Leeds United Foundation host Iftar event at Elland Road

Leeds United Foundation host Iftar event at Elland Road

Bringing communities together during Ramadan.

The Leeds United Foundation hosted their second Iftar event at Elland Road recently in collaboration with the Hamara Centre.

Over 300 people were in attendance for the occasion, as the club’s official charity aim to continue their work with the Muslim community and continue their work helping to educate the wider fanbase around important events in the Muslim calendar, such as Ramadan.

Ben Potter, the Active Through Football Lead at the Leeds United Foundation spoke to LUTV during the Iftar, and said: “We started our relationship with the Hamara through the Active Through Football programme around two years ago and last year we hosted our first Iftar which was in one of the suites in the stadium, and it was a real learning curve for us as we didn’t expect the amount of people we had, so we expanded the event this year and a big thank you to the club for allowing us to use this great venue (Centenary Pavilion) to bring the communities together and host a bigger event this year.

“We have over 300 guests here tonight, and a lot of them are beneficiaries to our projects so it’s great to give them the opportunity to come to Elland Road and experience the stadium. It really shows a level of togetherness and just being able to unite the communities through football-based activities has really inspired a lot of the Muslim population to take part in our programmes and sessions, the rise in Muslim participation for our projects is unbelievable and these sorts of events have really helped support that.”

Raheem Mohammed, a representative from the Hamara Centre, added: “Hamara is one of the largest ethnic charities in West Yorkshire, and today is our second annual Iftar collaboration with the Leeds United Foundation and what a great turn out it is. The first year was unprecedented but it was a great success and this year is bigger and better with a great audience and it’s showing that the Foundation is really getting involved. The event last year I think showed the club how big a fanbase there is in the BAME communities.”

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the holiest and most important month to Muslims. It is a time for spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and increased devotion to God. This is primarily done through fasting from food and drink, including water, from dawn till sunset for the entire month. All adult Muslims are obligated to fast unless they are exempt from doing so (through ill health or pregnancy for example).

During the entire month, Muslims are encouraged to seek forgiveness, cleanse body and soul, and do as many good deeds as possible. Iftar, the meal for breaking the fast, is often a time of friendship and togetherness – whether this is simply being at a friend’s house or having an open iftar which is open to members of the community and can often have hundreds of people opening their fast together.

In addition to fasting, Muslims also partake in several activities that are for the benefit of the community, as giving in charity is also highly encouraged during the month.

The end of the month is marked with the celebration of Eid-ul-fitr. This is when Muslims will gather together at the mosque, exchange presents and partake in many a feast. It is a time of great joyfulness having achieved all they have during the previous month.

If you would like to learn more about Ramadan and the Muslim community, please look at finding your local mosque to participate in an open iftar, you will be more than welcome! For more information around the Active Through Football initiative, please contact Benjamin.Potter@leedsunited.com.

Ramadan Mubarak!