Engaged Buddhism: Bangladeshi monks offer Iftar generosity to Muslims in need during Ramadan

- through Henry Oudin

Published on

From nst.com.my

Monks at Dharmarajika, a Buddhist monastery in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, this month continue a tradition that began more than a decade ago in 2013: providing iftar meals to underprivileged Muslims during Ramadan.

Venerable Suddhananda Mahathero (1933-2020), former abbot of the monastery and former Supreme Patriarch of Bangladesh Bauddha Bhikkhu Mahasabha (the Supreme Sangha Council of Bangladesh), initiated the project as a way to demonstrate civic responsibility and generosity towards local Muslims. community, which has supported Dharmarajika since its founding in 1951.

Since iftar initiative was launched, the monks distributed meal boxes to many underprivileged Muslims during Ramadan. Starting at 17:30 p.m., people line up in the afternoon eagerly waiting for the food, which includes a variety of dishes, such as begin (eggplant tempura), chhola-boot (Lentils), khéjur (Appointment), Muri (puffed rice), potato chips, peyaju (onion tempura), and jilapi (a candy made from sugar syrup).

During the month-long religious holiday of Ramadan, Muslims break their daily fast at sunset, as part of a tradition that commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. Ramadan usually occurs during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This year, Ramadan began on March 11 and will end on the evening of May 10 with Eid-ul-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of the fast.

The media praised the iftar initiative in Dharmarajika as a symbol of social harmony between religious communities in a country plagued by religious intolerance and violence against minorities.

Blogger Mahasan Sopno, who launched the Mojar TV YouTube channel, posted a video featuring the cast of iftar meal, depicting individuals from various socio-economic backgrounds gathering at the main entrance of Dharmarajika. Most of those gathered are from low-income households, including poor women who need a meal.

The monastery offers iftar for more than 100 people per day, with iftar purchased as needed. As the afternoon progresses, the crowd waits iftar grows. Each person receives a card and waits patiently in line at the main door for their meal. Then Buddhist monks distribute food parcels to cardholders and, despite religious differences, the Muslim community graciously accepts the gift.

Brahmanda Pratap Baura, president of the Bauddha Kristi Prachara Sangha youth organization of Bangladesh, noted that during Ramadan, monks were bound in a bond of harmony with their Muslim brothers and sisters across the iftar distribution program.

Fri. Buddhananda Mahathero, abbot of Dharmarajika and president of Bangladesh Bauddha Kristi Prachar Sangha, actively participates in serving the boxes iftar daily meals as part of this gesture of compassion.

Fri. Buddhananda mentioned that since 2013, except for two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, the monks had been carrying out this program to promote a united Bangladesh and support the welfare of the poor local community during the holy month of Ramadan .

From fides.org

People who received iftar meals express gratitude for being able to have a satisfying meal during Ramadan and thank the organization's efforts.

In addition to distributing iftar In these boxes, the monks participate in various social initiatives, including providing fresh water to around 300 people daily. The monastery is also home to more than 700 orphans, who receive free education at a school located on site.

photo of author

Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

Leave comments