Breaking the fast

This year, many Muslim students saw spring break as a reprieve from daily life throughout Ramadan

April 25, 2023

It’s fifth block the day before spring break. The only thing left to do is stare at the clock until it hits 2:27. The sound of the bell unleashes RV’s student body, eager to get the load of school off their minds for 10 whole days. That starts the precious spring break for this year.

For many students, spring break may be a time of worship. In New Jersey, it usually corresponds with the holiday of Easter. This year, students of other religions will additionally have occasions during spring break. For Muslim students specifically, they have been observing the holy month of Ramadan since March 23. 

In a PBS article from March 2023, “Ramadan is a period of fasting and spiritual growth and is one of the five ‘pillars of Islam. Able-bodied Muslims are expected to abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from dawn to sunset each day of the month. Many practicing Muslims also perform additional prayers, especially at night, and attempt to recite the entire Quran. The Quran is the holy book of the islamic faith. Just as the bible is for the Christian faith, the quran is a Muslim’s guide in life. The prevailing belief among Muslims is that it was in the final 10 nights of Ramadan that the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.”

Ramadan never falls at the same time each year. This is the second or third spring break where Ramadan is being observed.

“With it being Ramadan, my family and I don’t do very active things during spring break these years,” said sophomore Souhaila Daoudi. “Instead, we spend it doing relaxing activities as a family and going to the mosque. The masjid (mosque) is the prayer center for Muslims.”

There is no eating or drinking through the day, so the observing Muslims tend to be tired through the day.

“When there is school, it is very hard to get up in the morning,” said sophomore Jaidaa Elgewili. “Now that there is no school, I can sleep when I need to, and I don’t feel too tired. Definitely very grateful for the break.”

In predominantly Muslim countries and muslim private schools, students don’t have school during Ramadan. “Even if we don’t get the whole Ramadan off, it’s nice to get these ten days off,” said freshman Nazifa Hassan. “I am now able to focus more on getting closer to my religion since there is no school work.”

Most practicing Muslims believe that Ramadan is the time to get closer to their religion, and they should pray and read the Quran as much as they can.

“I have also been able to read the Quran more since the break has started,” Daoudi said. The same statements were made by Elgewilli and Hassan.

“I feel that because it is Ramadan, my spring break is more productive,” said Hassan. “I am using my spring break to do religious activities instead of being on my phone all day. If it wasn’t Ramadan, I would have been very lazy.” 

Spring break is also giving the Muslim students the opportunity to participate in traditions related to Ramadan.

“Now that I don’t have to worry about getting my homework done, I can help set the Iftar table with my mom,” said Junior Fahmida Fariha. Iftar is the name of the meal Muslims eat to break their fast during Ramadan. 

Elgewilli also added, “I have younger siblings, and now that I am home, I am able to teach them about Ramadan and our religion.”

Many students who observe Ramadan are grateful that they are on break, as it is often needed so they can rest and complete their religious responsibilities.




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