Ramadan is a significant part of the Muslim faith.
Horsham Islamic Welfare Association secretary Rameez Malik said Ramadan is celebrating the ninth month of the Islamic calendar recognised with fasting, prayer, and self-reflection.
"We believe this month teaches us to practice self-discipline, self control and empathy towards those who are less fortunate and encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity, known as Zakat," Mr Malik said.
"It is a time where families come together and celebrate the spirit of the month."
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Ramadan is known for the fasting many Muslims participate in for four weeks.
A Muslim who intends to fast rises an hour or two before dawn and has an early breakfast. All eating and drinking must cease approximately one and half hours before sunrise, which is the start of the fasting period.
The fast is broken at sundown, traditionally with dates and water, followed by the main meal after prayers, called Iftar, meaning the breaking of the feast.
Fasting times vary from one time zone to another. In Melbourne, it may start as early as 3.45am, depending on the time of the year. The times vary each day.
Mr Malik explained, like Zakat, the fast is not wholly inclusive.
Young children do not have to fast, nor the elderly, ill or those who are travelling.
Ramadan culminates in a celebration known as Eid, marking the end of the fasting month, which in 2020, many were not able to celebrate as they usually would, Mr Malik explained.
"The pandemic forced people to adapt and be at home during this time last year where they would otherwise have been together with friends and family," he said.
"It was challenging."
Mr Malik said feeling isolated due to lockdown was one of the more significant challenges facing the community.
"We had some new families move to the area. Normally the first thing they would do would get in touch with the local Mosque or locals to familiarise themselves," he said.
"Many community members felt disconnected and distanced."
"It is a time where families come together and celebrate the spirit of the month."Rameez Malik, secretary Horsham Islamic Welfare Association
Ramadan is a community-based celebration, with people gathering daily for prayers at the Mosque.
Ramadan is a time where families and close friends come together for Iftar, breaking their fast together, reflecting on the purpose of life and being thankful for the blessings they may have.
"We are fortunate in Australia to have the pandemic situation under control due to strict government measures in place," Mr Malik said.
"We hope the current situation continues towards the end of Ramadan too, and we get to celebrate this time around with friends and family.
"We can not plan too far ahead at this time."
This year, Ramadan ends when the sun sets on Wednesday, May 12.
You can wish someone "Eid Mubarak" to congratulate a person on a successful fast.
Ramadan Mubarak means "have a blessed Ramadan" which you can say to someone participating in Ramadan.
"Just know that someone might be fasting, a colleague or friend," Mr Malik said.
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