LHS Students Observe Ramadan

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims that occurs during the ninth month of the Arabic calendar. This year, Ramadan is from March 10th until April 9th. During Ramadan, Muslims all around the world fasting from sunrise to sunset. The reason for fasting is to stop sinning in general as well as get closer to the religion spiritually.

Ramadan can be seen by non-Muslim people as something that’s an impossible challenge. As a Muslim after getting used to doing it every year it gets easier and easier to not eat, but (personally) it’s also become easier to get more in touch with my spirituality during this holy month.

I spoke to a few Muslim students at Leonia High School to talk about their experiences with Ramadan. For senior Adam Abdel-Razek, Ramadan affects his life as a student “because it makes my life harder as I play baseball after school” but Adam also pointed out that now, “it doesn’t affect me as much as I’ve gotten used to over the years.” Regarding baseball, Adam said his coaches tell him if he ever needs any time to stop and rest or if he doesn’t want to fully do the running they’d let him. He sees that as an obstacle in his path and he just hurdles over it, staying dedicated to the fasting and choosing to run even if he’s thirsty or hungry while doing so. 

Another senior, Habiba Hassan, said that fasting during Ramadan “I feel more tired and unwilling to do work on an empty stomach.” Ziad Zaki, a junior, noted a similar challenge, “It makes me tired overall and I just have trouble paying attention in class.” 

One of the cultural traditions Adam observes was the Crescent Lighting on the first day of fasting. Habiba says of the holy days, “When I used to visit egypt I would always love making foods and sweet treats like atayaf.” Ziad added, “Me and my brother have participated in events at the Mosque.” 

As upperclassmen, Adam, Habiba, and Ziad have also learned a lot about their faith through fasting and growing up actively practicing it. When asked what prompted their interest in learning more about their faith, the students reflected on their journeys. Ziad said his father “had me learn more about the month and the significance of it” from a young age. Adam shared, “As I got older I realized that I needed to start thinking more for myself religiously.” Habiba’s experience is also tied to her family, as she observes “I grew up seeing my family fast so I began fasting since I was 9 years old and ever since then I enjoyed doing it and participating in it every year.”

Overall, the goal of the month is to become a better person by stopping unhealthy or negative habits. But it shouldn’t be mistaken if you just stop these actions for the month, you would ideally want to use the 30 days to practice stopping this sin to end up stopping it completely after those 30 days have come up.