Many Muslims in Australia fast during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars (fundamental religious duties) of Islam. It is a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion. It is common to have a pre-fast meal (suhoor) before sunrise and an evening meal (iftar) after sunset during Ramadan. Some groups of people, including the chronically ill, mentally challenged, and the elderly who cannot participate due to health reasons, are exempt from fasting. It is also not allowed to have sexual relations or smoke during the day.
Ramadan is also a time for many Muslims to donate to charity by participating in food drives for the poor, organizing a collection or charity event, and other voluntary activities. They are also encouraged to read the Qur’an often during Ramadan. Some Muslims recite the entire Qur’an by the end of Ramadan through special prayers known as Tarawih, which are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a section of the Qur’an is recited.