This month, Western Australian Muslims will join millions around the world in observing Ramadan, one of the most importance times on the Islamic calendar.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan 2019 began on Monday 6 May, and will end on Tuesday 4 June. Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It was during that month that the Quran or Koran - the holy book of Islam - was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad by Allah (God).
During Ramadan, Muslims fast, abstain from pleasures from dawn to dusk and pray to become closer to God. The month of Ramadan is a reminder for Muslims to exercise self-discipline, be mindful of the rights of others and gain sympathy with those who go hungry.
Five Pillars of Islam
Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. These pillars, or duties, form the basis of how Muslims practice their religion. The Pillars of Islam are:
Fasting during Ramadan
Fasting is obligatory for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, are elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ill or menstruating.
Fasting is not only about abstaining from food and drink: Muslims must also refrain from smoking, taking oral medications and engaging in sexual activities, as well as gossip, fighting and lying.
What is Eid al-Fitr?
The holiday of Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and begins the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, which sees the end of the fasting period. Eid al-Fitr is a three-day spiritual celebration to share in feasts and prayers. Muslims will attend prayers in the morning, then visit family, friends, neighbours, the sick and the elderly to rejoice in the completion of the fast.
Eid events are now some of the biggest community festivals in this State and are enjoyed by Western Australian Muslim communities, as well as by increasing numbers from the wider community.
More information about Eid events can be found at www.omi.wa.gov.au.