From the 6th of May to the 3rd of June, 1.8 billion people around the world celebrated Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. It is an extremely sacred time for people of Muslim faith, and because of this, they have several traditions and customs to observe. Ramadan is actually such an important part of the Islamic faith that fasting during Ramadan is one of the Arkān al-Islāmh, or five pillars of their faith. While Ramadan is accompanied by feasting and celebration all over in Muslim dominant countries, most people don’t realize how much this celebration affects people all over the world, including the Untied States
Because of this, we talked with some of our Muslim students who were fasting during Ramadan, in order to shine a light on this important piece of culture and history, and how it’s evolved over time with the modern world.
“I think Ramadan is important because it brings families and friends together, and I guess it’s nice to have something to bond over. It’s very awkward trying to talk to elderly people with thick accents, and they always seem a little angry. But when Ramadan comes around, everyone is always smiling, and at sunset we have a giant meal together.” said Farhad Nahesh, a sophomore at Albemarle, when we asked about his favorite part of Ramadan.
“I mean, the not eating or drinking during the day is extremely hard with soccer, like with games and I finally get pulled out to take a break, and I still can’t drink any water it’s so frustrating.” he continued, when we asked what he thought was the worst part about Ramadan.
Ramadan originally started out as a personal thing, with only a few celebrations during the month. But now as it’s grown and evolved it’s become a cultural and familial event, something where without your family and community, the holiday feels like it’s missing something.
“I started fasting when I was 7 years old, in India. For your first fast they throw you a huge celebration and all your family, friends and neighbors are there, and I think that memory is what motivates me to continue fasting every year.” said Kaukafb Rizvi, a Sophomore at AHS.
Ramadan is more than a month of just fasting, and it’s something hard to describe as other than giving you a sense of community and purpose.
Then when we asked Rizvi if Ramadan has changed who he is,
“I think fasting has definitely made me a better person, and Ramadan instilled values in me I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Breaking fasts with people your close too, is a kind of amazing experience. It forms a bond.”