For Kwinana Muslims Robyn and Patmin Alirejo, the end of Ramadan and the first day of Eid has a special place in their hearts.
The husband and wife have completed their fasting and are now full swing into the festival of Eid ul Fitr, celebrating with hundreds of Muslims at the Ar Rukun Mosque in Rockingham.
Mrs Alirejo converted to Islam five years after meeting her husband.
“It took me quite a while to make the decision,” she said.
“At the time, about 20 years ago, there was a lot of discussion about the oppression of women and I’m a pretty independent Aussie woman.”
Mrs Alirejo said she discovered the Muslim religion was a very sociable and friendly one.
“That is the main reason I converted, because it is very family orientated,” she said.
Mr Alirejo was born into a Muslim family and had fasted his whole life. He had enjoyed the month of Ramadan and he said the fast was a pillar of the Islamic faith.
“We fast because it says so in the Koran, it tests our willpower and so we can learn how to make sacrifices,” he said. “Poor people have no food or money, and we fast to realise how lucky we are to have the things in our life and not take them for granted.”
Mrs Alirejo said when she first converted it was very strange and difficult.
“The idea of not being able to eat during the daylight hours was very tough and hard to adjust to as I often work nights and don’t get home until 11.30pm,” she said.
“In the summer time it’s much harder as the days are longer.
“Now I keep busy and focused on the month ahead and recognise the spiritual gifts I’m receiving by committing to the fast.”
Eid is like Christmas, Mrs Alirejo said, as they spend the day going to visit family members and having meals together in celebration.