Celebrating Ramadan

As of the evening of 5 May, Ramadan for 2019 will begin. Ramadan is a very significant period for the Islamic community around Australia and the world.

To mark the start of Ramadan, lets have a look at what Ramadan is and how it is celebrated in Australia.

A group gather in prayer on a suburban street
Thousands of people together in Lakemba, Western Sydney, celebrating the end of Ramadan.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and is a very special period for Islamic communities. This year’s Ramadan will commence Sunday evening, 5 May and will end on 4 June. Ramadan is a time for reflection, prayer and for the renewal of faith. Muslims around the globe fast from dawn to dusk, which includes refraining from eating food and drink, smoking and other sensual pleasures.

Ramadan is a part of the five pillars of Islam, and successfully completing it is said to achieve greater self-discipline, self-purification, and compassion for those less fortunate.

People from many different backgrounds in Australia partake in Ramadan. There are more that 500,000 Muslims in Australia, with that number coming from over 70 countries from around the world, including from Europe such as Albania, Bosnia and Turkey, Africa, Asia including Central Asia, South Asia and South East Asia, the  Pacific Islands and the Americas.

Whilst there is an emphasis on fasting during Ramadan, it is not the only significance of Ramadan. Another special time within the month of Ramadan is The Night of Decree, otherwise known as Laylat al- Qadr. This special night is known to be better than a thousand months and Muslims are encouraged to pray and give more on this holy night.

Ramadan in Australia will see a few traditions practiced for Ramadan. Once the fast is over for the day, it is a tradition to break it with a drink of water and dates, with the main meal to be eaten after dusk prayers. Muslims also read the entire Qur’an during Ramadan, participate in acts of charity and in social visits especially visiting the sick and the elderly. Additionally, it is usual for Muslims to offer additional prayers during the early morning and at night at home or in a congregation in a mosque.

The final night of Ramadan is called Eid Al-Fitr, the feast that marks the end of Ramadan. This night will see massive celebrations and congregations throughout Australia and often involve hundreds and thousands of people together marking the end to the month.

To everyone participating, I would like to wish you a happy Ramadan and a safe and healthy fasting period over the duration of the month.

Interested in writing for Charlie? We’re looking for students from all cultural background to share their days of significance with the CSU community. Email charlie@csu.edu.au