Behind the scenes: celebrating Ramadan

The month-long, Muslim holiday is often overlooked.

Tala Al-Joubori and her family gather with friends to celebrate Eid.

Tala Al Joubori

Tala Al-Joubori and her family gather with friends to celebrate Eid.

“Allahu Akbar”. Each night, the call to prayer begins as Muslims come together. The atmosphere is filled with the smell of food wafting from the kitchen, children running around excitedly, and adults chatting as they break their fast.

Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar. During this time, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset in demonstrations to strengthen their faith. 

“I’m sure God, Allah, has his own plans and own reasons for having us fast…Obviously, the number one reason (Muslims) do it is to please God and it’s a way of worshiping him and I guess deep down inside, we always have like an understanding for those who don’t have access to food or…unprivileged people (in) other countries that don’t have enough access to food or water,” junior Hadia Osmani said. 

Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam as well as charity. Many take advantage of this month by trying to help out the less fortunate. 

“Usually (my family) love(s to) buy clothes or make food and donate it to a close (mosque) which they, then, will take care of to give to the homeless,” sophomore Tala Al-Joubori said.  

These charitable acts allow Muslims a chance to feel more connected with their religion. 

Before sunrise, Muslims eat their first meal called suhoor. This can cause changes in their daily routine which leads to new ones being formed. 

Al-Joubori has come up with a solution to help her body ease into fasting so the changes don’t affect her significantly. The week leading up to Ramadan, she begins to eat lunch later. 

“It allows me to prepare my body because you don’t get as much energy in the beginning (of Ramadan),” Al-Joubori said. 

These adjustments help her keep up with academics and not be affected by any fatigue that can come with fasting. 

Osmani recognizes new routines and habits being established in her life as well. 

“Throughout the day…(I) have extra free time because (I am) not making meals or eating food,” Osmani said.

Osmani devotes the extra time for reading the Quran or with more prayers. She hopes to continue these good deeds even after Ramadan as the month helps with forming better habits.

Freshman Sophia Cortez is not Muslim but decided to participate in Ramadan by fasting as well. 

“My best friends are Muslim and…we just started doing it to not take food for granted and…there’s other people in the world who are starving so we do it to…know how they feel,” Cortez said. 

While adhering to the rules of fasting, Cortez still manages to follow her Christian and Catholic faith by praying three times a day. 

As Ramadan comes to an end, the celebration of Eid follows. Decorations of bright lights fill the homes as well as an abundance of food prepared for dinner. Families and loved ones come together to spend time and enjoy the special day. 

“The nights coming up to (Eid, we) usually clean (our) house,… get our clothes ready or buy new clothes and jewelry. The night before Eid, all my (relatives) gather… and everyone puts on henna for each other,” Osmani said.