Friday, August 19, 2011

Sharing a meal: when faith and culture unite

Yesterday my mom cooked iftar, the meal during the time of breaking fast, for my husband's family and neighbors. In the Bangladeshi culture, parents prepare a large iftar meal for their married daughters, sisters, and sometimes aunts (female married off relatives) as a sign of upholding relations.

The meal consists of some basics: chicken or meat biryani (rice with spiced meat) kisoori (lentil and rice soup with herbs) chana (black peas with potatoes and ginger) and fyazi (fried lentil kabobs with mixed spices), dates, and sweets.

Additional items can also be given: aloo chop (potatoe kabobs) meat or chicken kabobs, fried spiced and seasoned eggplant, and other finger foods that are easy to distribute. Some people make it fancy as well. This year my mom added chicken nuggets for the kids.


The food is then brought to my house and distributed by my mother-in-law, who will give it to family members, family friends, and neighbors. 

Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said, “Whoever gives Iftar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the fasting person’s reward in the slightest.”
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi).

Special packaged ready-to-distribute foods are given during other times of the year as well. For example, if I went to stay over my parents' house for a few days, I'd be expected to take something back to my home to pass out to my family and my husband's family.

I love when Islam and culture unite. Share food and share faith.  


Tabitha @ life of the chefs wife said...

That meal looks delicious! You mom is quite the cook.
Its nice to have someone to put in so much love, kindness and effort into a meal.
Please tell you mom, I would love to come for dinner. LOL
Faith and culture are so important in our lives yet often are so over looked.

Constructive Attitude said...

im so sad that ramadan is almost over.

Softly Spoken said...

LOL thanks but my mom didn't cook that food. I sourced the picture...which is similar to the kinds of food my mom did make :)

P.S. I hope I'm not getting fat from the fried foods.