As Muslims living in a diverse, globalised city, is there any rule against breaking our fast (iftar) with non-Muslim neighbours or friends? Here's the lowdown.
Adapted from Ramadan For All Booklet published by Office of the Mufti.Download the booklet by Mufti here
As Muslims living in a diverse, globalised city, we are privileged to be able to have daily interactions with people from all kinds of backgrounds – from our neighbours to perhaps even our closest friends. As a guide for our interactions with them, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. in his lifetime promoted mutual respect and understanding.
Historically, Muslim rulers continued this Prophetic practice. For example, when Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 638 CE, a treaty was signed that highlighted that the safety of the Christians there would be guaranteed, and that their churches and crosses would be safeguarded and protected.
In the spirit of Ramadan, some of you may be thinking of breaking fast (iftar) with your non-Muslim neighbours or friends - or even better! - inviting them over to do so. Meanwhile, some of you might be worried about the Islamic rulings for doing that.
The Prophet s.a.w. once said:
"He who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him not harm his neighbour and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him show hospitality to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him speak good or remain silent."
The above hadith does not limit neighbours and guests only to Muslims. Hence, there is no harm in inviting your non-Muslim neighbours and guests for iftar. Better yet, if we are inviting guests, it is also advised that we take note of their dietary requirements as part of showing respect to their beliefs.
So keep calm and makan together! After all, sharing is caring.