Stockleigh's Muslim community celebrates Eid

AFTER 30 days of abstaining from food and water during daylight hours, hundreds of Muslims celebrated the beginning of a new Islamic month at Stockleigh on June 5.

More than 700 people attended the Bait ul-Masroor Mosque to offer special Eid prayers and mark the end of Ramadan.

The month of Ramadan is a time when Muslims are required to sacrifice comforts like food and water and increase their worship of god.

Before sunrise, Muslims eat a meal called Suhoor to sustain their energy throughout the day.

The fast breaks shortly after 5pm traditionally with a date fruit, followed by a larger Iftar dinner.

Muslims are encouraged to spend more of their money to help the poor.

Bail ul-Masroor Mosque media coordinator Zain Alabideen said the purpose of Ramadan was to reduce physical nourishment in order to sharpen spiritual faculties.

"What is the purpose of abstaining from food and drink if you are not abstaining from lying or from the misuse of your eyes, heart, tongue and limbs? The purpose is to improve your morals. You change yourself and if positive change does not occur in Ramadan it has more or less been a waste," he said.

There was a festive vibe to the Mosque to mark the Eid celebration with jumping castles, sports and food available.

During Ramadan, the mosque opened its doors to people of other faiths including Jews, Buddhists, Mormons, Christians and others in "Fasting in My Religion dinners.

Mr Alabideen said it was normal to find common ground with people who have different religious backgrounds.

"Difference of opinion creates progress but unity is also important," he said.