One doesn’t see as many iftaar parties during the holy month these days as the city’s Muslim elite prefer charity over hosting lavish parties to break their Ramzan fasts.
Till a few years ago Hyderabad was the epicentre of lavish iftar parties in the country with the rich vying with one another to exhibit their financial status.
Thanks to the intervention of religious leaders, most of them now prefer to distribute the money, which they earlier would have spent on iftar parties, among the poor and the needy.
Even the moderately rich, who used to host iftars in mosques, are gradually turning away from the tradition. According to rough estimates, Hyderabad used to spend about `100 crore on iftar parties till a couple of years ago. Now much of this money goes towards charity in slums in the city and rural areas in the interiors of Telangana. For example, educationist and philanthropist Mr Ghayasuddin Babukhan, who runs the Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust, has decided to provide “Ramzan aid” to about 12,000 families living in villages. The “aid” package will include new clothes, groceries and dry fruits for breaking the day’s fast. The trust plans to spend Rs 2 crore on charity.
It was in fact the Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen which broke the tradition of iftar parties in the city. “The state government too should stop hosting iftars and spend the money on scholarships for Muslim students,” argued MIM chief Mr Asaduddin Owaisi. Mr Mufti Syed Sadiq Mohiuddin said, “The original aim of hosting iftars was to promote communal harmony among people. But they gradually turned into shows of strength, economical and political, thus defeating the original idea behind the event.” Deccan Chronicle