A UK hospital has promoted new idea, 'Hospital Iftars', an initiative to provide a fast breaking meal and community atmosphere to Muslim families and healthcare workers as well as anyone who wants to join them during the holy month of Ramadan.
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The Hospital Iftar program at MRI is the first time program which gathers Muslim staff and visitors in a UK hospital at the time of breaking the fast, Taqrib News Agency (TNA) has reported AboutIslam as saying.
The initiative is entirely grassroots with a rota of cooking set up by local sisters with the Muslim Youth Foundation paying for caterers on nights when there may be a shortfall in food. On the first night 15 meals were prepared. This has now grown to an average of 120 meals per night.
No one who takes a seat is refused food.
The UK’s National Health Service is reliant on a large number of Muslim key workers at all levels. Consultants, domestic staff, specialists, nurses, security, and technicians who are UK Muslims as well as those from across the world all support the Health Service with their skills.
Outside the hospital also non-Muslim Britons have enjoyed iftar which falls around 9.30pm. On Tuesday night at least 300 Londoners gathered in a Bloomsbury park sitting side-by-side on the ground at an "open iftar laid on daily by another small community group The Ramadan Tent Project, which invites all comers to join them and eat for free.
These initiatives combining food and a friendly atmosphere impact perceptions between communities in Britain, now home to some 2.7 million Muslims, according to census data.
Word of the Iftar service has spread at MRI. An increasing number of wards request food delivered to family members unable to leave loved ones to go downstairs for the buffet of rice, chickpeas, salad and sandwiches.
After the services success this Ramadan a ‘Hospital Iftars’ charity is proposed, allowing the scheme to reach more hospitals nationwide next year.