Today is the start of the month-long religious observance of Ramadan.
Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and calls on believers to fast during daylight hours and donate a portion of their income to charity.
Shepparton Mosque Imam Eljam Bardi said fasting, as a pillar of Islam, involved abstaining from eating, drinking and marital intimacy from dawn till sunset every day in Ramadan.
‘‘Ramadan is a joyful month, full of Allah’s blessings, mercy and forgiveness,’’ Mr Bardi said.
He said throughout history fasting had been Allah’s way of teaching Taqwa.
‘‘Taqwa means righteousness, piety, self-restraint and God-consciousness,’’ he said.
For the first time this year, the Shepparton mosque will have four Imams to support people.
‘‘For the past two years the church has been full over the month of Ramadan; this year we will have four Imams to support all nationalities for the many people who participate in Ramadan,’’ he said.
Mr Bardi said like prayer, fasting was a holistic exercise.
‘‘Every part of the body practises self-restraint by avoiding non-beneficial activities and wrong actions,’’ he said.
The end of Ramadan is celebrated with Eid ul-Fitr, a day of glorifying Allah, prayer, forgiveness, family gatherings and sharing of Allah’s bounty.
Mr Bardi said the mosque would be open from before sunrise until sunset every day of Ramadan.