General

Ramadan brings new focus

Qur’an’s available at Curtin Musallah. Photo: Justin Sudmeyer.

This year’s Ramadan brings a new sense of reflection for Muslims in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community for Muslims.

Chaplain Imam Yahya Ibrahim says the holy month is a time for connection and togetherness, especially this year.

“For the people who were affected in Christchurch, I think Ramadan will provide a sense of closure,” he said

“Ramadan is a time of forgiveness for both people who have aggrieved us and been aggrieved by us. It’s a time of both equity and harmony.

“Anything that separates us is denounced.”

A moment of prayer for a Muslim student. Video: Justin Sudmeyer.

Curtin University student Zakaria El Chami says he struggled to worship after the Christchurch mass shootings.

“I wasn’t feeling safe to go to any mosque within those couple of weeks,” he said

“I came to the realisation within myself that campus is safe and coming to pray here is as safe as you can get.

“It doesn’t feel as heavy coming to uni and worshipping.”

Musallah on campus at Curtin University. Photo: Justin Sudmeyer.

Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and lasts between 29 and 30 days.

During Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and engaging in sexual relations between sunrise and sunset.

Mr El Chami says he feels pressured to justify his religion to other people.

“Although there is no racism shown, there is still racism within people,” he said.

“I want to say to them that Islam isn’t as scary as you think it is. It’s not bad.

“I think generally Australians treat Muslims well.”

Imam Ibrahim says that anti-Islam speech used during the election cycle makes Ramadan even more important.

“The rhetoric spewed by [Fraser Anning] is not something that is accepted by Australians,” he said.

Tunnel of light created to celebrate Ramadan on campus at Curtin University.
Photo: Justin Sudmeyer.

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