There are 46,149 Muslims in New Zealand, and following the religion of Islam means Ramadan is a special month.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is also considered the month of charity and generosity.
This year Ramadan is observed from the 17th of June until the 17th of July. The last night is the most important because this is when it is believed that the prophet Muhammed received the first revelation of the Qur’an.
During Ramadan, adult Muslims are required to fast from sunrise to sunset. There are exceptions: if you are sick, travelling, elderly or pregnant or otherwise unable you are encouraged to contribute to Ramadan in alternative ways.
The main point of Ramadan is to give time to reflect, and make small changes to make yours or others lives better. Ramadan is a time to be grateful and appreciative of your life. In addition to fasting, charity work, and helping others is also encouraged. An increase of praying and reciting the Qu’ran is also a part of Ramadan.
At the end of the month, there is a big celebration called Eid to end the fasting. The date for Eid is decided upon the moon sitting to confirm the date. New clothes are bought, and gifts are given.
To Marya Tariqi, 22, Ramadan is a time to get together with close and extended family.
Photo by khedmati