05 April 2024


Ramadan began on 11 March this year. During this month, Muslims generally abstain from food or drink during the hours of daylight (known as fasting). This practice helps cultivate a concern and deep understanding for those less fortunate and reinforces the need to be thankful and appreciative. Those who are fasting break their daily fast at ‘Iftar’ at sunset. This is traditionally done with friends and family with small snacks such as dates and refreshments. The Iftar event was a safe space for people to share their experiences and for non-Muslims to learn more about the holy month.

My experience

To celebrate Ramadan, Burges Salmon hosted its own Iftar event last week in collaboration with Bristol-based charity, 91 Ways. The Iftar event was a safe space for people to share their experiences and for non-Muslims to learn more about the holy month. We were also honoured to be joined by award-winning cook and a previous Master Chef contestant, Zaleha Kader-Olpin.

Minutes before sunset and breaking our fast, we passed around dates to all the attendees and invited everyone to take a moment of mindfulness and self-reflection. Muslims all over the world usually break their fast with a date as was done by our Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), but also because dates are a rich source of fibre and protein and can help satisfy the feeling of hunger after a full day of fasting.

After breaking our initial fast, we then tucked into the rest of the delicious food that Zaleha had cooked for us, including homecooked traditional Malaysian snacks such as Pai Tee and Karipap Sayur. Founder of 91 Ways, Kalpna Woolf, also brought along her famous homemade chai. As we enjoyed the food and sipped on chai all evening, we chatted and shared personal stories about Ramadan, its meaning and its practice. The Prayer Room was also available for anyone who wanted to pray.

Trustee for 91 Ways, Reena Anderson-Bickley, read out an extract from the charity's recipe book, “Eat, Share, Love”, of which copies were available for sale at the event. In 91 Ways’ own words, “Eat, Share, Love” is “a unique collection of 91 beautiful recipes and the compelling personal stories behind them”. You can purchase a copy of the book here.

The key takeaways 

All in all, the Iftar event was a heartfelt evening. To me, Ramadan is all about solidarity with others, and I felt that the Iftar event created a sense of togetherness, and most importantly spread awareness of the importance of Ramadan for Muslims. It meant so much to me that we were joined by allies as well Muslims observing Ramadan. One attendee evensaid it was their highlight of their time at the firm. I’d like to thank everyone who came along and made the event possible. We hope to do something similar, bigger and better next year!

This blog was written by Trainee Solicitor, Anousha Al-Masud.

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