Masjid-e-Ali Mosque Tries New Take On Ramadan Interfaith Dinner

Some of the people at the Masjid-e-Ali Mosque on Cedar Grove Lane June 11 for the Ramadan Interfaith Dinner.

Hundreds of people of different faiths were at the Masjid-e-Ali mosque June 11 to take part in its annual interfaith dinner.

The mosque has held the dinner during Ramadan for the last six years. Ramadan is a month-long observance of Muslims, who fast during the day in an effort to purify themselves.

In the past, the Interfaith Dinner has been highlighted by a program of speakers. But Alex Kharazi, one of the mosque’s founders, said organizers wanted to do something different this year. So, rather than have a program, attendees were invited to the mosque’s banquet rooms for dinner.

The mosque’s Imam, Rizwan Rizvi, said the annual event is meant as a way to bring the community together.

“It’s an effort which brings communities together, as the holy Quran states, there is definitely more power and energy in congregation,” he said. “It says, hold on to the rope of God, in congregation, all of you, and do not divide yourselves, nor put any discord among your souls, and remember the favors of God that he united your hearts when you were enemies of one another, so through his grace you became brothers and sisters in faith.”

“That’s one of the spirits in this holy month of Ramadan, to let go and forget and forgive, but at the same time it is good to reach out to the other community members and bring them together and share a meal with them,” he said.

Among those in attendance were Mayor Phil Kramer, Township Councilmen Ted Chase (D-Ward 1), Rajiv Prasad (D-At Large), Councilwomen Kimberly Francois and Shanel Robinson, (both D-At Large), and schools Superintendent John Ravally.

There were also representatives from other of the township’s houses of worship.

“I’m very honored to be here,” Kramer told the men gathered in one of the banquet rooms. “The best ting about coming here today was, when I started to walk in, someone said, oh, you know the way here, go ahead. The first tiime I came here, someone had to lead me around, but now today, I feel like I am part of the family because they said come on down without someone leading me.”


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