How students are balancing school with Ramadan

This year Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims began on Monday, April 12.


This year Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims began on Monday, April 12.

Ramadan is a holy month of fasting, introspection, and prayer for Muslims, the followers of Islam. It is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and is celebrated by Muslims as the month during which Muhammad received the first revelations of the Holy Quran.

In Islam, fasting is one of the five fundamental pillars. Muslims fast by not eating food or drinking water from sunup to sundown.

When opening their fasts during Iftaar, a meal at sundown, Muslims around the world do so with their friends and families enjoying traditional feasts as well.

Mass iftars like this one in Baghdad are unlikely to happen this year due to COVID-19. Courtesy of DW.

The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day festival known as Eid al-Fitr, one of Islam’s major holidays. Ramadan always falls on the ninth month of the 12-month Islamic calendar.

The Prophet Mohammed reportedly said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”

This year Ramadan began on Monday, April 12, which was also the day Hinsdale Central proctored the SAT for juniors. Many Muslim students also fasted while taking their SAT.

Some students described that taking the SAT while fasting was difficult.

Maryam Naveed, junior explains that because she takes medication for her ADHD, and chooses to not take it while fasting, the SAT was a challenge.

“It was hard to focus, and I got distracted easily,” Naveed said. “I remember starting the reading section and the words starting to clump together and before I knew it five minutes went by and I was reading the same sentence.”

Naveed said she also felt fatigued as students are generally encouraged to eat a good breakfast before the SAT.

Muslim students at Central have been balancing fasting and academics on top of the pandemic as well.

Nur Akbar, senior, says she has been able to manage school and fasting together relatively well.

“This year is a lot different for me compared to others because I’m not in person,” Akbar said. “Online school has given me more time for spiritual growth during this month, which has been essential given the circumstances of this year.”

Some students have also complained about feeling tired throughout the day.

“I get very tired at very random times and I have been taking a lot of naps recently,” said Rayya Amina, junior. “At first, it’s not that bad but at around 3 or 4 it gets really hard. In the end, it’s worth it because of all the amazing iftar food my mom makes.”

Be sure to wish your Muslim friends this year a Ramadan Mubarak!