April 2 was the first day of Ramadan in 2022. Because many non-Muslims find this Islamic holy period something of a mystery, the Phoenix is going to provide some basic information.
One of the holiest months for practicing Muslims, Ramadan is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam. During Ramadan, Muslims give up water and food from sunrise to sunset; this fasting acts as an incentive to develop a deep, more intimate, and personal worship. Muslims pursue a closer and more solidified relationship with God.
Why does Ramadan’s date change each year? Muslims follow the lunar Islamic calendar; each month starts with a new astronomical moon. Lunar months are shorter than solar. Therefore, the Islamic calendar did not conform to and did not adopt the Gregorian calendar, making Ramadan occur around 11 days earlier each year.
The Ramadan fasting period lasts for 29 or 30 days, depending on the lunar cycle. While eliminating food and water from sunrise to sunset is a challenge, Ramadan pertains to something more spiritual and meaningful. The holy month brings a time for quiet reflection and self-discipline; it encourages faith even more heightened, through personal growth, community help, and, most importantly, giving back.
Ramadan, similar to Lent for Christians, challenges practicing Muslims to act better in their lives – giving up food and water for hours would be futile if it caused harm to others. It is meant to encourage personal growth between you and your maker.
The Phoenix reached out to GSU officials, asking if any events would be conducted for Ramadan.
Christopher McBride, the coordinator of Clubs and Organizations for GSU’s Center for Student Engagement and Intercultural Programs, said the university encourages students on campus to reach out to departments at GSU with ideas for any events/activities GSU should include in its roster.
He said student organizations are encouraged to support the student experience, including activities such as Ramadan.
(This story has been updated.)