Holy Month of Ramadan begins today in isolation rather than congregational

Tasmanian Muslim community will start month long fasting and prayers amid coronavirus crisis. It will be a different experience as breaking fast is a communal affair and Hobart Mosque have hosted various fast breaking-Iftars after sunset in last few years.

The Hobart Mosque is closed for gatherings, however messages are recorded and shared with groups through different technology on weekly basis.

“In the years earlier, before this calamity regardless of the exhausted moments that tend to accompany fasting, Ramadan always left me with a faint smile. I’d relish the memories of the month’s daily rituals with community” said one of the regular member of Hobart Mosque.

This time, everyday life has been toppled, and everybody will confront a different kind of bedlam. How can there be community engagement and devotion, which is as central to Ramadan as the fast, during a quarantine?

During a normal Ramadan people gather at someone’s home or at the mosque to feast on delicious food. This gathering is especially important for people without families and those without a sustainable income mostly temporary visa holders and international students, which is unfortunately common right now. Due to Covid-19 crisis supply of Halal meat is also affected however a local meat shop owned by Migrants from Bangladesh in Goodwood-Tasmanian Prime meat and plenty of Halal meat is available for local communities.

Nobody wants our most vulnerable community members to be breaking their fasts alone in their home. Tasmanian Muslim association president Kazi Sabbir said that support is available for all vulnerable community members through various channels and through their network they are making sure people have adequate supply of food and groceries during this month. Food vouchers are made available through UTAS Students association and other channels.

“This year, we’ll have to improvise and find ways to support each other during this time and pray individually or in families” Kazi Sabbir who has been very vocal and active during this time of crisis have written letters to politicians and authorities to include temporary visa holders in income protection.

Tasmanian government recently announced $3 million package to support temporary visa holders which was welcomed by many community organisations.

“This year I will be staying at home, praying with my family, being grateful and simply trying my best to support those who are in need. It won’t be heroic or extraordinary, but during these challenging times, this is the right decision” Kazi Sabbir -President TASMANIAN MULSIM ASSOCIATION can be reached if required on his email address : KG_SABBIR@YAHOO.COM.AU

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