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Islamic Society Of Seychelles – Special Iftar (Breaking Of Fast) Event Attended By High Level Government Officials

July 22, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Seychelles-TravelThe Islamic Society of Seychelles celebrated their Special IFTAR (Breaking of Fast) event at the Mosque & Islamic Centre of Victoria , the Capital of the Seychelles on Saturday the 19th July which saw a recitation of the Qur’an by Imam Haamid Falah Al-Ameen from Maldives and where Sheikh Faizal Al-Anasi a Saudi Imam address the large crowd of gathered Muslims.

Translations was provided into english by Sheikh Ahmad Labiche whereas Imam Idress Yusuf from the Qur’an & Sunnah Society spoke about what Ramadan was all about.

Minister Alain St.Ange addressing the Special IFTAR Event at the Mosque & Islamic Centre in Victoria

Minister Alain St.Ange addressing the Special IFTAR Event at the Mosque & Islamic Centre in Victoria

Imam Idress Yusuf emphasised in his address that all adult Muslims who are in good health and capable of fasting should observe this from dawn (beginning 1 hour 15 minutes before sunrise) until sunset. Imam Yusuf stated that during the fast, one must abstain completely from food or drinks and from sexual relations. “After sunset no such restrictions exist” Imram Yusuf said. It is the moment of breaking the ‘fast’ at sunset is referred to as IFTAR (if-thaar).

The Special IFTAR was attended by Mr Francis McGregor, the President of the Seychelles Court of Appeal, Designated Minister Vincent Meriton, Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, the Acting Chief Justice of Seychelles as well as Members of the Judiciary and the Bar, Nature Seychelles amongst many others.

Following a welcome address by Ibrahim Afif, the President of the Islamic Society of Seychelles who thanked the Government Officials and Members of the Judiciary who had made the effort to be present for this Special IFTAR, Mr Afif called on Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture and Guest of Honour for the Special IFTAR to address the Event.

Minister Alain St.Ange and Sheikh Faizal Al-Anasi, the Saudi Imam who was in Seychelles for the Special IFTAR Event

Minister Alain St.Ange and Sheikh Faizal Al-Anasi, the Saudi Imam who was in Seychelles for the Special IFTAR Event

Minister St.Ange started off by thanking the Islamic Society of Seychelles for the invitation to the Minister of Culture to be offered an insight into one of the rituals observed by Muslims around the world during Ramadan.

“For me Religion is part of our culture, and the respect for culture is the base for a solid integrated society. This is why as Minister responsible for Culture I am happy to see culture in all its form take root” Minister St.Ange said.

The Minister went on to retrace the history of the Muslim growth in Seychelles. “The Muslim population in Seychelles has risen from under a hundred persons in the 60s to nearly 2,000 today. The first Mosque in Seychelles was opened in 1982. Yes, it was a smaller edition of the Mosque we have here today. This Mosque which can take 900 worshippers, men and women, was completed just two years ago. A Mosque was opened in Mont Fleuri towards the end of last year. Interestingly next to what was the Jungle Discotheque on Praslin, there is now a small Mosque has been set up and there are plans to erect a new one there. I am also told that there plans in the pipeline to build a small Mosque in South Mahé” the Minister said.

Minister St.Ange went on to say:- “As Minister responsible for Culture I am happy that in our melting-pot of cultures, the Muslims live side by side with people of different faiths and peace and harmony prevails. In Seychelles we know that Islam proclaims itself as essentially a religion of peace, and that it dissociates itself from the violence which is unfortunately perpetrated by some extreme elements in the misguided name of Islam. I am certain that here in Seychelles, the land where the spirit of the melting-pot of cultures remains so evident,  we shall never see this type of extreme behaviour we hear about and see on our T.V. screens happening elsewhere. It is very important that we retain our social cohesion and our harmony despite being a mixture of different races, of religions and cultures fusing together as our unique brand as Seychellois. This is why we are, and this is why we remain an excellent showcase to the world of a people living in harmony with the environment and with each other, and well-integrated despite our differing origins of race and colour of skin” Minister Alain St.Ange said.

Minister St.Ange ended his address by saying:- “I note that for Muslims in Seychelles there is no difference among you in terms of rituals, rites and beliefs. I have also learned there are some five or six Islamic organisations here and often wondered if in unity you would not be stronger to further your common objectives.Thank you everyone. As I am here let me wish you, even early, a Happy Eid-ul-Fitr. May your sacrifices and prayers be fruitful to you individually and collectively as a community”

At 6.21pm the Azaan (Call to Prayer) was made and the breaking of fast with dates and water observed. This was followed at 6.25pm by Maghrib Prayers in the Mosque.

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