:
Continue reading