Celebrating Ramadan as a NPHS student


Submitted Photo

NPHS students come together in the cafeteria for an Iftar meal during Ramadan.

TOWAMENCIN – North Penn High School’s Muslim Student Association continues to strive for inclusivity of their special holidays, the most recent one being Ramadan.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the holy month of fasting. Since Muslims follow the lunar calendar, Ramadan begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon. Muslims do not eat or drink between dawn and sunset during the month of Ramadan, which is called fasting. Fasting allows for Muslims to devote themselves to their faith and to come closer to Allah (God). Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, the pillars being fundamental practices that are considered to be obligatory acts of worship for all Muslims. The other four pillars are faith, prayer, charity, and making the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. Muslims who are young children, pregnant, elderly, ill, or traveling are not required to fast.

In addition to fasting, Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds, and spending time with family and friends. Muslims practice self-restraint as well. At the end of Ramadan, there is a special festival called Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast, which marks the end of Ramadan.

NPHS students and staff wear their T-shirts sold by the MSA leading up the observance of Ramadan (Submitted photo)

According to Mrs. Syeda Mirza, advisor of the Muslim Students Association and Special Education Paraprofessional, Ramadan can be observed while students are on the high school campus. Approved by the administration is a special prayer room, where each day students can pray during school.

For the first time in NPHS history, students also arranged a Ramadan dinner, Iftar, in the school building. Iftar is the fast-breaking meal eaten by Muslims in the evening, and their fasts are also typically broken with evening prayers. One generous family donated enough food for fifty students, and members brought other special foods as well. Some traditional foods that are typically eaten during Ramadan are lentil, vegetable, chicken, and vermicelli soups. Students were able to pray together during dinner. Many teachers and club members wore MSA shirts, demonstrating respect for Muslim students.

Any NPHS student who observes Ramadan is permitted to spend their lunch period in the IMC. Special arrangements are made to accommodate Muslim students who are fasting during the month of Ramadan, and all they have to do is check in at the front desk at the IMC.

This upcoming May, the MSA club will hold a cabinet election and a party celebrating the end of Ramadan.