Emily VanGorder – Staff Writer
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims across the world observe the month as a time for fasting, prayer, reflection and community. Ramadan celebrates the month in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
“The main goal [of Ramadan] is spiritual growth and becoming a better version of yourself,” Hana’a Alhosawi, Co-President of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), said.
The beginning of Ramadan is determined by the new moon. This year, Ramadan will begin between Monday, April 12 and Tuesday, April 13.
“We [Muslims] are totally abstinent from eating, drinking and sexual relations starting from dawn to dusk and throughout the 29 or 30 days of Ramadan, in addition to avoiding anger and immoral behavior and showing compassion to others,” Alhosawi said.
Healthy and mature adults abstain from before the sunrise prayer, Fajr, until after the sunset prayer, Maghrib, when they break their fast with the Iftar evening meal. Acts of charity and reading the Quran are also encouraged throughout the month.
COVID-19 has made this time more difficult for Muslims. In Saudi Arabia, many mosques have been closed and large social gatherings have been prohibited.
“Many people will not be able to visit friends and family, or their local mosque, which might be hard for students especially on campus where they can’t be with family or friends. Make sure to check in on your friends who you know are fasting. We are trying our best to provide the additional support that Muslim students need. We have special traditional foods that will be served in the Caf during Ramadan, are planning virtual events, care packages on the way, and community-based activities, ” Alhosawi said.
Ramadan ends with Eid al-Fitr, of the “Festival of Breaking Fast”.
“Muslims all over the world celebrate the holiday… and all our hard work and dedication during Ramadan,” Alhosawi said.
“The Muslim Student Association, or MSA, is a group-driven orgainization of spiritually driven and passionate individuals seeking clarity through religious guidance, and I’m excited to see where our spiritial endeavors and questions take us… our group works on providing support for the Muslim community and is their voice in additoin to educating the Gustavus community about Islam and Islamic cultures,” Alhosawi said.
The MSA has the following message for students:
If you know that your friend, classmate, or student is fasting make sure to check on them often and be there for them. Please make sure to follow us on Instagram, @msa.GAC, for all updates. Lastly, have a wonderful and pleasant Ramadan, and remember MSA is here for you.
make sure to check on them often and be there for them. Please make sure to follow us on Instagram, @msa.GAC, for all updates. Lastly, have a wonderful and pleasant Ramadan, and remember MSA is here for you.