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Our People: Muhammad Amir on Ramadan

CTO Labs Our People My Ramadan

Muhammad

Mon Mar 11 20245 min read

With the year entering the month of Ramadan, we asked Senior Developer Muhammad to share some of his personal reflections, because taking time out to appreciate the diverse backgrounds in our team matters to us.

As many will know, we have just entered Ramadan, a period of fasting, prayer, and reflection for Muslims. We asked Muhammad Amir to share some reflections.

Firstly, tell us a little more about you Muhammad, what do you do at CTO Labs?

I'm an experienced developer - and I'm pretty passionate about all things software - so anything to do with software develoment using agile, lean methods and I'm in my happy place.

I was born in Pakistan, and I have been here in Australia for 7 years, initially in Sydney and now in Melbourne.

What does Ramadan mean to you?

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar and it is a month in which Muslims abstain from food, water, and intimacy with their spouses during the day to develop taqwa (closeness) with God.

During this time we are also encouraged to give zakat (charity), read the Quran, study at the Masjid/Mosque, break our fasts with family and friends, and participate in nightly prayers known as Tarawih prayer. This also teaches us to sympathise with the poor and less fortunate who are sick and hungry, while thanking God for all He has given us.

Are there any particular family traditions that you look forward to the most ?

Well, the Eid festival, is something which is celebrated after the whole Month of Ramadan. This is an exciting moment for all ages and Muslims usually start their shopping for the Eid festival in the middle of Ramadan.

The day is celebrated by visiting all your family members, near and far. That means the whole day is spent with extended family members. Not to mention all the different and exciting food we get to eat.

How do you compare Ramadan and Eid in Australia to your home country?

Back home Ramadan comes with some environmental change for this particular month. In Pakistan, most of the shop's opening hours are delayed, especially food and clothing, as they have to stay open late.

Certain foods are quite popular during Ramadan, so food stalls start popping up at almost every corner of the city. It happens a bit here with food trucks and cafes too.

With the Eid festival at the end of Ramadan, nightlife starts to increase a lot, especially in the last 2 weeks of Ramadan. Family after family start pouring into the shopping centers to buy exquisite clothes for everyone, especially for kids for Eid Day. As we often say, Eid is actually for kids.

For me in Australia, Eid day starts early in the morning, at around 3:00am, we have some food and water, and Eid prayer early and every Muslim must attend it.

In my home town in Pakistan, our Mosque was a bit far away and we had only 2 washrooms and at least 12 to 15 adults. That means everyone is on their own, and if you are late, you are left behind.

After Eid Prayer, almost everyone visits the cemetery to pay their respects before heading back home.

Now it is in our culture not in our religion that we give small amounts of money to all the kids. Adults usually spend time visiting extended family members all day and Kids keep on going from house to house to get some Eid money.

Here in Australia we try to keep the culture alive and with our friends. But it is different.

Last but not least, back home we had 3 Eid holidays officially. So even if you don't have time to spend time with family members, it is still an extended holiday!!!

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