RAMADAN IS HERE!

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar. The month is 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the moon. Fasting during Ramadan is the fourth pillar of Islam. It is expected to commence on April 12, 2021 until May 11, 2021 (exact dates may vary by a day or so depending on the sighting of the moon). Below are some details that can help you better understand this important time and how it may effect people you know.

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What do Muslims do in Ramadan?

  • Fasting for self-restraint and God consciousness- no food, no drink, no smoking, no sexual relations.
  • Spirituality and worship: Increased prayers, acts of worship and reflection, contemplation and recitation of the Qur’an, increased acts of kindness and forgiveness.
  • Charity and Community: Increased acts of charity (zakat), feeding others who are fasting or who cannot afford to eat, community iftar (breaking of the fast), appreciating and remembering family and loved ones.

Key Terms

  1. Ramadan: Commemorates the revelation of the Qur’an.
  2. Suhoor: Pre-dawn meal Iftar: meal to break the fast.
  3. Salah: Prayer. After breaking fast in particular, many Muslim eat a date and have a drink of water and then pray before continuing to eat their iftar meal.
  4. Nights of Qadr: A night of prayer and contemplation which marks the night in which the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
  5. Eid al fitr: Holiday to mark the end of Ramadan.
  6. Wuduh: Ablutions, ritual washing before prayer (involves washing of hands, feet, and face).

Ways to support Muslim students who are fasting

Academics

  • Reasonable allowance for accommodations for finals and exams for fasting students (changing exam times, allowing students to eat during exam, etc.)
  • Minimize students’ stress by being supportive and understanding of the challenges they face.
  • Understand that students may be staying up late to pray and would wake up early to eat; this means they will have to adjust to a new sleeping schedule.

Increased Safety

  • More Muslim students may be out late at night because of prayers.
  • In the last few years, the rate of hate crimes and incidents against Muslims has been on the rise.
  • Speak up to support Muslim students and create an atmosphere of inclusivity and compassion.

Prayer Times

  • Many students can be more observant of prayer times during Ramadan. Usually there are five prayers per day (dispersed at different times of the day).
  • Provide permission to leave class / lab / seminar / commencement to pray or break fast (for few minutes).
  • Be mindful of evening programs that may conflict with worship time.
  • Be mindful of students praying in quiet hallways or rooms.

Food Availability

  • Nutritious food made available for suhoor (the early morning meal).
  • Extended dining hall hours as per iftar schedule.
  • Availability of food at events, commencements, and classes during iftar time.