March 22 – April 21, 2023
In observance and celebration of Ramadan, students, faculty and staff are welcome
to use spaces on campus for prayer. Dates and bottled water will be available in Student
Engagement (Building A, Room A336).
Special Thanks to Deena Atta, Enise Zorlu and the Muslim Student Association (MSA).
Funding, resources, and support for this occasion are provided by the Dean of Students
Office; Harper Wellness; the Interdisciplinary Programs Office; the Office of Diversity,
Equity and Inclusion; the Social Justice Studies Distinction program; and Student
Sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Building D, Second Floor, Room D290A.
(Near the elevator, above Starbucks).
Mondays and Tuesday: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesdays and Thursdays: 8:00 AM - 4.30 PM
Sponsored by Student Engagement.
Building A, Second Floor, Room A332.
Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM-4:30 PM
Visit Student Engagement in Building A, Room A336 for access.
Ramadan Tips and Community Awareness
- Ramadan requires specific times for prayer and fasting. If observed, please support
individuals who may display physical symptoms of fatigue and/or exhaustion.
- Students, please contact your professors in advance for accommodation requests as
- Faculty and staff, please work with your dean/manager/department to arrange accommodations
- Do not force individuals to share their faith in class or disclose if they observe
Understanding More About Ramadan
(by Deena Atta, Academic Advisor)
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It was the month the Quran
was first revealed. During this month, Muslims, who are able, will fast from dawn
until sunset. They will abstain from food, drink, and sexual acts. Yes, that includes
water. But, Ramadan is more than just abstaining from food and drinks. While this
sacrifice is a major component of Ramadan, we use this time to refocus and reposition
our spirituality. Throughout the year, we tend to focus our Islamic requirements and
duties around our day-to-day activities. Ramadan is a reset where we reflect as we
put more focus on God, the Quran, sacrifice, and charity. We reconnect with loved
ones, community members, and friends while we break our fast and pray together.
Fasting means to abstain. It is a commitment of the person's body and soul by also
abstaining from sins or harmful acts. Throughout the year, we are tasked with abstaining
from such acts. However, during Ramadan, our actions are at our forefront as we actively
try to improve ourselves. As a result, fasting includes every part of the human body.
For example, the tongue must abstain from gossip or harmful speech, eyes must restrain
themselves from looking at those that are deemed unlawful, hands must not take that
which doesn’t belong, ears must abstain from ease dropping, and feet must abstain
from going to sinful places.
Another major component to Ramadan is the emphasis on charity and Zakat. “As one of
the pillars of Islam, zakat is a form of obligatory charity that has the potential to ease the suffering of millions.”
Growing up, we were taught that fasting is a way to understand and learn to empathize
with those with less. In Islam, we have this concept that the wealth and health we
have is not ours alone. We are blessed with them and, as such, it is our responsibility
to give back. I think Hassan Minhaj describes it well. In an interview, he said, “the concept of zakat and giving is
about giving back because it doesn’t belong to you. And I think one of the things
we often forget here in America is there is a sense of entitlement. ‘Hey I’ve earned
this… I owe it to nobody.’ Zakat specifically is about giving because you were lucky
enough to be bestowed wealth and health and it is your job and duty to share it.”
It really emphasizes our role within the community and collective human race.
Earlier, I mentioned “Muslims who are able.” Not all Muslims can fast. Those who are
pregnant, are ill, or have medical conditions where fasting may be harmful will not
fast. This may also include those with eating disorders where fasting may be a trigger.
In many cases, an individual can make up those days later in the year. If they cannot
make up the days, they pay “Fidya,” a donation, instead. Those who are ill and cannot
afford the Fidya are encouraged to reach out to the local mosque leadership for guidance
but may not be obligated to pay if they truly cannot afford it.
Muslims come from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. As a result, different
countries will celebrate the month of Ramadan by incorporating their own cultural
practices. In the end, we all celebrate the closing of Ramadan with Eid al-Fitr, translated
as a celebration of breaking fast.