North Coast Muslim Association in Lismore.
North Coast Muslim Association in Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

Ramadan a 'tolerance test for all of us'

AS ANOTHER Ramadan draws to a close, Muslims in Lismore are preparing for their big break of fast festival or Eid al-Fitr today.

Over the past month around 100 Muslims in Lismore and surrounding areas have been fasting during daylight hours for Ramadan.

Ramadan was the second pillar of Islam which commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad.

Abdul Aziz, who has been worshipping in Lismore for 10 years, said the month lasts 29-30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon.

"It's a spiritual training, which trains our anger, patience and lust as well, to control all of these things and if you can put all these things into your normal day to day life it makes a huge difference,” Mr Aziz said.

All Muslims that are "healthy and able to fast” are required to fast from sunrise and sunset.

"It makes us appreciate what we have got,” Ms Aziz said.

"You are not allowed to be angry while fasting, it's a tolerance test for all of us.”

Mr Aziz said whilst at work he can really feel and appreciate his hunger and thirst.

"You do struggle a lot, but you do find during the fasting month you don't get as hungry,” he said.

"We do feel very excited (at the end of Ramadan) and it brings different colours in your life, it's not plain eat, drink, sleep, it's just something different for us.”

"On Eid day you celebrate, we often get together in the park or somewhere all the kids play, it's a great day.”

Along with the fasting, Muslims also participate in prayers.

"We've got night time prayers which go for at least an hour and a half every night,” Mr Aziz said.

With no permanent place of worship, the North Coast Muslim Association has been utilising the Country Women's Association Hall for group prayer.

"At the moment we rent a hall down town, but we are actively looking for a permanent hall where we can pray,” Mr Aziz said.

"The reason why we can't find a permanent place is because the council wants us to go through the development application approval for a place of worship.”

"We are struggling to find a place where it can be approved.”

Today, the North Coast Muslim Association will be gathering at Spinks Park in Lismore to celebrate the break of Ramadan.