As the sun began to set, and the Muslim call to prayer rang out, believers at the Hastings mosque gathered to break their fast.

Having not eaten all day, they break for food in the evenings.

A ritual which is observed by Muslims around the world during the month of Ramadan, which runs from May 5 to June 7 this year.

Now more than half-way through, people of all denominations and nationalities in the community were welcomed into the Hawkes Bay Baitul Mokarram Masjid & Islamic Center Trust on Sunday.


Multicultural Association Hawke's Bay president, and Muslim, Rizwaana Latiff said while their doors were always open to the public, it was an important time to connect with members of the community.

"It is important for us to share our culture with others, so that there is more tolerance and people understand."

While Ramadan is compulsory for Muslim adults, for the many children who accompanied their parents, Latiff said it was about teaching them about their culture.

Twenty-year-old, Aalya Khatoon said she felt "so blessed" to be able to fast.

"We fast from our hearts and our minds are clear during this time."

She said while the first day was an adjustment, it wasn't hard to give up food.

During the month, they are expected to give back to people in the community.

So far, they had donated money and clothing to people overseas and in the region.