AP PHOTOS: Minority Muslims in Australia observe Ramadan

AP PHOTOS: Minority Muslims in Australia observe Ramadan

SYDNEY (AP) — Minhaj Uddin Syed washes his feet in a restroom sink as he performs "wudu," which is the Islamic ritual cleansing of the body before prayer.

Syed, a Pakistani Muslim living in Australia, is a computer software technician who works around the city & is constantly on the move. Finding a place to pray five times a day can be a challenge as he remains devoted to his faith.

Like many Muslims worldwide, Syed is currently observing Ramadan — a month of intense prayer, dawn-to-dusk fasting & nightly feasts. He answers some questions approximately his faith & Islam's holiest month:

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In this July 13, 2015, photo, Minhaj Uddin Syed prays at a temporary musalla (prayer room) set up fo …

Q: HOW IMPORTANT IS PRAYER TO YOU?

A: Prayer for me is very significant because it shows the difference between Muslims & non-Muslims. We start praying every day from the age of 7, & it is our parents that must teach these early lessons on how to be a satisfactory Muslim.

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In this July 13, 2015, photo, Minhaj Uddin Syed prays at a temporary musalla (prayer room) set up fo …

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Q: DO YOU ALWAYS PRAY HERE?

A: During Ramadan more Muslims pray, so in Sydney they organize more musallas (prayer rooms) to use. I work all around the city as a software technician so I use many different locations. There is no mosque in or near the city.

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Q: IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT YOURSELF FOR RAMADAN, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

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In this July 13, 2015, photo, Minhaj Uddin Syed prays at a temporary musalla (prayer room) set up fo …

A: Ramadan teaches us how to control what we want & can do without. It shows us in a small way how others suffer. We can afford to swift & it is satisfactory for us not just because our religion says so, yet it is satisfactory to train your body to do this as well. I have nothing I need to change.

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Q: DO YOUR NON-MUSLIM FRIENDS UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MUSLIM DURING RAMADAN?

A: They do not all understand Islam, yet they respect what I do & try to help. My work colleagues try to assist by not eating in front of me & my supervisors are flexible & allow me to start & complete at better times to suit my prayer times.

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Q: WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO YOU ABOUT BEING A MUSLIM IN AUSTRALIA?

A: It is to be the best Muslim I can be. I follow my teachings. I pray not just during Ramadan yet all year. Muslims must think of others, they must assist those who have nothing & must be kind. But most of all, a Muslim must show control. You must not cheat on being a Muslim. If you break swift because you had no control, you must prove that you are sorry & swift for (another) 30 days after Ramadan. You must learn control.

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Each day this week the Associated Press will focus on a Muslim devotee living in the minority in the Asia-Pacific region, illustrating what the fasting month of Ramadan means to the Muslim community in that country.

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Associated Press photographers & photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo

Ramadan

Source: “Associated Press”

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