I hosted my first Iftar, as a mom, this year. It was in that moment I realized why a religious community was so important to my parents. It is an immediately humbling experience to see so many people fast together, break fast together, pray together. My toddlers are often in “me” mode, but as they rolled out their mini prayer rugs yesterday, I saw them realize there was a “we” mA.
It was also such a joy to share some Ramadan spirit with our community. Here are a few things I learned about putting together a successful iftar.
1. Set Up Festive Ramadan Decorations
Nothing sets the mood like decorations. I tend to go a bit overboard on decorations, reference Decorating Your Ramadan Mantle. During Ramadan, my house is decorated with white Christmas lights, a Ramadan Tree, and festive moments, such as palm leaves and flowers scattered throughout the house. I do a mix of items purchased from Etsy and DIY items. The teal cut out banner in my first image is from Zeena Hamid.
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2. Outsource The Food
Mixing up homemade food with outsourced favorites is a great way to enjoy your event. Iftar doesn’t need to be a display of your culinary prowess, it’s about sharing a meal. So whether you choose to cook, potluck, or cater, give yourself a break and don’t try to do it all yourself!
3. Prep Guests For Breaking Fast and Prayer
Five minutes before its time to break fast. Set out cups of water and pass around dates. So that the group does not need to do a mad dash to the appetizers. The moment everyone breaks fast should be uplifting not chaotic. While guests are eating appetizers is the ideal time to set up the prayer area.
4. Offer Activities For Every Age Group
Between eating and praying, there isn’t alot of time for activities. People are often tired from waking up so early or have to leave for kids’ bedtimes. But here is a list of activities that are great for iftars:
- Salad Bowl (7+ years)
- Origami Bookmarks (7+ years)
- DIY Tashbih Station (5+ years)
- DIY Eid Cards (3+ years)
- Islamic Book Reading Corner (All ages)
5. Do Something Unexpected For Your Guests
I know this sounds broad, but do something special and unexpected for your guests. For my iftar, I created gift bags for all the children with toys and Ramadan placemats. For the adults, I created a dessert table with specialty desserts and candle favors for the women in attendance. The dessert decor came from Eid Creations.
Peace & Salam,