Ramadan: A student’s experience


Muslims around the world celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting, prayer and spiritual reflection. Based on the lunar calendar, this year’s Ramadan began on March 22, the date of the crescent moon, Aidan Gibson, junior in marketing, said. Muslims use this time to fast from sunrise to sunset; this fast includes abstaining from sex, food, drink and medicine. Those who observe Ramadan also engage in acts of charity and refrain from all wrongdoing during the month.

At night, following the five necessary daily prayers, Aidan Gibson, junior in marketing, said Muslims pray and read the Quran in a specialized form of meditation called Taraweeh. Taraweeh consists of eight cycles of prayer called rakats.

Ramadan ended on April 20. As a practicing Muslim, Gibson spoke about the importance of the holiday in his life.

“One big purpose of Ramadan is knowing what it’s like to live without,” Gibson said. “It’s a time to take a step back and appreciate all the things we take for granted.”

Gibson said Muslims face challenges during this time of religious commemoration.

“It’s hard to continue the process in a society where Ramadan is not heavily observed,” Gibson said. “There are a lot of mundane things that not many people think about like working out, since I can’t drink any water.”

Gibson, remains steadfast in his will to expand his spiritual horizons, regardless of the mental, physical and societal obstacles he faces.

Eid al-Fitr, which begins 30 days after the start of Ramadan, is a holy holiday that wraps up the month of fasting. Gibson said one can expect services at a mosque throughout the morning, where Muslims sing and pray. Many celebrate by feasting with family and friends in the evening.