Ramadan Mubarak! Ramadan at Weber State

Ramadan is an important month for many Muslims around the world. The Quran states that during this time, Muslims are not to eat, drink or have sex during the day throughout Ramadan.

Because Ramadan is determined by the lunar calendar, it starts seven days earlier each year and the day after a new crescent moon.

“Ramadan is the month of the year that I personally reflect more on myself — what I need to get better at, and what I need to do more, what I need to get rid of,” Habon Hamud, a Weber State University student, said.

Ramadan marks the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and focuses not only on fasting, but also about helping the community, remembrance and gathering together to feast after sundown.

“It’s recommended in the Quran that we actually get together and eat together, with family and friends and we will have a lot of rewards. It’s mainly feast and gathering together,” Hady Bah, a student at WSU, said.

Hunger can be a reminder of empathy, self-discipline and a time for reflection.

“I feel like Islam is more of a religion where people see it in a negative light. We are more strict against more stuff, like not eating pork, no alcohol, just a lot of things,” Hamud said.

During this time in northern Utah, the sun rises around 6 a.m. and sundown is around 7:50 p.m. Muslims in the area don’t eat until after sunset.

In countries that experience either a midnight sun or polar night, some people follow the city of Mecca’s fasting schedule or use the timetable of the nearest Muslim country. The night meal is referred to as iftar, and the morning meal eaten before sunrise is suhur.

Fasting during Ramadan is required except for those who are traveling, have medical conditions that would be complicated by fasting, breastfeeding mothers and those who are menstruating.

“For some of us, for myself, I need to follow those rules,” Hamud said. “I need something to tell me, ‘Hey, Habon, you can’t do this, don’t do this, and don’t do this, and for this reason.’ I don’t want to have all that freedom to just do anything and everything. Because I want to know where the limit is for me.”

WSU has a growing Muslim community with each year bringing in more diverse students. Hamud started Weber State in 2020 and noticed very few Muslims, but has seen many more members of her community since coming back to WSU in 2022.

“I feel like a lot of people are curious of Islam — what Muslims do, what Muslims don’t do,” Hamud said. “I feel like a lot of people are just curious, and I think that is a good thing, you know what I mean … ask questions instead of just assuming things.”

The month of Ramadan ends on April 21 and a customary saying to anyone observing is “Ramadan Mubarak,” which means “blessed Ramadan.”