Ramadan is not only the ninth month of the Islamic calendar but also the holiest and most sacred month of the year in the Islamic culture, and the Muslim community is in the midst of it right now.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. However, fasting is not only about abstaining from food and drink, but Muslims must also refrain from smoking, engaging in sexual activities, as well as gossip, fighting and lying. This is all so Muslims can spend more time connecting with God rather than doing something unbeneficial or considered a sin.
A day in a Muslim’s life begins by waking up before dawn to have Suhur (a pre-dawn meal); fasting begins as soon as morning prayer is called. The Muslim continues the day as always and breaks their fast at sunset. Muslims starts to fast upon reaching puberty. Some people are exempted, such as those who are ill or frail; women who are pregnant or menstruating; of old age; and travelers. Someone who cannot fast traditionally must feed one poor person for each day missed.
At the end of Ramadan, which began on May 15 and continues to June 15, a three-day religious holiday known as Eid al-Fitr occurs. During this time, Muslims rejoice in the completion of fasting. Millions of Muslims around the world dress in their finest clothing and gather with friends and family to celebrate. They begin their day by going to the mosque, then visit family. Eid is also the time to show appreciation to those around and give back to the less fortunate. Family members and friends gather to share gifts and prayers.
On March 29th, 2018, Eid al-Fitr was recognized by the Wayne Township school system as an official holiday in the next year’s school calendar. Muslim students will finally have a day off during their religious holiday and won’t have to pick between school and religion. The holiday is celebrated on June 16 this year and June 5 next!
Muslim students rejoice because, for the first time, they feel accepted. They now can celebrate without having to worry about making up a test or completing homework.
Sophomore Mazen Ayash shared, “I feel so happy because I get to celebrate this day without having to go to school and spend this day with my family without worrying about school work.”
Another Sophomore, Afi Ibragimov, exclaims, “It feels great that we are finally getting recognition!”
However it is not only Muslims students that are happy about this holiday addition to the calendar, but other students are pleased as well. Sophomore Hailey Montanaro stated, “I think it is good that they have days off for another religion because there are a lot of Christian holidays and Jewish holidays but we do not ever have time off for Muslim holidays, so I think it’s cool.”
Numerous students are excited to finally be able to celebrate this wonderful holiday with a day off from school.
Many Muslim students, including Sophomore Sarah Al Shabani, agree that “everybody has their own religious holiday and it’s about time ours is being included on the calendar.” This thought is held true amongst many students in Wayne Hills High School and other Wayne Schools District.
Granting students a day off of school on Eid not only gives Islam the recognition it has been lacking but also provides Muslim students with a comforting feeling that they belong. Honestly, “It’s about time,” said Sophomore Anisa Sarwar.