AHS students celebrate Ramadan

Senior Anjum Ashraf breaks her fast with her little sister during Iftar with a banana smoothie and pasta.

Many Muslim students at AHS are currently celebrating the month of Ramadan.
So far, Ramadan is going well for a lot of these students.
“My Ramadan is going great! Even though it’s very different this year, I’m trying to make the most of my time,” senior Anjum Ashraf said
“My Ramadan is going great! Since I don’t have to physically go to school, I get more sleep than I would if I had to go to school,” senior Novera Hasnat said. “I also have more time to spend reading the Quran or praying and preparing for Iftar with my family.”
This year, Ramadan began at sundown on April 12th and will end at sundown on May 12th.
“I really like Ramadan because it really distinguishes a part of the year from the rest and generally it feels more calm,” senior Mousa Ayoub said.
Eid al-Fitr, a day that marks the end of the month-long fasting for Ramadan with a feast, will take place the following day.
Ramadan is celebrated to mark the time when Allah, the Islam God, revealed the first verses of the Quran, Islam’s holy book, to the Prophet Muhammad.
One very well known tradition of Ramadan is fasting from sunrise to sundown of each day of the month.
“It is a great lesson for self-discipline as we have to refrain ourselves from eating and drinking anything,” Hasnat said.
However, aside from fasting, there are many other wonderful traditions.
Ramadan offers an opportunity for students to spend time with their family, friends, and people from the community.
“I have a really big family, so one of our main traditions is to stay over at our cousins’ houses during Ramadan,” Ashraf said. “When we’re together, we stay up until suhoor (the meeting before fasting) and just spend time with each other.”
Students are also able to enjoy delicious cultural foods during Iftar, the time after sunset when people can break their fast and eat.
“We have some certain foods that we always eat during Iftar, such as peyaju (blended lentil, onions, and sliced pepper mixed together and fried), tandoori chicken, and haleem (a very flavorful soup including meat and a mixture of various lentils),” Hasnat said.
Another tradition that many students practice is praying.
“This month pushes me to pray more and try to be closer to Allah,” Hasnat said. “It helps me to learn patience, and also purifies our souls as we have to restrain from doing anything that is considered bad.”
Due to the pandemic, a number of the traditions that students do in other years are put on hold.
“My favorite Ramadan tradition is having Iftar at our local Mosque. It’s always really fun to set everything up with friends and break our fasts with the community,” Ashraf said. “Of course, we can’t partake in that tradition this year because of COVID.”
“Sometimes we would buy Iftar from outside, which we have stopped doing [due to the pandemic],” Hasnat said.
For some students, however, the pandemic hasn’t changed much for them in terms of celebrating.
“I don’t really feel like the pandemic has changed Ramadan much other than having to move around less,” Ayoub said.
However, regardless of the pandemic or not, it won’t stop students from fully enjoying their Ramadan.