Australian Muslim children are being introduced to fasting during the month of Ramadan. Here’s what they say about it


Whereas younger youngsters are exempt from fasting within the Islamic month of Ramadan, many Australian Muslim households say it is good to begin having conversations with their children in regards to the custom.

Shazma Gaffoor, a mom of two daughters aged 5 and 7, informed the ABC that her children have been curious and began fasting on their very own. 

“It wasn’t extra so of me instructing than it was of them principally watching us,” Ms Gaffoor mentioned.

“They have been extra curious relating to how we quick.”

Ms Gaffoor mentioned it was necessary to take heed to her youngsters’s “cues” earlier than letting them participate by abstaining from foods and drinks from dawn to sundown.

This yr is the second yr her seven-year-old Shahana has fasted for Ramadan — though not for a month, which started on April 12 and can most possible end on Might 12.

“Fasting is typically arduous, typically simple,” Shahana mentioned, including she all the time regarded ahead to consuming toasties when the solar set.

Final yr, she obtained a certificates from her aunty for fasting for 5 days throughout Ramadan.

This yr Ms Gaffoor mentioned her daughter had already fasted for eight days up to now.

Ramadan Kids photo
Shahana (proper) and her sister Ayana are already studying about fasting and Ramadan.(

ABC Information: Erwin Renaldi


Dr Rubina Hameed, a paediatrician based mostly in Melbourne, mentioned, for chidlren, fasting is voluntary “with youthful youngsters inspired to do a number of little fasts within the day” in line with their functionality.

She mentioned research have proven intermittent fasting helps in mobile restore and progress by reducing insulin ranges and rising progress hormone.

“Kids copy what adults do. If adults do in a proper method, youngsters will study the suitable habits for all times,” she mentioned.

“So introduce (fasting) by being a great function mannequin by maintaining a healthy diet meals in the suitable parts, by having a optimistic angle to foods and drinks, by instructing them about being grateful for the meals and rewarding them and praising them for collaborating in it.”

She mentioned fasting helps in decreasing whole caloric consumption and rising metabolic fee, subsequently it assists in weight administration that would additionally profit for numerous youngsters.

The which means behind fasting

AIA iftarAIA iftar
The AIA college in North Coburg was not in a position to maintain an iftar dinner final yr due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria.(

ABC Information: Erwin Renaldi


Historically, youngsters are solely anticipated to start fasting for Ramadan as soon as they’ve reached puberty. 

However Ms Gafoor mentioned for her it relied on the potential of her youngsters.

“However I feel having a dialog about it’s nice once they’re actually younger.”

Belal Assaad is a trainer and scholar counsellor on the Australian Worldwide Academy of Training (AIA), a Muslim college in Melbourne.

Mr Assaad mentioned instructing youngsters the values and morals behind fasting earlier than permitting them to do it was necessary.

“Fasting just isn’t solely spiritually good to show the children but it surely’s additionally a wholesome method of getting used to good food plan and having a self-discipline of tips on how to monitor their consuming habits,” he informed the ABC.

However they don’t essentially quick from daybreak until sundown like grownup Muslims, Mr Assaad mentioned.

Belal Assaad 2Belal Assaad 2
Belal Assaad says there’s a false impression that Ramadan is nearly not consuming and consuming. (

ABC Information: Erwin Renaldi


“Kids should not obliged to quick as a result of they’ve rising our bodies and would want to eat and drink for his or her diet,” he mentioned.

He mentioned abstaining from consuming and consuming, which was “very pure, permissible, and even good for ourselves”, confirmed we had the ability to manage ourselves.  

“If you are able to do that, then you definitely have the ability and the energy that’s innate in you to additionally cease your self from different dangerous issues, such anger, violence, and verbal abuse in opposition to different folks,” he mentioned.

“Fasting is definitely about stopping your self and avoiding from harming different folks together with your tongue, actions, and your therapy.”

Whereas youngsters will not be mature sufficient to know your complete idea of fasting in Ramadan, Mr Assaad mentioned mother and father and academics might start by having open dialogues with youngsters and setting optimistic examples.

“Mother and father then can say, ‘you are able to being affected person’,” he mentioned. 

“That is the entire thought. It is about persistence. It is about resilience.”

Student iftarStudent iftar
The AIA Islamic college offers assist to college students through the fasting month.(

ABC Information: Erwin Renaldi


How do Australian Muslim children really feel once they quick?

A number of Islamic faculties together with the AIA got here collectively final week to interrupt their every day quick collectively at an iftar dinner. 

The youngsters have been excited to get collectively and have their first foods and drinks since dawn. 

Most of the AIA college students mentioned they really regarded ahead to the month of fasting.

Nidal RafeiNidal Rafei
Nidal Rafei says he has been fasting yearly since he was in prep.(

ABC Information: Erwin Renaldi


12 months six scholar Nidal Rafei mentioned Ramadan was a “enjoyable time of the yr”.

“We get extra time to spend with your loved ones and pals over the dinner desk,” he mentioned. 

“Ramadan is a few religious reflection to me, it teaches me persistence, self-control, and resilience.

“In Ramadan it teaches me how the poor folks really feel.”

Mariam Saleh, 11, mentioned fasting through the day made her really feel nice. 

Mariam Saleh says fasting reminds her to be pleased about what she has.(

ABC Information: Erwin Renaldi


“It helps you cease overeating and losing your meals,” she mentioned.

“And it isn’t solely ready for the meals on the finish of the day.

12 months six scholar Aliyah Surgers mentioned whereas fasting made her joyful, it was additionally difficult. 

She mentioned fasting has led her to “do extra good issues” and discouraged her from dangerous habits akin to being lazy.

Ramadan was “a month of coaching” to construct higher habits all yr, she added.

Aliyah SurgersAliyah Surgers
Aaliyah Surgers (proper) says avoiding dangerous habits throughout Ramadan may be difficult.(

ABC Information: Erwin Renaldi


Mr Assad mentioned the varsity lower research hours and had shorter recesses throughout Ramadan to assist college students who have been fasting.

The scholars have been additionally concerned in charitable occasions, akin to amassing non-perishable meals to be distributed to asylum seekers and different weak teams. 

Mr Assad mentioned mother and father have been invited to be concerned within the tasks to make it change into “extra of a group work”.

Charity is without doubt one of the 5 pillars of Islam and through Ramadan all Muslims are inspired to provide again.

“The purpose is to show them about serving one another, serving to one another, empathy and eager about the opposite fellow particular person,” Mr Assaad mentioned.

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