With Ramadan set to begin on Monday Shepparton Imam, Eljam Bardi, is wishing all Muslims the best for a blessed month. Celebrated each year as the ninth month on the Islamic calendar, the Holy month of Ramadan is a time of fasting, prayer and charity to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammed.
‘It is a time to give ourselves a mental break and to temporarily forget about the hundreds of worries and stresses we are constantly bombarded with.’
Each day of Ramadan, participants who are fit and healthy, fast from before sunrise until after sunset.This involves abstaining from eating, drinking and marital intimacy for the month, while those who cannot fast donate money each day to a charity. Mr Bardi said this act of fasting and charitable donations encouraged patience, unselfishness and gratitude in those who took part.
‘Fasting is a universal custom and is advocated by all religions of the world … the Islamic fast as opposed to mere starvation of self denial is an act of worship and obedience, spiritual training and self examination,’ he said.
‘Fasting in Ramadan develops in a person the real spirit of social belonging of unity and brotherhood and of equality before god. The purpose of the fast is to help develop self restraint, self purification, good consciousness, compassion, the spirit of caring, and sharing in love of humanity and the love of god.’
During Ramadan participants also take part in a special prayer service each night from 6pm to 7.30pm. Mr Bardi said this universal prayer was shared with people from all nationalities in the community, with everyone coming together at the Mosques in Shepparton to share in prayers and listen to different guest speakers.
Finishing on Tuesday, June 4, when a new moon is sighted the end of Ramadan is celebrated with Eid al-Fitr, a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide. Mr Bardi said this celebration marked the end of fasting and the beginning of a feast, which could last up to three days in some countries.
‘We end the month with Eid al-Fitr where we ask for forgiveness with each other, we hug each other, we visit relatives and friends and we celebrate,’ he said.
Article and images Courtesy Shepparton News
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