On May 7th, on the auspicious day of Aksaya Tritiya and second day of Ramadan, Villa Vrindavana devotees in Florence distributed prasadam (sanctified vegetarian food) to the Muslim members in the mosque of Florence.
“I have a long-standing friendship with Imam Izzeddin Elzir, Parabhakti dasa says, and when this year he invited us to participate in their prayer I thought it was a special occasion, during it something special have to be done. So I came to the conclusion that was a great opportunity for distribute prasadam and offer service to the Islamic community.
Parabhakti Das (second from the left) listening to the explanation of Imam Izzeddin Elzir.
In Muslim tradition, especially during Ramadan, it is important and auspicious to offer charity, service, goods, money.
In the month of Ramadan, at sunset, the mosque opens up to all, members and not, to pray together and then break the long fast that begins at dawn.
Were also present Massimo Fratini, Assessor of Florence Municipality for relations with religious confessions and intercultural policies and leaders of the Mormon community and others.
The ISKCON-devotees were greeted with joy and gratitude and the evening was a beautiful celebration of sharing and friendship.
According to Mahamantra dasa, on of the participants, “when the priest sang the verses of the Koran and all the Muslims joined together, I perceived and enjoyed a sincere devotion to God that touched my hearth.”
“The prasada truly unites the hearts of all, says Bh Gauranga, people welcomed our offer with great gratitude and reciprocated with gestures and affectionate words.”
Bhakta Adriano explains, “I immediately made friends with some guys present and I found in all of us the great desire to know each other better and to do things together. I also found out that Mohamed Fathi, known as Moa, a brilliant young man in charge of the Youth Muslims in Italy and a candidate in the upcoming Florence elections, is reading the Mahabharata with great interest.”
Gadhadar Nath says: “It was a pleasant and reassuring evening – we offered the prasada with the heart and they reciprocated us with exquisite welcome and affection.”
Guests of the Florence mosque eating prasadam.
“These moments of encounter are worth a thousand words, continues Parabhakti, and the Assessor kept repeating how nice it is to see the Hare Krishnas contribute to the Muslims dinner in the mosque, how beautiful is to see how dialogue unite and leads to concrete and prospective results. He then recalled how the peace walk in early February (in which we devotees were co-organizers), despite the cold winter, more than 2,500 participants of all faiths involved. It was a unique event that had an impact on national and European level”.
The icing on the cake of a splendid evening was when the Imam said that originally the Ramadan fast was observed monthly for three days and making quick calculations devotees found out that was in the period corresponding to ekadasi.
Jan 23, 2022
Anandini Tikunov (8th-grade student)
Jan 22, 2022
Sunanda Das, tovp.org