Ramadan begins

The holy month for Muslims

The Holy Qur’an is the central text of Islam, and it is viewed by Muslims as direct words from Allah (Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons via Google Images)

The Holy Qur’an is the central text of Islam, and it is viewed by Muslims as direct words from Allah (Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons via Google Images)

Maheen Qureshi, Author

May 16 is the beginning of Ramadan, which is the ninth month in the Muslim lunar calendar during which fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset. Healthy, adult Muslims who fast abstain from drinking, eating, and immoral acts and anger. Muslims do take the time, especially during this month, to indulge in acts of worship, such as prayer, reading the Qur’an and giving to charities is also encouraged. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, which are five duties expected of every Muslim. The other four are: giving to charity, praying five times a day, declaration of faith, and going to Hajj.

There are many reasons for Muslims to fast during this holy month, many fast as an act of worship, a chance to get closer to God and a way to become more compassionate to those in need. Fasting is also seen as a way to learn patience and break bad habits. Muslims wake up early to eat a pre-dawn meal called suhoor, and they break their fast with a meal referred to as iftar. It is common for mosques to host large iftars, especially for the poor and needy. Nightly prayers called Tarawih are also held in mosques after iftar.  

Many Bobcats are fasting this year, such as Junior Hassina Fedayi. She spoke about what Ramadan means to her, “Ramadan to me personally, means fasting and taking a break to reflect on yourself and your morals. During the month I don’t just not eat from sunrise to sunset, but I try to prevent myself from getting in situations where I would see, hear, say, and do something bad and negative (it’s almost like fasting not just your appetite, but rather everything). Also, it’s the holiest month of the year in Islam so I try to go to the mosque more and do prayers.” Although fasting is a big part of Ramadan, some people who are physically limited (because of an illness or old age) are exempt to fast; the same is true for anyone who is traveling. Those who are able to do so, just not at that moment are expected to make up the missed days at a later time. It is possible to potentially make up all of the missed days in the month immediately following Ramadan, which is the month of Shawwal.

Annosha Murtaza, a Junior also talks about what effect Ramadan has on her, “In my opinion, Ramadan helps me be a better person by exposing me to the lifestyles of people who aren’t as privileged as me. I use it to reflect on everything I have and remember to never take anything for granted. The month itself makes me realize how lucky I am and be not only kinder to others but also be more open minded to others’ situations and make sure I am doing all I can to give to charity and help everyone in need.” Even though food is mostly on people’s mind during Ramadan, fasting is believed to be a key experience for Muslims and foundational to their religious identity, There’s more to Ramadan than skipping meals, Ramadan commemorates a very significant moment in Islam: when the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.The central theme of Ramadan is a chance for Muslims to reconnect with their religion and see how their everyday lives reflects what they believe in.