How Colleges Can Support Students During Ramadan

Ramadan is celebrated by millions of Muslims every year. Understanding the holy month's importance helps support Muslim college students.

portrait of Vanesha McGee, M.Ed.
by Vanesha McGee, M.Ed.

Published on April 1, 2022

Reviewed by Angelique Geehan

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How Colleges Can Support Students During Ramadan


How Colleges Can Support Students During Ramadan

Ramadan is considered the holiest month in Islam. It is celebrated at the start of the new moon, during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. In 2022, the first day of Ramadan is likely to be April 2. Ramadan lasts 29 or 30 days, and this year it is likely to end at sunset on May 1.

Over 3.5 million Muslims, followers of Islam, live in the United States — about 1% of the population. Students on college and university campuses nationwide celebrate Ramadan.

Colleges can support Muslim students by understanding the importance of this month and how it is traditionally celebrated. Making space for on-campus celebrations, providing time for students to honor Ramadan without academic penalties, and protecting students from anti-Muslim discrimination can support students who celebrate this holy month.

What Is Ramadan?

Ramadan is a holy month of communal prayer, devotion to the Quran, and internal reflection. "Ramadan Mubarak" is a greeting that wishes a blessed Ramadan to those who celebrate.

The Islamic lunar calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar commonly used across the U.S., which is a solar calendar. This means that Ramadan begins on a different day each year.

From dawn until dusk, Muslims practice self-restraint to uphold one of the basic tenets of Islam — fasting. This daily practice includes abstaining from food and beverage and all forms of immoral or unkind behavior. Refraining from impure thoughts and bad deeds holds as much importance as fasting during Ramadan.

Spending time with family and friends, both at home and at mosques, is a common custom during Ramadan. Muslims often break the evening fast with a shared meal and recitations from the Quran.

Eid al-Fitr, a three-day celebration, marks the end of Ramadan and the month-long fast. Muslims often gather together to eat and pray. Many cook special recipes, exchange gifts, or dress up to mark the celebration.

8 Essential Elements to Know About Ramadan

7 Ways Colleges Can Support Students During Ramadan

Resources to Learn More About Ramadan

Muslim Aid: Muslim Aid raises funds, support, and awareness for the needs of people in need around the world. Their blog series provides details about Ramadan's origins and ways to connect to Muslim communities.

Tell Them, I Am: This podcast hosts a new episode every day during Ramadan. Discussing the lives of Muslims around the globe, host Misha Euceph shares universally understood stories of each special guest.

Salam, Girl!: Hosted by Monica Traverzo and Nicole Queen, this podcast empowers American Muslim women through inspirational stories, advice, and personal experiences. In addition to conversations about Ramadan, Salam, Girl! shares insights on Muslim traditions throughout the year.

A Guide to Ramadan and Fasting: This book provides information on each element of Ramadan. It describes the importance of fasting and aspects of Islam that align throughout the holy month.

Koran by Heart: This documentary film, released in 2011, tells the story of three young boys who recite the Quran from memory and compete in the International Holy Koran Competition in Cairo, Egypt.

Conclusion

Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam, is celebrated for the length of a moon cycle. Students benefit from the support of their colleges during Ramadan and can feel a sense of belonging when their traditions are honored.

Understanding Ramadan is a first step toward creating environments that honor this Islamic holy month and those who celebrate it.


Feature Image: Muslim Girl / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Learn how colleges and students can better support Muslim students on and off campus. Find resources that build understanding and connection. Concerned about attending a religious school as a secular student? Here, we offer tips and advice to help you find the right college for your needs. Some shit like that. We've ranked the top Colleges With the Most International Students. Compare schools by cost and convenience. Earn your degree today!

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