Ramadan: Holy Month For All Muslims in the World

         Ramadan is Islam’s holiest month and a special time for Muslims all over the world. Ramadan commemorates the revealing of the holy book Islam’s “Al-Quran.” During that month, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset.
Jordan Turner is a junior student at Blair who was not a Muslim before but has recently converted to Islam. He is fasting in Ramadan. ”God commanded Muslims to fast for Ramadan in the Quran, chapter 2, verse 183,” he said.
         Everyday the fasting starts at sunrise and continues until sunset. Right after sunset, Muslims will break their fast with dates and water at the sunset prayer. For the main meal, Muslims can eat anything they want. “We just eat normal good stuff, mostly dates,” Jordan said.
         Ramadan is actually hard for some students “I sometimes have trouble running in P.E.,” senior Indra Hidayat said. So for students wanting to fast, it can be hard to keep up with school activities.
Because fasting can be difficult, youth under the age of 14, travelers, sick people and women in certain conditions are exempted from the fast.
Also the required prayers during the month make it difficult for students to balance schoolwork and Islamic obligations. “Almost every night, for about an hour and a half, the Quran is recited in prayer,” Jordan said.      
          Ramadan should show the Muslims how less fortunate people often have to live. “By doing it, you feel what poor people are going through and how hard it is for them,” senior Sabila Chowdhury said. “The Ramadan makes you build a social relationship with poor people, and give them money. Come Judgment Day, God will see what you did well in your life and will forgive you for what you have done earlier.” Sabila added that it also makes Muslims more grateful to God because you realize his bounty.
          One of the nice things about Ramadan is when you get together for eating in the mornings and the evenings. “It is also good for your health,” Sabila said. Some people lose weight and some under medical control take less medicine.
           Muslims start Ramadan based on when the new moon is formed, and that’s because the Islamic calendar is based on a lunar calendar. So it begins when the waxing crescent moon is seen after the new moon. Ramadan is about thirty days long, and it ends when the new moon is seen. A sophomore student at Blair, Areeb Quasen, said, “The Quran says, ‘Begin fasting when you see the new crescent moon. End fasting when you see it again.’”
           Some Muslims insist on seeing the new moon because it makes the lunar calendar simpler. This calendar varies each year. For example: This year Ramadan was in October, so next year, it will be in September. It depends on the cycle of the full moon.” If we see the full moon for example tonight, based on the month indicated in the calendar, then we start fasting the next day until the moon gets smaller again,” Indra said. Some people start at a different days or time because they don’t see the moon at the same time as the others.
           Eid-ul-fitr is when the next moon is seen, the day after the end of Ramadan. The festival of Eid is a time of celebration as people reflect on their faith and lives. Muslims unite at mosques for prayer, large meals, and gift giving. On this day, Muslims are prohibited from fasting. It marks the end of Ramadan.

© Copyright Silver International Newspaper, Montgomery Blair H.S. 2005 (This page was created by josephine)