President Obama hosts an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan in the State Dining Room. This is the sixth Iftar that President Obama has hosted, continuing the tradition of hosting Iftars that began annually under President Clinton and was continued by President George W. Bush. The invited guests include elected officials, religious and grassroots leaders in the Muslim American community, and leaders of diverse faiths and members of the diplomatic corps. July 14, 2014.
Iftar is one of the religious observances of Ramadan and is often done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together. Iftar is taken right after Maghrib time, which is around sunset. Traditionally but not mandatory, three dates are eaten to break the fast in emulation of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, who broke his fast in this manner. Many Muslims believe that feeding someone iftar as a form of charity is very rewarding and that such was practised by the Prophet Muhammad.