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Ramadan: a month of fasting and reflection 

(Photo Credit: Google Open Source)

Ramadan, also known as Ramazan, is a month-long spiritual period of prayer and fasting. It shares the name of the ninth holy month in the Islamic lunar calendar. In 2023, Ramadan began on March 22, and ends with Eid al-Fitr on April 21.  

You may have noticed your Muslim peers refraining from meals or certain Brockport organizations, such as the Muslim Student Association, providing support for Muslim students this month. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset. Before dawn, they may have a meal known as suhoor, or sehri. After the sun sets, they have an evening meal called iftar, or fitoor.  

Muslims also abstain from anything they consider impure for the mind and body, such as smoking cigarettes or swearing. In Islam, fasting is one of the five pillars, or duties, along with testimony of faith, prayer, charitable giving and making a pilgrimage to Mecca.   

This is also the month in which Muslims believe their god, Allah, revealed the first verses of the Quran, Islam’s sacred text, to the Prophet Mohammad on Laylat al-Qadr, “The Night of Power.” This is why there’s an emphasis on studying and reciting the Quran during this period of time.  

Eid al-Fitr translates to “the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast,” which is a three-day-celebration at the end of Ramandan, during the beginning days of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar. It involves visiting family, giving gifts, praying, remembering deceased loved ones and giving to those in need.  

Please remember to remain respectful and support your Muslim peers. If you’d like to wish someone a happy Ramadan, you can say “Ramadan Mubarak,” which means “Blessed Ramadan,” as well as “Eid Mubarak,” meaning “Blessed Eid.” “Mubarak” is pronounced as “moo-ba-rak.” To say “Generous Ramadan,” you can say “Ramadan Kareem,” pronounced “kuh-reem.” 

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