Ramadan – Dimah Alsarray

   Ramadan, in Islam is the ninth month of the islamic calendar and is the month of fasting. It begins with the appearance of the crescent of the moon. 

     Every year Ramadan begins 10-12 days earlier than the previous year. For example last year (2022) Ramadan began April 1, 2022 and ended May 1, 2022. Although this year it begins March 22 or the 23 depending on whether the crescents of the moon come out and we see it, and then it will end on April 21. 

     Laylat Al Qadr which means “The night of power” is on one of the last 10 days of Ramadan, and usually it is on odd numbered days, for example the 21 day, 23 day or 27 day of Ramadan. Laylat Al Qadr is when God (Allah) revealed the Quran to the Prophet Mohammed. The Quran is the book of Muslims and the Quan is meant as a guidance for Muslim people. 

     Ramadan is from sunrise to sunset and it is where muslims cannot eat or drink anything until sunset or “Maghrib.” Ramadan is a time where Muslims can practice self-restraint, in keeping with sawm “fasting,” which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Although fasting is the major idea of Ramadan, Muslims also try to become better at their religion and getting closer to Allah. 

     After sunset prayer “maghrib,” Muslims gather in their homes or at a mosque to break their fast “iftar,” and this is often shared with friends and extended family members. Iftar usually begins with dates, where the prophet Mohamned (peace be upon him) after he was done fasting, broke his fast with dates. After iftar there are prayers that Muslims may perform called “tawarīḥ.” During these prayers the Quran may be recited over the course of Ramadan. 

     As a Muslim myself who celebrates Ramadan, I don’t see Ramadan as just a fasting month where I can’t eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. I try to learn more about my religion, and I try to become a better Muslim by reading more and getting closer to my religion and Allah. I try to improve in being a better Muslim because I am not perfect, and Ramadan is a time for me to improve myself in my religion.  

     Out of the ten people I interviewed, only two knew what the major concept of Ramadan is. One of those two were Ryan Hinman, 12th grade English, theater, and speech and debate teacher.

      “I don’t have the full understanding of Ramadan, although I do know that it is a Muslim holiday. I know what I need to know to help teach my kids the fact that I believe that there is fasting involved, where they do not eat throughout the day,” Hinman said. “I have students who are celebrating Ramadan, and I know they probably have pretty low energy for the day.” Hinman said.

     Many students are unfamiliar with the holiday, as well. 

     Samir Winchester, a senior, said, “I know a little bit about Ramadan, I’m pretty sure it’s where you don’t eat for a certain amount of days, it’s like a fasting thing.”

Winhester says he has a friend who celebrates Ramadan, but many people are still left in the dark. There are ways school officials could help with making more people aware of the varying cultures within the school system.. 

     Junior, Laura Zinsmayer said, “I definitely do think the school can do better with representing different cultures. I feel like they can do more than just hang up banners and call that representation. I feel like the school needs to have a day where different people of different cultures set up booths in the gym and teach us about their culture and educate us because as a society we are so uneducated about different cultures and people just assume things about different religions and cultures.” 

     Ramadan is a Muslim holiday and it is the month of fasting and getting closer to religion and Allah. Many people do not know about Ramadan or even different other cultures and religions, and school officials should do a better job at educating the students not just about Islam but about many religions and cultures. 


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