Ramadan begins for the Muslim community

Fasting and prayer key components of the month long observance


Lehava Taybe via the PikiWiki

Muslim students on campus have started to celebrate Ramadan. “I know my spirituality is something I can always push myself to do better with,” senior Tushamma Rahim said. “Things like praying more or reading Quran, I want to make an intention to do more and better.”

Ramadan, which begins Monday, is a holy month when Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammed. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and during this month, Muslims are required to fast from dawn until dusk.

“Ramadan is the one month in the entire year that I feel truly connected to God, my community and my religion,” senior Amina Syeda said. “During Ramadan, I am actively volunteering at my mosque, and this year I have the fortunate opportunity to even plan some of the events we have for the youth. I also, volunteer at food drives and package meals for the hungry. During Ramadan, I strive to be the best person possible because this is the one month where Muslims all over the world will be experiencing the same things that I am.”

Muslims all over the world celebrate Ramadan, which is designed to purify one’s soul and to collect a bountiful amount of blessings from Allah.

But the month is about more than fasting as the prayer Taraweeh, takes place every night during the month of Ramadan.

“It is highly recommended for us to go and pray Taraweeh because it is believed to purify the soul and bring you closer to God,” Syeda said. “Taraweeh is also extremely calming and a gentle prayer. It is also highly encouraged to recite the entirety of our Holy Book, the Quran throughout the course of this month. It is encouraged to give as much as possible to charity. Ramadan is also a time we feel the pain of hunger that a large portion of our population on this world feel on a daily basis. Therefore, this month is also about helping the needy as much as possible. There are many many things that are extremely beneficial to do during Ramadan.”

Although food and drink are not allowed from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, other blessings are given in return.

“Ramadan to me means giving back to others and connecting with God,” senior Mursal Sahibzadah said. “Also it makes me appreciate all the blessings that I have. The importance of Ramadan is to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam. Ramadan is the month in which Allah Almighty opens his doors of mercy, forgiveness and blessings upon Muslims.”

Going without nourishment during the day, allows Muslims to focus on a different type of nourishment during the month of Ramadan.

“It’s more than just giving up on food and water,” Syeda said. “It’s about focusing on one’s spiritual health and evaluating one’s relationship with Allah (God) and working towards improving that. All year long we focus on nourishing our bodies, this is a time to shift our focus from that to nourishing the spiritual component of our being by working toward instilling good habits while resisting the urge to indulge in sins. The fact that a person can make it through the entire day without basic necessities of food and water, is a life testament to the fact that they can definitely live without fulfilling every single desire of theirs.”

For freshman Aaqib Salim, the month brings greater appreciation for food, and all the things many take for granted.

“Personally I love it because, I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s just like a part of me that, I just appreciate more, once I get I older,” Salim said. “Keep appreciating Ramadan more, and think about all the people that stay hungry, and poor, and it makes you just appreciate food more, at the end of Ramadan.”

Making it a month without food during the day can be difficult, but the spiritual satisfaction, and the celebration of Eid at the end make it worth it for many Muslims.

“It [Ramadan] just makes you like feel better, more appreciative, more thankful to God for his mercy and all of that,” Salim said. “After, Eid is basically this festival at the end of Ramadan. Basically we celebrate, basically like Christmas for us, and instead, we fast for 30 days before basically Christmas.”