Feature Photo By: Sara Elouadi- Dates are known as the food Prophet Muhammad ate to break his fast. People to this day continue to eat the fruit.
By: Sara Elouadi, Review Staff
One month every year Muslims all around the world participate in Ramadan. Ramadan is a holy month in which Muslims devote their time to praise Allah (God) where they participate in restraining from food and water (sawm) from sunrise to sunset. The Ramadan month frame is always set back 10 days; it does not have set date due to the Arabic calendar being a lunar calendar. The first day of Ramadan is always dependent on the visibility of the crescent moon.
Every morning Muslims wake up to have suhoor and break their fast at the end of the day with Iftar. These two meals are usually the only meals that one eats everyday for the month.
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and is expected of adults and kids who have reached puberty. The children, elderly, those who are ill, pregnant, breastfeeding, traveling, or menstruating are all exempt from fasting. However those who cannot fast the entire month are expected to give charity throughout the month – whether it’s money or food anything is accepted at any Mosque. Those who are traveling or menstruating must make-up the days they missed throughout the year before the next Ramadan.
“I enjoy going to taraweeh prayer, I get to see a lot of my muslim friends I don’t see often and it’s just nice knowing other people who understand what Ramadan is like,” said freshman, Sarah Bendahmane.
This year Ramadan started May 17th and is predicted to end June 14th or 15th depending on the moon. Throughout the month Mosques hold night prayers called Taraweeh. Taraweeh prayer has 14-20 rakats and is divided into 2 rakats per prayer, each lasting around 10 minutes each. Taraweeh prayer at first goes on from 9:30pm-10:30pm immediately following the Isha prayer, as the month goes on another hour is added as the surahs from the Quran get longer until the end of the month when they shorten again.
Although Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims non Muslims are welcome to participate if they please.
Junior Payton Deeds has chosen to attempt to fast the whole month, “I am very excited to be apart of a tradition for a different culture that I don’t know much about! I chose to fast this Ramadan for my best friend, I didn’t want her to have to fast alone!”
Fasting and prayer are major parts of Ramadan but this holy month is also a time for spiritual reflection. People make goals before the month starts, whether it is to quit bad habits or start good habits; it’s a resolution people choose to make during the month and aspire to continue and strengthen throughout the year.
Ramadan Kareem to everyone who is fasting.
For more information about Ramadan check out the links below: