"Where does Ramadan and what it stands for fit into current day Australian society?", asked Shepparton Interfaith Network Vice President Muhammad Graham at a Community Iftar Meal.
A community iftar meal was conducted at Shepparton East Bowling Club on Sunday, 12 August 2012. Representatives from Shepparton Churches, Shepparton Police and the Shepparton Interfaith Network attended.
During the iftar meal, Vice President of the Shepparton Interfaith Network, Muhammad Bob Graham gave a short talk.
I want to ask a question.
Where does Ramadan and what it stands for fit into current day Australian society?
The world in which I grew up was totally different to our current society.
It was a world where parents, family, teachers, police, even politicians were respected.
Children obeyed their parents and their teachers.
A moral basis for the growth and development of the young was given through spiritual guidance provided by religious authority.
Sadly, in my view, all that has gone. I invite you all to form your own judgement on what I have just said.
Greed and the desire for instant gratification for very many have replaced all that has been lost.
I hear about GenX, GenY, Is there a GenZ? To me they are all the same - more honestly GenME!
WE live in the ME ME Me generation.
So now I can answer my own question - Ramadan and what it stands for does not sit comfortably within Australian society. In fact no aspect of any real religion finds a genuine welcome in this country.
There are two issues of an Islamic life that are specific to the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan stands for self denial (fasting) and purification of wealth (zakat) For the young to learn self denial and discipline, first by watching their parents, and later by fasting themselves, is to better prepare the young for the temptations and corruption that they will face in our world.
For the not so young Zakat provides an opportunity to reflect on the past year, purify their wealth, iimit any greed, and to contemplate the bounty provided by Allah.
Hence my belief is that by obeying the conditions of Ramadan you who are parents are giving your children a powerful gift, and it is one that only you can give.
Muhammad Bob Graham
Vice President, Shepparton Interfaith Network
Source: Shepparton Interfaith Network
Photo Credit: Shepparton Interfaith Network