A Holy Month: Ramadan


Muslims performing the prayer of Taraweeh which is done after the 5th prayer of the day. Taraweeh is a longer prayer that involves the recitation of passages from the Quran with rakahs (or cycles of movement) ranging from 4-20. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:First_Taraweeh_in_Hagia_Sophia_02.jpg

Alizah Hashmi, In-Depth Writer


As Ramadan began on March 22nd, it is important to take a moment to understand what Ramadan means, what is done in Ramadan and what a Muslim or Non-Muslim can do to get the most benefits out of this holy month. 



Image of the Crescent Moon indicating the beginning of Ramadan.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crescent_Moon_(2558144570).jpg


According to Brittanica, in a literal sense, Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic Calendar and it marks the beginning of the holy month of fasting. The month starts when the moon is viewed in its crescent phase. 


But on a more spiritual level, Ramadan is a month of worship where Muslims surrender from the distractions of the world and focus on their religious growth and their relationship with their god, Allah (SWT) سبحانه وتعالى. 



During Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating during the day as they fast from sunrise to sunset. It is done with the intention of not only building a closer relationship with God but also to develop self-control, compassion and empathy for those that are less fortunate. During this time, Muslims have the opportunity to better themselves through intense self-reflection and betterment by avoiding lying, swearing, backbiting, viewing questionable content and participating in meaningless (petty) activities. 


Besides praying five times a day, those that are fasting spend their time reading the Quran (the sacred book of Islam), performing extra prayers, attending religious gatherings and donating their time and money to ensure that the Ramadan experience for the less fortunate is just as memorable. 



The Muslims at Glenbard South, will be fasting during the month of Ramadan to work on both themselves and their relationship with their god, Allah (SWT) سبحانه وتعالى. They will also use this month to grow and maintain their self-control and gratitude towards others while refraining from negative behaviors.


On the other hand, the Non-Muslims at South can interact with this holy month in their own way. First, they can begin with understanding what this month means for Muslims on both a physical and mental level; just this understanding alone can be the biggest support for a practicing Muslim. Also important is making sure that one does not include their Muslim friends in activities that include lying, backbiting, fighting, etc. One should also keep an eye on their friends and encourage them to not use profane language and participate in negative activities.


The month Ramadan is a beautiful and memorable month that comes around every year. In a way, this is a month for all of us to better ourselves and truly keep the rest of our year on track. This is a time for everyone to reflect on themselves,consider the needs of others and be a helping hand to everyone.