Ramadan: a month of fasting & reflection

Sarim Khan, Staff Writer

In the early hours of the morning, all across the world, Muslims wake up to eat a meal before the long day of fasting, where one cannot eat anything. What is the purpose, and how does it work? Ramadan is a yearly observance in which Muslims fast, from sunrise to sunset, every day for 30 days. It never happens at a set time of the year as it is based on a lunar calendar. Usually, it is signified with the first sighting of the crescent moon, which occurred on March 22nd this year.

A common misconception is that one who is fasting can still drink water. This is unfortunately not true. To combat that, early in the morning, before sunrise, a meal called Suhoor is eaten. Everyone tends to eat foods that provide long term energy and also hydration at this time. Eating food at four-thirty in the morning while half asleep may not be the most ideal, especially with the sleep schedule of a high schooler, but this early-morning meal provides the energy to get through the day and makes fasting simpler.

Another misconception is that everyone has to fast, no matter what. This is not true. If someone is ill, too young (considered 10 years or under), traveling long distances, pregnant, or menstruating, they do not have to fast. Additionally, individuals who fast can not have orally administered medications, mints, or gum, but swallowing their saliva will not invalidate your fast. A nice thing about fasting for Ramadan is that if someone somehow manages to forget that they are fasting, and accidentally eats something, they can just immediately stop eating and their fast is still valid.

As Ramadan came upon the horizon in the calendar, what did Liberty faculty do in order to accommodate for Muslim students, and what do students think about them? 

Liberty began communicating to students in the morning announcements of spaces that could be used for those who were fasting and wanted an alternative space,” Principal Andrew Brownson said. 

Those rooms were Michelle Munson’s for first lunch, and Kaela Yuen’s for second lunch. 

“Prior to Ramadan, as a part of my weekly email to staff, I reminded them that we would have some students observing Ramadan. I asked them to be considerate of that, especially subjects involving physical activity such as P.E.” Brownson stated. 

Muslim Liberty students do find these measures to be helpful. 

“The measures are better than nothing,” junior Minot Elias said. “Though it is kind of the bare minimum, it’s still nice to have.”

The conclusion of Ramadan is celebrated with Eid-al Fitr, which was on April 21st. It roughly translates to “Festival of Breaking the Fast”. It is a day of celebration, where families get together and feast. It is essentially a massive food binge to compensate for the lack of food for the last 30 days. The day starts off with a mass prayer at the mosque, and then after the prayer is done, people usually gather together and celebrate the day with their family and friends. In conclusion, Ramadan is the month of  personal reflection for the billions of Muslims around the world. Through fasting, one deepens their sense of community, and also develops gratefulness for the things in their lives.