Ramadan is Starting–Even in the Midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Mina+Bayraktar%2C+president+of+the+GLHS+Muslim+Student+Association%2C+shares+some+thoughts+about+this+year%27s+Ramadan.

Image created by A. Rudolph

Mina Bayraktar, president of the GLHS Muslim Student Association, shares some thoughts about this year's Ramadan.

Mina Bayraktar, Gator's Eye Reader and President of the GLHS Muslim Student Association

Ramadan … the sultan of months … thirty days of healing and uniting for 1.8 billion Muslims all around the globe …

This Friday, the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims will begin. For many, the most significant feature of Ramadan is that Muslims who are healthy and have reached the age of puberty fast from dawn to sunset. Even though fasting seems like a focus on refraining from eating and drinking, it also means controlling one’s everyday behavior, the way one talks, and the way one thinks. It is a time to understand people in need, get rid of bad habits, and gain good ones. 

Since Muslims use the lunar calendar, the dates during which Ramadan takes place shifts ten days every year. For the last few decades, Ramadan has taken place during the spring-summer months, when the daytime is longer, making the fasting longer, too. To give an insight, on the first day of Ramadan fasting will start at 05:16 AM and end at 07:57 PM in Cary, NC (according to Islamic Finder), which means almost 14 hours of no food, no drink, and a lot of patience!                    

Ramadan brings many limitations and challenges, but for the majority of Muslims, especially kids, it is the most enjoyable and peaceful time of the year, including community feasts, decorations, congregated prayers, delicious food (at the end of each day), competitions, and family-friend gatherings. Ramadan is coming this year too, but without the people and interaction it brings every other year. During Ramadan, mosques are people’s second homes, the place where they spend a lot of time worshipping, eating, talking, and having fun. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, places of worship, including mosques, are closed to keep people safe and healthy. It will be my, my parents’, and even my grandparents’ most isolated Ramadan ever. 

Even though the situation seems depressing for many Muslims; we can’t predict how this Ramadan will go and what kind of benefits it will have. Maybe it will be the best Ramadan ever. While our bodies will use all of their energy for our brains instead of our full, explosive stomachs and busy digestive systems maybe we’ll make great inventions, learn a new language, develop our guitar skills, connect more to our identity and beliefs and, most importantly, appreciate everything we had and we will have after the virus is over–starting with our families, teachers, friends, and loved ones.

The Muslim Student Association of Green Level High School is planning to have a live Zoom or Google Meets discussion (date and time to be determined) to discuss how Ramadan is celebrated differently in various countries, and among the families of our peers. Anyone interested in learning more about Ramadan and getting an insight into diverse cultures from around the globe is welcome! Follow our social media account @greenlevelmsa for more details.

See you then and RAMADAN MUBARAK: have a Blessed Ramadan!