Dear Campus Library Colleagues,
Ramadan is set to begin at sunset this Sunday, May 5th. As students, staff, and faculty at UWB and Cascadia will be observing Ramadan until the beginning of Eid al-Fitr on June 3rd, the Social Justice Team would like to share some basic information about what Ramadan is and how Muslim members of the community may be impacted.
Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims, is the ninth month of the year in the lunar Islamic calendar. Muslims believe that the Qu’ran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during Ramadan and view Ramadan as a time for self-reflection, generosity, and religious devotion. Fasting during Ramadan (Sawm) is one of the Five Pillars of Islam for Sunni Muslims and is also recognized as a pillar in each branch of Shia Islam. Eid al-Fitr (Festival of Breaking Fast) celebrations mark the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the next month- Shawwal.
Ramadan is often associated with fasting during the day. Muslims begin fasting- abstaining from all food, liquids, chewing gum, cigarettes, and medication- at sunrise. Shia Muslims break their fast when all sunlight has completely vanished from the sky, and Sunni Muslims break their fast at sunset. When Ramadan falls in May and June, like it does this year, adherents may not eat or drink for more than fourteen hours.
In countries where the majority of the population is Muslim, schools and workplaces are more hospitable to people who are fasting, but students in the U.S. face particular challenges. The end of the quarter is a busy time for students rushing to complete projects and study for finals. For non-Muslim staff, faculty, and students, acknowledging that many in our community are trying to fit a school or work day into their fasting schedule can go a long way.
For more information about Ramadan and how to support students this month, check out these links:
-The Social Justice Team
The Social Justice Team welcomes feedback and ideas from Campus Library staff via our feedback form, which can be completed anonymously.