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Reflecting on Ramadan

Emma Sharma, Correspondent

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Celebrated by Muslims all around the globe, Ramadan is a holy Islamic holiday (this year occurring mostly in June) dedicated to fasting, prayer, and meditation. It’s acknowledged as the month in which Muhammad was encountered by Allah, the holy god of Islam, and became the Muslim prophet. It’s widely considered to be a time of reflection in which to acknowledge those in the world that face starvation on a day-to-day basis, and live impoverished lives. It also serves as a way to cleanse one’s soul from any negative impurities.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims continue their everyday lives, going about with business as usual; however there is no eating or drinking from Sunrise to Sunset during the entire month and one must avoid smoking and sexual behavior at all costs. Followers are also to read the entire Qur’an, attend mosque more often than usual, and say special prayers. The first meal of each day (before sunrise) is called “suhoor,” and each day’s fast is concluded with a big feast called “iftar” in which a date is eaten, followed by an elaborate meal with friends and family. The day after the conclusion of Ramadan is observed with the feast of breaking the fast, known as “Eid-Al-Fitr.” Eid-Al-Fitr is a three-day festival celebrated with special prayers, the exchange of gifts, and meals with friends and family.

Given the plethora of students at Stamford High that have Islamic backgrounds and observe Ramadan, I decided to ask some of my Islamic peers what’s their favorite part about the holiday and what they tend to eat after breaking fast each day. “Iftar (is my favorite part of Ramadan) because it’s when you finally get to break your fast,” says Shazeda Khatun, grade 10. “People mostly break their fast with dates because it’s good to do so, but cold beverages are good too.” Another SHS sophomore who requested that their name be withheld added, “During the month of Ramadan, anyone who has the means to give back donates to those in need. My favorite part would be helping others because it’s a reminder to always be kind and grateful for what you have.”

Make sure you wish your Muslim friend or neighbor a Happy Ramadan or “Ramadan Kareem” this Ramadan season.

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Reflecting on Ramadan