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Resources for Students During Ramadan: Understanding Islam

Ramadan for non-Muslims

Of the 7.6 billion people in the world, 1.8 billion fast from sunup to sundown during a period called Ramadan.

Here are a few quick reads for the remaining 76% of the population who would like to support those observing Ramadan.

Terms

RAMADAN - The ninth month of the Islamic calendar (also spelled Rahadhan, Ramzan, Ramadhaan, Ramadaan)

SAWN - The Arabic word for fast. Fasting is defined as abstinence from food, drink, smoking, or any form of nourishment during daylight hours

IFTAR - The meal breaking fast that occurs immediately after sundown

SUHOOR - The pre-fast meal before dawn (also spelled Suhur)

TARAWIH - Special congregational prayers that are offered every night during Ramadan. Tarawih is offered after Isha, the night prayer

I'TIKAF - The practice of spending the last ten days of Ramadan in a state of reflection, recitation of holy text, and worship; a spiritual retreat spent at a mosque or in isolation at home

EID AL FITR - A three-day festival marking the end of Ramadan. Eid Al Fitr takes place on the first of Shawal (the tenth month of the Islamic calendar)

FIDYA - Compensation for missing a fast, for those unable to practice Sawn. Fidya often takes the form of donating money or food items