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From dawn to dusk: Ramadan 2024

Muslims+gather+at+the+mosque+to+offer+Taraweeh+%28night+prayers%29+after+breaking+their+fast%2C+often+finishing+around+12am.+Photo+used+with+permission+from+Sarah+Hussain.
Muslims gather at the mosque to offer Taraweeh (night prayers) after breaking their fast, often finishing around 12am. Photo used with permission from Sarah Hussain.

As the crescent moon ushers in the Islamic month of Ramadan, Muslims worldwide embark on a journey of spiritual reflection and steadfast devotion. 

After the new moon’s sighting, Ramadan began on Monday, March 11, 2024, and will last approximately 30 days until April 10, 2024. During this month, Muslims must abstain from food, beverages and other physical needs from dawn to dusk until the fast is broken each evening with a meal known as iftar. Ramadan serves as a month for those practicing Islam to purify their souls, practice self-discipline and empathize with those who are less fortunate.

As Muslims eagerly engage in Ramadan celebrations, they are reminded of the values of compassion, gratitude and empathy that are instilled through their religion. In an interview with the GH Falcon, Green Hope Muslim Student Association (MSA) President Jana Tagel-Din (‘24) reflected on what Ramadan means to her.

“Ramadan is definitely my favorite time of the year,” she said. “Being with my family everyday and eating together, seeing my friends at night and staying up until sunrise with them [and] strengthening my connection with God really makes Ramadan hold a very special place in my heart,” she said. 

During Ramadan, Muslims often gather for post-iftar dinners and celebrations. (Zeba Hussaini)

Sarah Hussain (‘25), MSA Vice President added, “During Ramadan, I go to the mosque a lot for iftar (breaking of that fast) and Taraweeh (night prayers). I also like to spend a lot of time with my family. We always break our fast and pray together. We enjoy spending time with our Muslim family members and friends.”

For many students, the month of Ramadan coincides with school and work. With academic commitments such as final exams, assignments and projects, fasting can present physical and mental challenges including fatigue, decreased concentration and less sleep. Despite these obstacles, students such as Majeedur Mohammed (‘25) are determined to fulfill their religious duties while juggling their academic responsibilities.

“Fasting can be difficult if you make it be,” he said. “The only time that I really cannot focus is after breaking my fast, solely because I’m more worried about going to pray and seeing my friends. But that time period is between 3-7 p.m., I’m working. I set it as a goal or a reward – sort of in a way that if I get work done by this time, I get to eat.”

Tagel-Din echoed Mohammed’s sentiments, emphasizing that prioritizing is key to balancing school and religious commitments.

“It’s a little hard at first since you’re not used to the changes, but I like to balance everything by prioritizing my physical health and academics after school and before sunset and getting my work done, [then] focusing solely on Ramadan traditions and surrounding myself with my community once the sunsets,” she said.

Hussain also shared the learning experiences that came hand in hand with her celebration of Ramadan. “A lot of what comes with fasting is learning to balance yourself and your life. So knowing that in the morning, I have to eat enough food to last me the whole day. I think that starts building those healthy time management skills and food habits for not just this month, but for the rest of your life,” she added. 

After breaking their fast and offering the evening prayer, Muslims indulge in a variety of dinner options. (Zeba Hussaini)

While the entire month holds significance, the last 10 nights of Ramadan hold a uniquely profound importance to Muslims around the world. These final nights are important due to the belief that the Night of Decree falls within this period. Muslims consider the Night of Decree as the time when the first verses of the Islamic holy book, the Qur’an, were revealed. Acts of worship during the last 10 nights are believed to be more rewarding than those performed over a thousand months.

During these final days of Ramadan, Muslims engage in increased acts of worship, such as prayers during the night, recitation of the Qur’an and seeking forgiveness from God. 

“The last 10 nights are said to be one of the most blessed,” Hussain stated. “God is the most forgiving during this time – Muslims pray and ask for forgiveness for anything that they’ve done or anything that they’ve done. We also pray for the things that we want in life. It’s just a really blessed time with the Lord in the year.”

Ramadan remains a deeply significant time for Muslims worldwide, fostering spiritual reflection, solidarity and acts of charity. As the month comes to an end, its impact goes beyond religious boundaries, promoting compassion, self-discipline and understanding.

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About the Contributor
Zeba Hussaini, Editor-in-Chief

Zeba Hussaini is a nationally recognized writer best known for her timely coverage on local and international news. Her main responsibilities include creating content, overseeing publication and site maintenance. Beyond her academic and journalistic pursuits, Zeba is a member of Key Club, American Cancer Society, and serves as President of Quill & Scroll National Honor Society and National Psychology Honor Society. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, spending time with family, and trying new recipes. Zeba looks forward to leveraging her skills and experience to leave a lasting impact on the student body and broader community!

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