"Here’s how to host the perfect Iftar Party”
Sarah Gulfraz from Peacock Supplies gives us some tips on how to host the perfect Iftar Party
Iftar has a magical place in our hearts. It's not just about breaking a long day's fast. It's also about the spiritual element, the reflecting, being grateful and sharing those emotions with those nearest and dearest.
During the month, people often want to share the blessings of Iftar with a wider group of people.
And these days, hosting iftar parties has become a bit of tradition as it gives people an opportunity to reconnect with extended family and friends.
Even though in my family there is always a bit of a competition on who can be the best host, that doesn't mean the iftar party has to be extravagant.
It's more about experiencing the joys of iftar in a communal setting and reaping the many benefits and blessings from it.
It was narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Whoever feeds a person breaking his fast will earn the same reward as him, without anything being lessened from the reward of the fasting person’. [Tirmidhi]
So, if you're looking to get more rewards by hosting an iftar party, what are the things you need to think about?
I have compiled a few tips below that will hopefully inspire and help you.
Identify where you want to hold the iftar, will it be indoors or outdoors? And how many guests will you need to cater for?
Don't overdo it. Preserve your energy and pace yourself. You can prepare many things beforehand including some of the food.
Make sure you plan for enough food though, to share with other neighbours just before Iftar — you can put the food in Ramadan-themed packaging to give it an extra nice touch.
And if you have any food leftover, don't waste it! Use the same packaging to give the guests food to take home for suhur.
Decorate and prepare the space
When it comes to an iftar party the key isn't the number of dishes you prepare, it's how comfortable and cosy you make your guests feel.
Beautify your space and give it the mood and vibe the occasion deserves. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive. Just some nice touches so your guests can enjoy their meals in a nice setting.
There are many things you can do to make it feel special:
- Use clever lighting to create a nice ambience and set the right tone
- Hang decorations to give the space an added lift
- Use Ramadan themed tableware and plates to present your food better
- Give out goodie bags to keep your little guests entertained and happy
Also, make a special space for people to pray Maghrib. Again, it doesn't have to be extravagant — it can just be a corner of a room adorned with lanterns and fairy lights to create a serene and inviting space.
Plan your meal
It might be good to decide on a theme for your food. Everyone has different tastes, but here's what I'd do.
For starters: I know pakoras, samosas, rolls and other pastries go down well. My favourite though is Samosa chaat, a combination of onions, potatoes and chickpeas, topped with a crispy samosa and tangy tamarind and mint chutney.
Mains: I prefer to serve a light biryani or platter of grilled meats served with nan bread.
Desserts: For me, it has to be traditional sweets such as jalebis, rasmalai, kheer or baklava. Having said that, there's nothing wrong with cakes, doughnuts, pastries and chocolates!
Reflect and be grateful
As I said earlier, although the food is often talked about as the star of the show, the main focus is on self-reflection and spirituality.
My favourite part of the evening is the communal prayers, where everyone gathers around to perform salat together. It's a perfect moment to reflect on the day and be grateful for the things we have.
Remember, Ramadan is a time of giving. And an iftar party is a perfect way of showing your gratitude and extending your generosity to others.