Fasting during Ramadan


Despite varying levels of practice among interview and focus group participants, Ramadan was the most frequently adhered to practice among all respondents. Significantly, while prayer and modesty were reported to be negotiable according to individual lifestyle needs and levels of faith – despite conceding that they are required practices – Ramadan was spoken of as an event that centred on the community and family. Indeed, participants considered Ramadan so integral that one commented that it would ‘shameful’ for a Muslim to not fast during Ramadan.

Several participants described an average day during Ramadan as comprising of getting up before dawn to eat breakfast before offering the Fajr prayer (dawn prayer), which also marks the commencement of the time of fasting (sawm). Following this, Muslims perform the other obligatory prayers throughout the day. After the final prayer of the day (maghrib), they are encouraged to break their fast with family.

Ramadan for us as a family […] is the only time of the year where we actually all sit down on the table and have a meal together. So, I guess it’s more about bringing everyone together, especially for families, it’s more of a family sort of time.
— Raima, 21, Lebanese background, born in Australia, Melbourne
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