Illawarra's Muslims will go without food or drink from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan

Nina Trad Azam says the month of Ramadan is one of the five key Islamic pillars that unites all Muslims. Picture: Sylvia Liber.
Nina Trad Azam says the month of Ramadan is one of the five key Islamic pillars that unites all Muslims. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

Don’t continually ask a Muslim who is fasting if he or she is hungry.

And please don’t walk past them with a “nice smelling” cup of coffee.

So shared Nina Trad Azam with ABC Illawarra when asked how people should treat Muslims during the month of Ramadan.

Mrs Azam reiterated to the Mercury that Ramadan was a spiritual and physical detox, which was even more relevant nowadays because of the huge emphasis on materialism.

Muslims with a Turkish background started their month of fasting on Wednesday.

But a statement from the Australian National Islams Council said the Holy month of Ramadan starts on Thursday, May 17.

So over the next month from sunrise to sunset, Muslims won't eat or drink, and pray five times a day.

Ramadan is observed by 1.6 billion Muslims around the world to worship and become more compassionate to others.

Mrs Azam added those taking part needed to abstain from eating and drinking anything. They also could not smoke or be involved in any sexual relations.

“Basically what we are discipling is our desire,” she said. “Ramadan is one of the five key Islamic pillars that unites all Muslims.”

While children from as young as seven are encouraged to fast, not all Muslims have to observe Ramadan.

Mrs Azam said the elderly, infern, disabled and those who have a medical condition as well as women who are breastfeeding are exempt from fasting.  

This story Illawarra’s Muslim community’s month-long Ramadan fast begins first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.