By Hania Raza '24
Most people do not know much about the month of Ramadan and its significance to Muslims around the world.
Every year, Ramadan is celebrated and observed by more than two billion people with day-long fasting from sunrise to sunset. In addition to self-control, it also encourages charity by invoking an appreciation for a privileged life and its comforts.
Because Islam follows the lunar calendar, Ramadan occurs a little bit earlier every year. This year, it started in the Spring, which happens to be the busiest school season of all due to AP and final exams as well as big state games for athletes.
School life in the United States during Ramadan is somewhat different from many countries with a Muslim majority population.
Although studies from the Institute of Labor Economics have shown that fasting improves performance in school among students, the school day is modified in some countries for prayer and naps. Friday, a sacred day for Muslims, is a day when school and work are off in many areas during Ramadan.
Although many people believe that these modifications are not necessary in the United States, Ramadan certainly deserves to be talked about in schools to educate the faculty and staff along with the non-Muslim students.
With Debbie Taylor in the new position of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director, the school is becoming more and more adaptive to Muslims during Ramadan. Because some students are fasting, the conference room has been reserved for Muslims as a quiet room during lunch. In addition, the faculty and staff are aware of the students who are observing Ramadan and what it means to them.
Umair Rasul ‘24 explained the significance of Ramadan. “It takes a lot of self-control for someone to fast for the entire month,” said Rasul, “It shows patience, which is a big part of Islam. It’s not that it affects your mood at all. It’s really hard to do, so it helps a lot of your self reservation.”
As of right now, the student body has been left to educate themselves about what Ramadan is and the importance of the month to Muslim students.
“I think it maybe deserves a little more attention,” said Rasul, “because a lot of people don’t know that you’re fasting, and they try and offer you food.”
Maida Ahmad ‘27, a Muslim student, said “I agree that Ramadan does not get enough attention at our school, but I understand that the faculty is aware of the students who are fasting. The kids, however, do not know much about this month, so it would be better if they were educated about it.”
To educate students about Ramadan, schools could provide time for a short presentation about it during morning announcements. This would improve the understanding of culture and religion among the students.