Sharing Ramadan cheers with the less fortunate, a Malaysian Islamic bank has organized Iftar gathering Christian orphans and senior citizens to spread the holy month’s unity and sharing among the Malaysian community, Borneo Post reported on Saturday, August 13.
“As a caring society, it is our responsibility to be sensitive towards the less fortunate in looking after their welfare,” said Khairul Kamaruddin, general manager for consumer banking of Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd (Bank Islam).
Inspired by Ramadan’s message of solidarity, Bank Islam organized Iftar, breakfast, last Wednesday.
The Iftar hosted 143 orphans and senior citizens from Christian associations such as Peryatim Lutong, Sarawak Orphans Welfare Board, and Miri Home for the Aged.
Earlier in the morning, a meeting gathered 15 Bank Islam employees and 28 residents of the Home of the Aged managed by Miri Chinese Charitable Trust Board, represented by Sister Ursula Lian and Leong Chee Seng.
During the event, the needy received sums of money gathered for alms.
“Bank Islam always encourages its staff to contribute to the welfare of the community in strengthening relations with Miri folk,” he said.
“We hope the modest contribution from Bank Islam will help in reducing the burden of maintenance costs, and cheering up the children and senior citizens,” he added.
Later on, the bank staff distributed 2,000 Ramadan packs containing dates and drinks to visitors of Ramadan Bazaar in Saberkas, Miri.
Ramadan, which began in Malaysia as well as in many parts of the world on August 1, is the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic calendar.
Muslims in Ramadan, except for the sick and those traveling, refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk.
Fasting is meant to teach Muslims patience, self-control and spirituality, and time during the holy month is dedicated for getting closer to Allah though prayers, reading the Noble Qur’an and good deeds.
The majority of Muslims prefer to pay Zakah for the poor and needy during the month.
The bank manager said that they hope Ramadan would establish long-lasting relations between Muslims and Christians inside the Malaysian community.
“This small gesture will, hopefully, inculcate the spirit of caring for the elderly within the community where Bank Islam operates, and create an environment where everyone can enjoy the occasion as a family regardless of their race and religion,” said Khairul.
Sharing iftar would help building a united community, regardless of race or religion, he added.
“During this berbuka puasa [Iftar], let’s together build a cheerful environment as one family, regardless of race or religion, and it’s my hope that we can build a long lasting bond.”
Muslim Malays make up more than 60 percent of Malaysia’s population of nearly 26 million.
Ethnic Chinese and Indians – most of them Buddhists, Hindus and Christians – make up about 35 percent.
The rest are indigenous people and Eurasians.
The country offers the image of a model Muslim country, heading towards the status of developed nation with huge buildings, beautiful cities and a fast track economy. source