Ramadan Mubarak! As the month of Ramadan progresses, you may hear people wishing each other a “Ramadan Mubarak”, or a blessed Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and comes with a set of traditions and religious obligations for many Muslims. Among the most prominent of these obligations on those who are able is a pre-sunrise to sunset fast every day for the full month. This means abstaining from things such as eating and drinking (and as we often get asked–yes, not even water!). At sunset, Muslims often gather with family and friends to break their fasts, a sunset-time dinner often referred to as “iftar”. For Muslims on campus, this has been a great way to meet up with friends, share a meal, and catch up! Throughout the day and night, Muslims use their time to perform acts of service and activism, read Qur’an, and pray Ramadan-specific prayers. Of course, these acts are not limited to Ramadan, but as a time for gaining awareness of oneself and one’s community, Muslims often use Ramadan to become more engaged in practices that are beneficial to themselves and others. Capping off the month is a celebration called Eid-ul-Fitr (at which time you can wish people a “Eid Mubarak” or blessed Eid), another time for community, good food, and acts of service! The Penn Muslim Students’ Association and SNF Paideia Program would like to invite you to take part in this Ramadan tradition to learn more about Ramadan, mingle with friends, and take part in a dialogue about Ramadan and religious traditions on campus. Following the SNF Paideia core value of dialogue, we would like to make this an opportunity to start a dialogue with others about traditions that would not otherwise be spotlighted in various campus spaces.
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