Tahir Hasanov '25
Apr 14, 2023
Every year, Muslims around the world celebrate Ramadan, the holiest time in Islam and the focus of one of Islam’s Five Pillars. During the month-long period, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking every day, from sunrise to sunset. It is a time for Muslims to show kindness and patience and to get closer to God. In 2023, Ramadan extends from March 23 to April 20. The holiday is capped off with Eid-al-Fitr, the celebration of breaking the fast.
In the Mercersburg community, there are several students, both Muslim and non-Muslim, who are observing Ramadan. Among these students is Fawad Jan ’24. According to Jan, “The purpose of Ramadan is to become not only a better Muslim but a better human being. Ramadan helps you understand what people with no food and water go through. It also helps you stay disciplined throughout the month and get rid of all your bad habits.”
Some of the students who are fasting are also participating in athletic PGA’s. Although dehydration can make things tough, students are still getting through it. Bori Miryusupov ’24 is fasting while playing on the boys tennis team. “Personally, I am used to fasting, as I have observed Ramadan since the age of 6. Also, I have been playing tennis for a long time so the practices aren’t that bad. I am thankful for my coaches, as they are very understanding and respectful of my decision to fast.” Teachers, advisers and coaches are notified of the students who are fasting, so they can help accommodate them during the month.
Upper Middler, Arpi Karapetyan ’23 describes the ritual, “Ramadan has helped me connect to a part of my culture and the dining hall staff has been extremely helpful by packaging breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to eat during suhoor [morning meal] and iftar [evening meal].”
Sarah Music, the director of dining services at the Academy describes the dining hall’s meal adaptations for Ramadan “At first, it was a little challenging because we had to gauge the portions a little bit differently because we were going by our recipes and portion guides but they weren’t a sufficient amount, so we had to adjust our portions appropriately.”
Talaina Jarret ’25 stated, “Having food prepared for us has made fasting easier, especially since they can’t open the dining hall extra early for just a couple of students. Having a microwave in the dorm has also helped us out because eating a cold lunch or dinner isn’t as enjoyable as a warmer dinner or lunch.”
There are only a couple weeks left in the holy month of Ramadan. Eid-al-Fitr is coming up soon, and Muslim students are preparing to celebrate that important holiday and the completion of the month of reflection and fasting.