Celebrating with Singapore’s Muslim Community during Ramadan

Over the past month, Singapore has been abuzz with community events and bazaars as Singaporeans of different races and religions, including members from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, join the Muslim community in celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. One key event in every neighbourhood is the Buka Puasa or Iftar break fast.

Elder Michael Ang, a senior service missionary for the Church in Singapore and Johor Bahru shared, “Iftar is important in Ramadan because it refers to breaking the fast at sunset, a significant event often shared with family and friends. It is an opportunity to spend time together as a community, strengthen relationships, and show gratitude for the blessings of life. During Ramadan, we attended many Iftars for these reasons.”

This year, members of the Singapore Stake were blessed to participate at four different Buka Puasa events that brought together many different groups in our community.

Members of Compassvale Ward joined in the Buka Puasa at Al-Mawaddah Mosque together with over 50 community leaders and 100 migrant workers as guests. It was a meaningful event as the guests gained a better appreciation of the significance of Ramadan, a month of fasting and worship for those of the Muslim faith, through the sharing by mosque leaders.

Photo: Members of the Compassvale Ward attending the Community Iftar at Al Mawaddah Mosque

At Ba’alwie Mosque, community and religious leaders from the Moulmein-Cairnhill area gathered for the annual Buka Puasa with Imam Habib. Through the mosque’s museum of religious artefacts and religious texts as well as accounts of key historical events, guests were able to appreciate the history of Singapore and the Muslim faith. The museum of religious texts were especially interesting with texts dating back hundreds of years, showcasing a variety of interesting materials used and in different languages.

At the Muslim Kidney Action Foundation’s Buka Puasa, over 50 interfaith leaders gathered to discuss how Singapore can be a model of religious diversity, to be tolerant and accepting of each other and appreciate our commonality. It was a meaningful and wonderful event, an embodiment of the unity and peace among Singapore’s interfaith community.

Photo: Elder and Sister Ang, Brother Norman Chia with other interfaith leaders at the Iftar at the Muslim Kidney Action Foundation

Members also participated in the Iftar coordinated by the Centre for Interfaith Understanding (CIFU), The Dialogue Centre and Quan Zhen Cultural Society.  It was heartening to see like-minded individuals come together, learn about fasting in different faiths and traditions as well as hear from friends from the underprivileged and vulnerable. It was an enlightening evening of open dialogue and discussions.

Photo: Elder and Sister Ang together with Interfaith friends attending the Iftar coordinated by CIFU, The Dialogue Centre and Quan Zhen Cultural Centre

Ramadan is also an opportunity for members of the Church to serve the community. Under Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation (RLAF)’s Blessings To All (BTA) project, members from the Sembawang and Jurong Wards worked together with volunteers from Tasek Utara Mosque and RLAF to distribute grocery vouchers and goody bags to 47 families.

Amira Amani, senior executive at RLAF, said, 'In a world where differences often divide us, BTA is here as a ray of hope. We're not just bringing people of different faiths together – we're building friendships that make our community stronger. No matter where you're from or what you believe in, you're welcome with open arms at BTA. Because kindness knows no boundaries.'

This marks the Church’s fifth year participating in the BTA project, where mosques across Singapore work with other faiths to share the blessings of Ramadan with vulnerable families and individuals regardless of race, faith or background. This year saw the volunteers walking door to door to reach out to the beneficiaries. Despite the heat, it was a wonderful experience for our members to befriend the volunteers from other faiths whilst serving the community.

Sister Emma Lew, a youth volunteer who participated in the BTA project shared, “This is the first time that I’ve worked side by side with members of other faiths. Besides making new friends, I have a newfound admiration and appreciation for their faith and dedication. During this month of Ramadan, they have volunteered, serving others with smiles whilst fasting and in the heat of Singapore. It motivates me to a better disciple of Jesus Christ.”

Photo: Bro Ernest Li and Brother Joseph Goh distributing vouchers for the Blessing To All project
Photo: Volunteers from the Singapore Stake together with volunteers from Tasek Utara Mosque and RLAF

Lastly, the Singapore Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was presented with a token of appreciation at the Opening Ceremony of the Singapore Muslim Festival 2024. Arranged by Jamiyah Singapore, the festival is a three-day event celebrating the beauty of Islam and its culture. The Singapore Stake has worked closely with Jamiyah Singapore over many years on various community service projects. The latest initiative was a food drive to collect donations from members at our meetinghouses as well as humanitarian support for their upcoming satellite food bank.

We are grateful for the many experiences we have had this holy month of Ramadan. It has been a wonderful month making new friends and understanding more about other faiths. These experiences resonate with a thought shared earlier this year at the World Interfaith Harmony Week from 1-7 February by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quroum of the Twelve Apostles,

“As we seek to see others in the way God sees them, we will learn much about those around us and discover they are more like us than they are different. In doing so, we can make a world where every week is harmony week.”