BY HAYAT AYDIN
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast, or abstain from any foods and drinks, from sunrise to sunset to become closer with Allah and their loved ones. This year, Ramadan began on the evening of April 1, and ended on the evening of May 1. Today marks Eid-al Fitr, which signifies the end of Ramadan.
While Muslims all around the world honor Ramadan, the traditions and meanings behind the month vary from family to family, including the families of OBHS students. Nusraat Chowdhury, a freshman, shared, “One really important thing that my family values during Ramadan is to spend time with family and friends. My parents always remind my siblings and I that Ramadan is not only just a time where we fast the entire day, but is also a time where we try to reconnect with our family members.”
In order to represent Muslim students at OBHS, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) hosted an Iftar dinner, which was held in the library of the main building. At this event, students got together to break their fasts, take part in a prayer, and enjoy a meal with one another. Sarah Amin, a board member of the MSA, said, “Our main purpose of holding this Iftar was to share our culture with other Muslims and non-Muslims.”
While certain traditions, such as breaking fasts with dates and water, remain common amongst the majority of people who celebrate Ramadan, some aspects, such as the dishes eaten during Iftar, vary from person to person. “My family and I usually eat a lot of Pakistani and dishes like kebabs, potato samosas, and pakoras. We also enjoy eating fresh fruit salads and spring rolls. And for dessert we usually have baklava or kheer,” explained Rohma Fatima, a freshman.
Eid-al Fitr, which is a holiday that commemorates the end of Ramadan, is often celebrated by giving gifts and visiting family. Muslims take part in special morning prayer, as well as prepare and eat special meals. Ramadan begins and ends with the sighting of a crescent moon, which means that this year, Eid-al Fitr takes place today, May 2.
Although the holiday does mark the end of Ramadan, every year, Muslims all around the world celebrate the month as a way to become closer with Allah and to spend time with their loved ones. “The importance of Ramadan to me is that it allows me to devote myself to my faith and to get closer to god,” said Fatima. “It also helps me practice self-control and sacrifice, and it makes me feel empathy for the less fortunate.”
Posted on 5/2/22
Photos provided by Harpreet Malhi