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Jakarta Post

Compassion behind cooking 'iftar' meals

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, May 18, 2019   /  08:42 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Cooking iftar meals with love: Astri Wulandari, 38, stir-fries vegetables in a wok in the kitchen of the Istiqlal Grand Mosque canteen in Central Jakarta on Saturday.(JP/Dames Alexander Sinaga)

Iftar chefs and their assistants consider it a compassion to serve those performing their religious devotion during the fasting month while they fast themselves. As Muslims, they believe God will reward them for their service. Some even choose to stay in the mosque canteen, sleeping on sofas or anywhere possible during the month of Ramadan, which is predicted to end on June 5. Every Ramadan, the Istiqlal Grand Mosque provides free iftar meals, for 3,500 people from Monday to Thursday and 4,500 people from Friday to Sunday. Kitchenhand Iyang Dedi said he chose to leave his wife and two children in Bogor, West Java, and stays at the Istiqlal canteen throughout the month of Ramadan. Iyang is used to taking short rests and it is not a big issue for him sleeping on a sofa or any corner of the canteen. “Tonight, I’ll need to help another chef to prepare sahur [predaw...