Eid celebrates fasting victory

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Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
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The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan came to an end at sundown on Thursday June 14 when Muslims gathered to celebrate the festival of Eid al Fitr, which lasted all the next day.

Daftie Kudus, who is assistant Imam of the Geraldton Mosque, said Eid was an Arabic word meaning “victory” because Muslims celebrated their victory over temptation, having avoided food and drink for 28 days during daylight.

About 300 people gathered for prayer the following morning, their numbers swelled by family members from various parts of WA, Cocos Islands and other places.

Mr Kudus said Australian citizens who were Cocos Malays started the mosque in the 1980s, and it now had Malay, Singaporean, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Egyptian and Syrian parishioners.

While Cocos Islanders first settled in Katanning in the late 1970s as meatworkers, the presence of their mosque attracted doctors, pharmacists and others with professional qualifications that were much needed in the region.

As their families grew, many moved to other towns such as Geraldton and Port Hedland.

Mr Kudus said his father Abdul Kudus was the Grand Imam but his limited English excused him from administrative duties.

He said the Mosque had open days for students at the neighbouring Geraldton Grammar School twice a year, and welcomed enquiries from anyone wishing to learn more about the Islamic faith or local Muslim community.

Mr Kudus said the mosque enjoyed excellent relations with the child care centre over the road, which was happy to provide parking, and with neighbours.

As the Guardian reporter checked his camera on Friday morning he struck up a conversation with an Australian woman in a nearby home who asked what festival the mosque was celebrating.

“I feel very lucky to be living in this street,” she said.

“Make sure you write a good story about them.”

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