Ramadan celebrations unify Muslim community

Sofia Cole, Layla Mohamed, and Sara Rahman

Late nights with family, enough food to feed hundreds, and a month spent with time to reflect and better yourself spiritually is what the holy month of Ramadan means to most Muslims, junior Ishmael Khandokar said.

Starting March 22, Muslims all over the world will fast from sunrise to sunset, which includes not drinking or eating, in order to observe Ramadan, Khandokar said.

“Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims where you get closer to Islam,” Khandokar said. “You [also] get closer with your family and your relationship with God.”

Similarly, freshman Umar Nadeem looks forward to strengthening his bond with his family and faith during Ramadan this year.

“We fast and [do a prayer] at night called Tarawih [which] gets me closer to my religion,” Nadeem said.

Although Ramadan is an important spiritual experience, it can also be challenging for some, senior Inayah Mohammed said.

“Ramadan can be really challenging, especially from a physical aspect,” Inayah said. “Fasting also affects my everyday sleep cycle due to having to wake up early for [sunrise meals].”

Aware of these challenges, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) will be providing activities throughout the month to encourage Muslims and help educate the student body about the celebration of Ramadan, Inayah said.

“The MSA has been doing a lot of prep for Ramadan,” Inayah said. “We have been planning a lot of group activities to bring a strong sense of community to the month.”

Sophomore Ammar Khan explained how the MSA can help Muslim students at South persist through the month of Ramadan.

“Being able to hang out with people my age and go through the same tasks is nice [because we] relate to each other [during] this time,” Khan said.

Mo Raja, Instructional Assistant of the English Department, added that Ramadan is more than just fasting throughout the day and eating loads of food throughout the evening, and he looks forward to the tradition and comfort that surround the month.

“Sometimes [people] forget the beauty of Ramadan,” Raja said. “People think that we’re starving, but [Ramadan is also] a practice. The month is about praying [and] being around my family, [Which I am] looking forward to that.”

Being a Muslim student during Ramadan allows sophomore Haniah Mohammed to share her beliefs and traditions with others who do not observe Ramadan.

“For my non-Muslim friends, we can form a stronger bond by learning the differences I have compared to them,” Haniah said.