Muslims celebrating Ramadan

Every year Muslims take part in a worldwide cultural event called Ramadan, which takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is seen as the month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. The Islamic calendar focuses on the days of the moon rather than days of the sun. 

This year, Ramadan started on April 2 and ends on May 2. Senior Sameer Sarwar is currently taking part in Ramadan. “Ramadan is really important to me and my religion. It brings my family and the Muslim community together to celebrate and take participation with our religion. We all participate in Ramadan for 30 days before Eid to show our strong spiritual devotion and devotion toward god. During Ramadan, it also is very important that the Muslim community acts generous and charitable, so we also like to donate toward charities that help people dealing with poverty and hunger. All in all, Ramadan is way to come back to our sources and focuses with the Islamic religion.”  

While a vast amount of the Muslim community takes part in Ramadan, there are still some factors to consider while fasting. “When we fast, we can’t eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset, so basically when the sun’s out. If you’re a healthy Muslim it is 100 percent mandatory that you fast for the 30 days unless you are traveling, taking meds, pregnant or dealing with health issues. If there is a day that you miss out on fasting due to some circumstance, you can always make it up after the 30 days.” 

Students in school also may not necessarily participate in fasting during Ramadan. Sarwar said, “For me, fasting only affects my participation in sports if it’s a hot day out. I get really thirsty and sometimes there are moments where I cannot participate due to the lack of energy. During school days, I get thirsty and hungry toward the end of school, but that doesn’t affect how I focus or how I participate throughout the day. ” He said going without water is the hardest.

After 30 days of fasting, Muslims celebrate Eid which takes place twice a year. Eid al-Fitr is earlier in the year and Eid al-Adha follows. As of right now, Eid al-Fitr will be celebrated by Muslims once their 30 days of fasting has passed. “When we celebrate Eid al-Fitr we first start the day with Eid prayer then move onto social gathering. Social gathering is really fun and important because it is a time where we get together with our friends and family to gift each other presents and share our favorite festive meals. Because Eid al-Fitr is the first Eid, it is sort of seen as the smaller Eid compared to Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Adha being the last Eid before a new year comes with the values of bigger gifts and celebrations. No matter what though, both Eids are just as important as the other one.”

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