The Muslim Community of Mareeba, Australia

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12 Questions

Where does the journey begin in this story?


What is the name of the popular Australian spread mentioned in the story?


Who is the Australian Albanian Muslim who guides the narrator on his journey?


What type of farm did Jack Murat establish in Mareeba?

Coffee farm

What is the name of the coffee brand managed by Plum and his brothers?

Jack Murat

What is Iskander's farm known for?

Growing sugar cane, bananas, and other crops

What is the significance of the Murat family in the Muslim community in Mareeba?

They were known for their strong Islamic practices and honest business dealings.

What was the challenge faced by the Muslim community in Mareeba in the early days?

They struggled to practice their faith in a remote rural area.

What was the response of the Muslim community to internal conflicts and challenges?

They sought knowledge and guidance from their Imam.

What is unique about the Islam practiced by the Muslim community in Mareeba?

It is deeply connected to the natural environment and farming.

What is the significance of the Mareeba mosque?

It was one of the third mosques built in Australia.

What was the result of the community's renewed commitment to their faith?

They started practicing Islam more regularly, with lessons, Taraweeh, and Ramadan fasting.

Study Notes

  • The journey begins in Mareeba, a small town in north Queensland, Australia, where a Muslim community has been living for generations.

  • The community is more Australian than Vegemite, a popular Australian spread, and has a rich history that is deeply connected to the land.

  • The story is part of a series that collects inspiring Muslim stories from across Australia, with a focus on local communities and the effective distribution of zakat to those in need.

  • The narrator meets with Samir, an Australian Albanian Muslim, who guides him on his journey to explore the Muslim community in Mareeba.

  • The community's history dates back to the early 20th century, when Jack Murat, an Albanian Muslim, arrived in Australia in 1929 and established a coffee farm in Mareeba.

  • Jack Murat's farm has been in operation for over 60 years, and his legacy continues to be carried forward by his sons, including Plum, who runs the farm today.

  • Plum's farm is a 66-acre coffee plantation, and he works with his brothers to manage the farm and distribute their coffee brand, Jack Murat.

  • The community is proud of their Australian identity and their Muslim faith, which is deeply rooted in their culture and daily life.

  • The narrator meets with Iskander, the eldest of the Murat brothers, who is a quintessential example of an Aussie farmer, with a hefty beard and sunnah hat.

  • Iskander's farm is a massive operation that grows sugar cane, bananas, and other crops, and uses modern equipment to maintain the farm.

  • The narrator also meets with Abdul Rahim, who has a connection to Vegemite and is part of the sixth generation of Muslim Albanians in Australia.

  • Abdul Rahim's family has been in Australia for over 90 years, and they have a rich history of farming and working the land.

  • The community's faith is deeply connected to their natural environment, and they have a unique understanding of Islam that is exclusive to country folk and farmers.

  • Benyamin, the youngest of the Murat brothers, has a profound sense of faith and connection with Allah, and sees beauty in the natural world around him.

  • The community's Imam, Sheikh Ibrahim Abdullah, explains that Islam is not about external form, but rather about the heart and deeds, and that their identity is deeply rooted in the land and their culture.

  • The community's Islam is deeply established in their hearts and comes through in their dealings and interactions with others, earning them respect from their non-Muslim neighbors.- The Muslim community in Mareeba, Australia, was known for its strong Islamic practices, with business dealings being Halal and avoiding usury.

  • The community was built on good rapport among the business community, with Albanian Muslims being respected for their honesty and reliability.

  • The community had a strong relationship with the Murat family, with the mayor of Mareeba being a fan of the Muslim Albanian community.

  • The construction of the Mareeba mosque was a community effort, with non-Muslims, including an Australian architect, contributing to its design and building.

  • The mosque was one of the third built in Australia, and the community was proud of its achievement.

  • However, despite the initial rosy picture, the community faced challenges, including the difficulty of practicing Islam in a remote rural area.

  • Many Muslims in the community, including the narrator's family, initially struggled to practice their faith, with no Friday prayers and no fasting during Ramadan.

  • The community had to overcome internal conflicts, including disagreements over the use of alcohol in the mosque hall.

  • In the early 1980s, some community members began to leave Islam for Christianity, causing pain and confusion among the remaining Muslims.

  • The community responded by seeking knowledge and guidance from their imam, leading to a renewed commitment to their faith.

  • The community started practicing Islam more regularly, with lessons, Taraweeh, and Ramadan fasting becoming more widespread.

  • The narrator eventually found the courage to wear the hijab, which caused a stir in the community but ultimately reinforced her identity as a Muslim.

  • The community continues to thrive, with regular community dinners, Islamic activities, and Madrasah classes for children.

  • Today, the Muslim community in Mareeba consists of over 80 families and a growing convert community.

  • One of the converts, who accepted Islam in 1975, remains committed to his faith and plans to be buried in Mareeba as a Muslim.

  • The community's unity and closeness are attributed to their unique country culture, solid relationships, and love for Islam.

Explore the inspiring story of a Muslim community in Mareeba, Australia, and their journey of faith, identity, and connection to the land. Learn about their history, culture, and struggles to practice Islam in a rural area. Discover how they overcame challenges and remained committed to their faith, and how their unique country culture contributed to their unity and closeness.

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