Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and considered one of the holiest Islamic months, has begun.
It marks a month-long period of fasting for Muslims around the world. Muslims are also particularly encouraged to strengthen their relationship with God in Ramadan, through acts of charity, worship and placing emphasis on kindness and patience.
The key tenet of Ramadan is fasting however, in which observers abstain from eating in daylight hours. A pre-dawn meal known as suhoor is eaten, and Muslims will then not eat or drink until after sunset, when iftar is eaten to conclude the day's fast.
Doctor Mohamed Mofreh, a leader of the Muslim community here in Griffith, said that the fasting was beneficial both spiritually and physically.
"From a spiritual point of view, the fasting purifies and refines the soul. It also helps you have a feeling for the needy; the people who maybe don't have as much."
Dr Mofreh also emphasised the physical benefits that fasting can hold, citing research from 2016 Nobel Prize winner Doctor Yoshinori Ohsumi and Doctor Mark Larance from the University of Sydney.
"Fasting, it leads to a lot of changes in the liver, blood pressure, cholesterol... the important part for us is the spiritual element though."
In keeping with the focus on health, Dr Mofreh was quick to elaborate that health should come first for anyone planning to fast.
"One who is sick is not allowed to fast. One who is travelling is not allowed to fast. They can fast at another time, when they are not sick."
Last year's Ramadan traditions had to be held remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions, taking away a valuable social element from the month. The mosque was closed for the entire month, meaning Muslims had to pray from home.
The mosque is open again this year, with prayers taking place while following COVID-19 guidelines and social distancing.
Dr Mofreh said that while there had been a positive response from the community, they were being sure to follow all instructions from the Minister of Health.
"This is safety for everyone. We must be taking care, for both Muslims and non-Muslims."
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