A Sacred Month

Ramadan, a sacred mponth focusing on giving back to the community and focusing on the self

Asim Adhikary, Staff Writer

What is Ramadan? The holy month of self-improvement, discipline, and reflection. 

In the next coming weeks, Muslims from all over the world will gather together to celebrate Ramadan. Falling on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, the floating holiday is devoted to praying, fasting, and gratitude. 

“Ramadan is a time of getting together, and fostering empathy for those who are less fortunate,” Junior Yazzed Abayazid said. “Religiously, it is the most impactful and holiest time of the year. You are trying to do the most for faith, charity, and the five pillars of Islam.” 

The holy month commemorates the first verses of the Quran spoken to the Profit Mhoomed – the messenger of Islam – more than 1400 years ago. After 23 years, the verses instructing Muslims to fast the entire month of Ramadan soon came into effect. 

“I typically wake up at 5 AM for the meal before dawn, known as Suhoor, and break my fast with my family with an evening meal known as Iftar.” Senior Fauzan Siddiqui said. “Those who partake in Ramadan cannot eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. Although, there are exceptions for the pregnant, elderly, and sick. And kids usually don’t fast until puberty.” 

Although celebrated by over 1.5 billion individuals worldwide, the Islamic tradition has many misconceptions, mainly concerning that of fasting. 

“Ramadan shouldn’t be perceived as just a month of tormenting fasting. We’re learning and growing with each other while adopting different perspectives. On top of that, it’s a time of self-love and improving your relationship with God. So, there’s much more to it than just not eating or drinking,” sophomore Yara Omar said.

Fasting is a way for Muslims to feel solidarity with the millions of poor and hungry individuals around the world who fast without a choice. Those who don’t have the same privileges and resources that many of us have. 

Senior Nasrin Elrokhsi said, “People rarely take food and water for granted and don’t know what hunger truly feels like. We share the pain that millions of others go through every day through fasting. We abandon both our physical and mental needs, helping us become more selfless and conscious of the world around us.”

After countless days of sacrifice and worship, Muslims mark the end of Ramadan with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. This is a time when friends and families come together to exchange gifts and blessings while showing their gratitude towards God. 

“After morning prayer we visit our mosque where they have bouncy houses and food for everyone. Then for the rest of the day, we visit people from our religious community at their houses to eat and celebrate. And then at night, we host our own gathering for our friends and families.” Abayazid said. 

Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday, you too can do your part this Ramadan. 

“I’d appreciate it if teachers and other students took time out of their days to become more aware of our situations. Whether it’s certain discussions during class about being respectful or when there is food in the classroom. I also wish people weren’t so afraid to ask questions about Ramadan. Don’t be afraid, because most Muslims are open to answering your questions about Ramadan.” said Elrokhsi. 

So, with Ramadan around the corner, I hope you learned something new and valuable about this sacred Islamic holiday.