by Faiz Khan, Reporter, WVTV
AURORA – The Muslim community is celebrating Ramadan. It is observed through prayer, reflection, community and fasting.
“Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and, during that month, if you are Muslim, you partake in fasting.” said Waubonsie Valley teacher Atiqa Ali-Ghori. “This is daily fasting and what that would entail is you would have a pre-dawn meal and you would then go through your day and then you would break your fast in the evening at sunset. So in April, it’s about 14 hours without food and drink. The reason Muslims fast is that it is prescribed in the Quran by god who has prescribed fasting for us. What it says in the Quran is that I prescribed fasting for you like I have for people before you. So essentially it’s just a continuation of fasting in Abrahamic faith traditions. Primarily the reason for that is to increase you in god consciousness.”
“It’s kind of like to create empathy,” said Waubonsie Valley junior Razan Hussain, “so you can connect with people who obviously aren’t as well-off as we are, who don’t have the resources like the food or water that we get on a daily basis. It’s really to help you understand what those people go through every day, like what we’re going through right now is someone else’s daily life.”
Fasting from sun up to sundown can be difficult for high school students, but with faith in mind they are able to find spiritual reflection behind fasting.
“I think like a lot of people think that it might be a burden for us,” said Hussain, “but it’s really a fun time because everyone gets to get together, and when we break our fast, it’s always a party. It’s always a fun thing and it’s never a bad thing. It’s really a time where everyone gets closer together with each other and with god in a sense. So you spend more time with your family. You spend more time with your friends, and you really pay closer to attention to all of the little details like connecting your life to your religious life.”
“The whole month is considered as a blessed month,” said Ali-Ghori, “and an opportunity not only to connect back with god but once you’re more god-conscious you are then more in tune with yourself and your purpose and your why and as a result when you’re more aware of yourself you’re also extending that awareness to how you are with other people. So part of Ramadan is to strive to be a better version of yourself, and so it really does inform how you act and interact. how you might react to something and respond. So, all in all, the goal is to be a better person.”