Muslim community ends fast with feast for Ramadan

by Priyo Australia | August 25, 2011 7:22 pm

Perth’s Bangladeshi community gather to celebrate and share ‘Iftar’ during the holy month of Ramadan

Perth’s Muslim community looks forward to the month of Ramadan each year despite having to give away a chunk of their savings and go without food and water during daylight hours.

“You feel good about yourself,” explains Khurshida Islam who is the Deputy Principal at the Australian Islamic College. “It teaches us togetherness; otherwise we wouldn’t meet in a big way like this.”

The Bangladeshi community do meet in a big way. Every Sunday night during Ramadan around 300 people gather at Murdoch University’s Worship Centre and the families are rostered to bring traditional food to break their fast.

“So we gather together, we share food together, we pray together and talk about a lot of things like social issues, family issues, friends and we help each other,” Khurshida explains.

From sunrise to sunset Muslims should refrain from drinking, eating, smoking and sex to teach patience and humility.

“The significance is that we need to understand how poor people feel when they don’t have any food.”

Khurshida, who teaches chemistry in Kewdale, explains that the fasting is followed by a nutritious meal called ‘Iftar’, which is a combination of fruit, cake, dates and spicy chickpeas. This is followed by the fourth prayer of the day (Maghrib) and the main meal, which is a feast of traditional curries, rice and salad.

The fasting is only one part of Ramadan; Muslims should also pray more often and give compulsory ‘poor dues’ where each person must make a donation to charity. In Australia the minimum donation is $10 for every man, woman and child in a family.

Each person must also donate ‘zakat’ to a charity, which is 2.5 per cent of their savings that they have had for more than a year.

“It’s so that everybody has something to celebrate and because we are in Australia, this is our home, so we must give back something to Australia as well.”

Ramadan ends when the new moon is first sighted and the start of Eid al-Fitr, which is a three day festival of feasts and celebration to mark the end of Ramadan.

Link Requested By Zia Ahmed | original source at[1]


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