For the first time, more than 100 Northland-based Muslims will get to pray during the holy month of Ramadan in their own Islamic Centre in Whangārei.

The Northland Muslim Community Charitable Trust bought the building in October, after renting it for several years.

They will join more than 1.5 billion Muslims throughout the world in fasting for one month starting either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.


If people sight the moon this evening, then the first day of fasting will be tomorrow. If the moon is not sighted, fasting will begin on Wednesday.

Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan and refrain from all food, drink, any kind of tobacco use and sexual contact. Those excused from fasting include the elderly, children, the ill, travellers, pregnant women, nursing mothers and those menstruating.

Muslims are also expected to avoid gossiping, lying, envy, greed and other bad character traits during the month-long fast.

Treasurer of the Northland Muslim Community Charitable Trust, Shirley Rankin, said Muslims revel in their collective identity during the holy month.

"Going to Ramadan prayers in our own mosque for the first time will be a landmark occasion for Northland Muslims."

On a sad note, she said the Christchurch terrorist shootings would be at the forefront of everyone's mind, with those who were killed and injured missing from the gatherings, and some local families personally affected.

The festival of Eid is celebrated at the conclusion of Ramadan.