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Mufti Zeeyad Ravat is an Islamic scholar, an authority on the day-to-day practice of Islam. His path to Australia was a circuitous one, from his birthplace in Johannesburg, South Africa, through India, Syria (where he studied Arabic), Brazil, Brisbane and Melbourne. In March last year, he travelled to New Zealand to lead a prayer service in Christchurch after 50 worshipers at a mosque were slaughtered.
Ravat, 39, is a bundle of energy, his arms waving to make a point, one leg tucked underneath him on a recliner in his home in Dandenong in south-east Melbourne. The everyday noise of family life (he is married with five children) break through from the next room as he explains how important Ramadan is, and how the coronavirus pandemic has upended its rituals.