The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

A millennium-and-a-half year old tradition- Ramadan (2024)

GBHS students speak on the holiest month of the Islamic calendar
Ramadan Quran Reading, Goharshad Mosque, Mashhad
(Creative Commons)
Meysam Dehghani
Ramadan Quran Reading, Goharshad Mosque, Mashhad (Creative Commons)

1414 years ago, the Prophet Muhammad sat in prayer in a cave on the outskirts of Mecca. It was here, during the month of Ramadan, that Muhammad is said to have received his first revelations from the archangel Jibril delivering a message from God. 

Laylat al-Qadr roughly translates to “Night of Power,” which describes this night that Muslims believe the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to Muhammad from Jibril. Since Laylat al-Qadr occurred during Ramadan, it has been regarded by Muslims as the holiest month and a time to commemorate the deliverance of the Qur’an to the Prophet. 

1414 years from that day, 1.9 billion Muslims still commemorate this event. Only about 0.3% of Muslims currently reside in the Americas, while many others live in Muslim majority countries which shorten or even cancel work and school hours so as to observe traditions like sawm in Ramadan, “sawm” meaning fasting. 

“In places like Malaysia or Middle Eastern countries, schools get that break or they get out early during the entire month,” senior Siahmo Newsome said, whose cousin currently attends a private Islamic school and has early release around noon.

Story continues below advertisement

From an outside perspective, abstaining from all food or drink from dawn till dusk may seem to require significant discipline and struggle, but for many Muslims, Ramadan is a time of peaceful reflection and unity in one’s family and community. 

“Outside of Ramadan, my family is not very consistent in eating all together at the table. So, Ramadan serves as a way for us to come together since we eat together for 30 nights,” senior Amre Abumarkhieh said, relating to suhoor and iftar, the meals taken before the sun rises and after it sets, respectively.

Fasting is typically broken with a date, but Muslims across the world enjoy a wide variety of cuisine for iftar and suhoor.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Stir fries beef noodles that I ate with my Muslim friends to break fast -Siahmo Newsome

  • Pomegranate salad and homemade samosas that my mom made for iftar- Siahmo Newsome

  • Kimchi dolsot bibimbap that I broke fast (with)- Siahmo Newsome

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

Fasting during Ramadan lends time to reflect and empathize with the less fortunate and allows an individual to deepen their connection with God. 

“Whenever I say I’m fasting (people are) like, ‘not even water?’ No, not even water. But once you practice, it doesn’t get too hard,” Newsome said. 

There are exceptions to this. During Ramadan, observers break their fast or don’t fast for a variety of reasons; the sick, elderly, pregnant and prepubescent are not required to fast, as well as those on their period or anyone who may face detriments to their health from fasting. 

Alongside connection to religion and family, observers of Ramadan can find fulfillment in the self reflection provided during the month.

“For me, observing Ramadan prevents binge-eating and encourages me to sleep and wake up earlier. Ramadan is a month to overcome harmful habits and addictions of any kind,” Abumarkhieh said. 

Fasting allows for a spiritual as well as physical cleanse for many Muslims. 

“I feel like this is a time of rebirth or change,” Newsome said. “There’s a second chance and I really appreciate that.” 


View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Audrey Baime
Audrey Baime, Bounds Broken Editor
Audrey Baime is the Bounds Broken editor on Granite Bay Today. This is her first year on the Granite Bay Today staff.

Comments (1)

Comments may not be immediately displayed.
All Granite Bay Today Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • S

    seniorApr 9, 2024 at 12:01 pm

    I call it the month of peace 🙂