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Ramadan in Austria

1. September 2010

Are you in Austria during the month of Ramadan? Worried about missing out on performing your prayers? Despair not! With over 150,000 muslims of different nationalities residing in Austria, Islamic centers and mosques in the country gear up for Ramdan and offer a repast of food and activities for Muslims throughout the holy month. Austrian Trade Commission gives you a low down on Ramadan in Austria

Muslims all over the world are currently celebrating the holy month of Ramadan following the Islamic rites. Now here is an element of surprise. Did you know that Islam is officially acknowledged in Austria and is considered the second religion in the country, after Catholicism? Among Austria’s population of 8 million, there is about 150,000 Muslims of different nationalities in Austria; among them are Arab, Turkish and others. These Muslims enjoy legal rights and privileges unmatched by those offered sometimes larger Muslim populations in other western countries.
Austrian Muslims celebrate Ramadan by observing Islamic rites, like performing prayers at about fifty mosques in Vienna and other Austrian cities.
However, the mosques in Austria differ in their way of celebrating Ramadan. At the Islamic Center in Vienna, established and funded by Muslim countries, services go on in full swing as sermons are delivered and lectures given by a group of reverent Muslim scholars. In other places prayers are performed regularly. Moreover, the centre also provides breakfast for Muslims throughout the month.

There are also other Islamic centers and mosques financed by the Turkish community in Austria. Such centres provide Muslim communities with Islamic books, and they also provide meat and chicken slaughtered the halal way.

The Egyptian club in Austria also plays a great role in gathering the Austrian-based Egyptians together during Ramadan for sehri. When Ramadan ends, all Muslim communities gather in the Islamic center to celebrate Eid after performing the Eid Prayer. Such a celebration is a special occasion for Muslims there to get together in the atmosphere of love and brotherliness. So next time you are visiting Austria during the holy month of Ramadan, you need not be worried about missing your prayers or giving Iftar a miss!

Did you know?

1. The countrys first mosque was built in Vienna in 1878 with the governments assistance to service Muslims enlisted in the Austrian army
2. The true start of the legalisation of Muslims rights in Austria was in 1908, when the government proposed a draft law to acknowledge Islam as an official religion.
3. In 1988, the government amended the Law of Islam to recognise all the Islamic theological schools which was covered by previous legislation. This led to increased rights and privileges for Austria’s Muslims. Women, for example, were permitted to wear the veil at work and in public ceremonies, students in public institutions too were permitted to veil, and Muslims gained the right to study Islam in state schools and in the army.
4. Islamic education institutions include the Islamic Academy in Vienna, founded in 1998, and the Al-Azhar Institution in Vienna, founded two years later.