By Recep Sakar
MELBOURNE, Australia (AA) – Almost half a million Muslims from different ethnic backgrounds have performed their first Ramadan Friday prayer of the holy month at over 200 mosques across Australia.
On Friday, a Turkish mosque in Melbourne in the southeast state of Victoria hosted hundreds of Muslims for the first Friday prayer, which followed a sermon by the imam in both English and Turkish on the beauty and reward of sharing.
“May Allah be pleased with our congregation,” Thomastown Mosque Imam Ilkay Dil told Anadolu Agency. “We ask from Allah for a pleasant sahur [pre-dawn meal], iftar [sunset meal], tarawih [night time prayer] and daily Quran recitations during the Holy month. We ask for the Almighty Allah to grant for us what is good inshallah."
Dil -- appointed by the Presidency of Religious Affairs of Turkey -- added that during Friday prayers at Ramadan the mosque is "absolutely jam-packed”.
Of Australia's 200 mosques, 17 serve under the Turkish presidency in the states of Victoria, South Australia, West Australia and New South Wales.
*Anadolu Agency correspondent Leyla Karayilan contributed to this report from Ankara