As the beginning of Ramadan approaches, I extend my warmest wishes to Australian Muslims observing the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The sighting of the moon marks the beginning of this most sacred month in the Islamic calendar, with Muslims right around the world, coming together to commemorate the revelation of the Holy Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.

Ramadan is a time of fasting, prayer and charity, a time for remembering the less fortunate and a time for personal reflection and renewal. The principles of Ramadan support our way of life and are a timely reminder of the values we all share, including: kindness; honesty; compassion and the love of family.

Ramadan reminds us of the important contribution that Australian Muslims have made to our nation. I am proud of our Australian story, of modern Multicultural Australia and this is something for all of us to celebrate.

Normally, Ramadan is a time of social interaction, enjoying iftar with family, friends and the wider community and also being a great opportunity for inter-faith discussion, However, the unprecedented situation brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic, will mean that Ramadan will be observed very differently this year and will no doubt be an immensely challenging time for Australian Muslims.

To all Australian Muslims, I ask that your prayers be for peace, health and the wellbeing of our community, particularly in these difficult times. Ramadan Mubarak.