It has become a tradition of the UP Institute of Islamic Studies (UP IIS) to provide daily Iftar (breaking of the fast) to the UP Muslim community during the month of Ramadan. This act is a commendable gesture of love and generosity inspired by a saying of Prophet Muhammad (saw): “whoever feeds a person breaking his fast will earn the same reward as him, without anything being lessened from the reward of the fasting person (Tirmidhi).”
This year’s Ramadan commenced last April 13. With the pandemic and surging cases of COVID-19, the IIS yearly Iftar program at UP Diliman campus was suspended in compliance with the University’s health protocols. Communal breaking of the fast was discouraged to observe social distancing. Hence, iftar meals were distributed individually to UP Muslim students temporarily residing at the Muslim Compound in Barangay Culiat. The Iftar program was made possible through the generous donations of UP IIS faculty members, lecturers, alumni, friends, and other sponsors.
In addition to the iftar meals, the IIS distributed iftar packs containing rice, noodles, coffee, and dried fish. Recipients of these iftar packs were 35 UP Muslim students and 42 UP Access Program students. Moreover, on April 12, Muslim women inmates at Camp Karingal and Manila City jail received 60 and 90 iftar packs, respectively. Additional to the beneficiaries were some 157 needy families at the Muslim Compound in Barangay Culiat and 30 UP Muslim and non-Muslim security guards. The iftar pack provisions were sponsored by the Australian Muslim Community through Saleem Habibullah and M. Al-Rabah of Kuwait, both long time partners of the Institute.
The above initiatives were augmented through the sponsorship of UniHarmony Partners Manila, an interfaith organization working for peace among different faith traditions,and Ms. Anna Tajannah Basman of the Taha Basman Foundation. The Institute is one of the Institutional partners of UniHarmony Manila through Dean Macrina Morados who represents the academe and Islamic faith tradition. The interfaith group turned over 260 Iftar packs to the Institute while Ms. Basman delivered 200 packs of rice as zakat al-fitr. These donations were distributed to the community members at Muslim Compound in Barangay Culiat last May 3 and May 10, 2021. The priorities of the iftar packs distribution were the vulnerable families whose livelihoods were significantly affected by the Community Quarantine brought by the COVID-19 health crisis.
The Institute is thankful to its partners, benefactors, faculty members, lecturers, alumni, and friends for their continuing support to the IIS’s community outreach programs, especially in these challenging times. Eid al-Fitr (end of fasting) was celebrated last May 13, 2021.
We are also thankful to the Reskyu Team and the UP IIS student volunteers who helped us in implementing the smooth distribution of the iftar meals and packs all throughout the program.