Ramadan Mubarak: Celebrate Ramadan with the Muslim Student Alliance
The Muslim Student Alliance, also known as MSA, is a club that aims to address and eliminate the misconceptions of Islam and to unite Muslims and non-Muslims through camaraderie and solidarity. From April 12 through May 12, MSA is shifting its focus to a most important occasion: Ramadan.
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the holy month of Islam. Throughout the month, Muslims around the world abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset to focus on their faith and their devotion to Allah. The purpose of the fast is for Muslims to get a first-hand account of what less fortunate people experience on a daily basis. A pre-dawn meal, called sehri, and a night meal, known as iftar, allow Muslims to replenish their bodies before their daily fasting begins again.
As fasting can be taxing on the body, MSA says many Muslims prepare for Ramadan before the month begins. Some people practice fasting one or twice a week to get ready not only physically but also mentally and spiritually.
“Ramadan is not just a month but a mentality. It allows us to practice our faith and get an extra reward for it. It is not just a one-time event. Rather it is a domino effect in which new habits of faith are adopted and continued during and after Ramadan,” says Danyal Shah, co-president of MSA.
The month-long spiritual reflection also requires praying five times a day from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and reading the Quran. As the Quran was revealed during the holy month, many Muslims read it from beginning to end during the 30 days. The last 10 days of Ramadan, known as The Night of Power, ensure that Muslims began intensive prayer beginning at 3:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Additional blessings are said to readily flow from Allah during the final days of Ramadan. Besides fasting and prayer, MSA members say Muslims are urged to give to charity throughout the month, one of the pillars of Islam.
“Ramadan is not just about abstaining from food and drink but also about charity and practicing patience and kindness,” says Shah.
The end of Ramadan is followed by an exciting three-day celebration, called Eid-al-Fitr. The day starts with numerous prayers and a big meal, both serving as main events. The remainder of the time is spent with family and friends celebrating the achievement one of the most important and crucial religious duties of Islam, says MSA.
“In the streets, if you see Muslims hugging each other, it is because they are spreading their feeling of goodwill. This is the power of Ramadan because it brings people closer to Allah (SWT) and makes them appreciate everything more than they did before,” says MSA.
If you are non-Muslim but want to still support Muslims in the community during Ramadan, Members of MSA say there are several ways non-Muslims can support their Muslim friends during Ramandan, including saying, “Happy Ramadan” or “Ramadan Mubarak” because it is a thoughtful gesture that means a lot to the Muslim community.
“Ramadan is tough during the lockdown. This is our second Ramadan during the pandemic and it can feel lonely and isolating, as we cannot see family and friends so the days feel longer. Do check-in on your Muslim friends and colleagues during this month,” says Shah.
This article was written by Riley Moscicki ’21, a PR Writing Intern with the Office of Marketing and Communications.