On Saturday 1st of June 2019, more than 250 men and women from various communities and faiths participated in an Interfaith Symposium followed by an Iftar and dinner at the Mahmood Mosque in Beverley (SA).
The theme of this year’s symposium was ‘Fasting in My Religion’ which saw many faith leaders and dignitaries reflect on our commonalities and the great customs of each other and discuss what makes our each of our traditions unique. Fasting exists in most world religions in some form or another and is a great instrument for self-discipline. It trains the mind and the body to endure and harden up against all hardships, to persevere under difficulties and not give up. Other than the spiritual benefits, it helps us learn through personal experience about what hunger, poverty, loneliness and discomforts mean to the less fortunate sections of society.
The interfaith event was a great testimony to how dialogue brings different communities together to enhance love and promote respect and harmony within our society. It also highlighted how we all have so much more in common at the source than meets the eye.
The event also had the honour of having Uncle Tamaru deliver the first ever Kaurna Welcome to Country in a Mosque. He also shared some aspects of the Aboriginal culture with the audience and spoke about the reconciliation week.
Steve Georganas MP, Federal Member for Adelaide urged the attendees to reflect on how so very blessed we all are to have the choice to fast, where hundreds of millions worldwide that are poverty stricken are merely forced into it. Deputy Mayor City of Port Adelaide Enfield, Michael Iammarrone who was representing Mayor Claire Boan resonated similar sentiments.
Hon Emily Bourke MLC who was Representing the Opposition Leader Hon Peter Malinauskas MP applauded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Adelaide for putting a remarkable display of diversity where attendees from a range of faiths, backgrounds and cultures along with those of no faiths came together to break bread. She also shared how growing up in York Peninsula she did not have the opportunity to experience this sort of diversity and the beauty that lies therein but was glad that now in Adelaide, her three young girls will.
The Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community SA, Imam Atif Zahid congratulated everyone for making an effort to attend today and thus helping to strengthen our mutual ties. He further stated, “The fact that the central idea of fasting is present in the world religions is a testimony that they all spring forth from the same divine source.”