Circles of Harmony is an initiative by husband and wife Kamran & Anisa Khan, who open their home daily to offer revert Muslims who do not have an extended family to share their iftars with.
In the month of Ramadan, there is a great social element involved when it comes to the breaking of the fast. Days leading up to Ramadan, invitation after invitation come in from friends, extended family, organisations, and others.
Ramadan definitely provides a sense of community spirit, as you spend more time with other Muslims and share Iftar communally.
For reverts Muslims, however, this may be a challenging time. They may not have family to eat Suhoor or have iftar with, making the experience somewhat lonesome. How often have we seen revert Muslims attend community iftars, do they even get invited? And what about those that do not know many Muslims, or are close enough to be welcomed into their homes.
“I read a post on a revert Muslim’s Facebook page where she asked ‘Is anyone breaking fast on their own?’.This shook my heart to think that here there are people who are breaking fast alone.” said Anisa Khan, founder of Circles of Harmony. She said she knew some of her revert Muslim friends felt lonely and quite isolated from the Ramadan spirit.
Anisa and her husband, Kamran decided to open up their home and prepare meals for their new guests who they welcome over Facebook, to make them appreciate and enjoy the whole Ramadan Iftar experience.
“There are so many local causes and issues, small and big that need to be addressed in our community and this is just one of them. There are many places that host it once to a couple of times a week but not daily. The response has been astounding from people inquiring, attending and contributing meals too.”
The families that have attended have absolutely loved the homely atmosphere and spirit of Ramadan, making them feel like a part of a broader extended family.
So many stories of challenges, struggle, hardship, success and inspiration are shared by all that attend. Katy Murfitt posted a video to the Circles of Harmony Facebook page, saying “Being a revert myself of almost 14 years, I can say that Ive spent many an iftar alone which can be quite an Isolating feeling. Inshallah Circles of Harmony iftar will provide sisters and brothers with pop to get together to share their story and journeys for however long they’ve been reverts for.”
As much as we are all encouraged to give to charity in Ramadan, it is necessary to look at our own community and help the people in our own backyard. This kind of proactive initiative goes above and beyond in providing a face to face human touch amongst Muslims, and this is what the guests treasure the most.
Anisa says her three children have also benefited from interacting with guests and sharing their experiences. It has made her children appreciate what they take for granted so much more.