ACT Muslims have begun the month-long dawn-to-dusk fast that is Ramadan, a time of self-reflection.
“Ramadan is a time to reconnect with faith,” says Diana Abdel-Rahmen OAM, president of Australian Muslim Voice.
“This is an opportunity to reconnect and refresh, a chance to remember those less fortunate than ourselves.
“We’re lucky here in Australia. But there are people overseas who don’t have enough food, who are living in some really terrible situations. So it reminds us we’re all together in humanity, and we look after each other.
“The time is also about the reflection … it’s really reconnecting with the spiritual and making sure you are connected to the basic principles of humanity.”
Muslims refrain from eating during daylight hours through Ramadan, which started on 2 April and runs until 1 May. It’s intended to teach followers to stay patient, be humble, and reflect on themselves and their actions.
During the holy month, Diana runs a highly-anticipated broadcast, Radio Ramadan.
For more than 20 years, Radio Ramadan has broadcast on 99.5FM and streamed online at Australian Muslin Voice. Set up in her home, Diana brings together talks, presentations and interviews covering theology, history and community topics of interest plus music from around the world.
Ramadan follows the cycle of the moon. This means it starts 11 days earlier each year and takes 33 years to complete a full-year cycle.
“People gather in mosques and centres to perform extra prayers every day,” Diana says.
“This year will be more about getting together. Ramadan is a time when people are cooking and getting together and making food – so it’s a chance to catch up with your friends and families.”