SYDNEY – The holy month of Ramadan is about spirituality and social solidarity. But for Ramia Abdo Sultan, a busy working mother, Ramadan is also about being organized enough to handle her career and house.
“Apart from the important spiritual aspect of the month-long fast from dawn to dusk, it’s all about planning ahead for my three school-aged children, aged 11, 9 and 7,” the Muslim mother Ramia Abdo Sultan told ABC on May 17.
Sultan’s colleague, Tasnim Saeid, talked about her Ramadan fasting experience.
“It’s amazing that there is such a communal feeling, meaning it’s not as hard as it sounds. Throughout the year if you asked me to miss a meal I would really struggle, yet you don’t think about it that way during Ramadan.”
“My eldest 11-year-old daughter started to fast Ramadan for some days as a training,” Sultan informed.
“She’s lucky, the fasting days are short in Australia since it’s winter here. It’s quite bearable. Anyway, it’s a very exciting month for all the community, especially children, with all the sweets and family and friends visiting at night,” she continued.
Islam is a unique religion for having a great emphasis on the concept of ummah aka community. The Islamic Ummah or the Islamic World is the collective sum of Muslim communities around the world.
Sultan expresses that “The communal aspect gets you through it in Australia. We know that 1.8 billion Muslims around the world are taking part in the month and that gives you motivation. It’s a struggle but you do it, and for a healthy, capable person pushing their self-discipline this is exactly what the month is about.”
The president of the Auburn Islamic Community Centre in Sydney’s west, Mohamed Al Zoubi, said: “The atmosphere in Ramadan is different. It’s a month of worship, reading and reflecting. It’s also a time of family gatherings and helping others.”
“Everyone is around. There are a lot of activities in the center. People are giving more to charity. There are around 600,000 Muslims around Australia and a lot of them fast during this special month if they can,” Al Zoubi continued happily.