Rainy weather didn't faze the more than 200 people of diverse faiths who gathered at the Tampa Garden Club May 20 to share a meal of special significance, known as iftar.
May 16 marked the beginning of the Islamic month of Ramadan. During this ninth month of the Islamic calendar, practicing Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and other indulgences from dawn until just after sunset. This month of fasting is intended to foster compassion for the indigent, develop self-control and willpower against temptation, as well as cultivate a sense of spirituality, humility, forgiveness and community.
Each evening during Ramadan, Muslims gather after sunset with family, friends, neighbors and community members to share iftar, a special meal that breaks the daily fast. On May 20, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Florida hosted an Interfaith Ramadan iftar, inviting the Tampa Bay community to share in this special tradition.