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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

As the crescent moon is (or rather isn’t) spotted in the night sky, signalling the beginning of Ramadan, I always find myself filled with excitement and reverence. But this year, I feel a tinge of sadness as I think of Muslims across the world who are spending this special month suffering.

Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam, is a time of unification for the Muslim community. It’s not just about abstaining from food and drink from dawn until sunset, but also a period of spiritual renewal, community, and solidarity.

For me, Ramadan is a time of connection — with my faith, my family, and my fellow Muslims around the world. The sleepy pre-dawn Suhoor meals, the festive Iftar gatherings to break the fast, the nightly and collective Taraweeh prayers at the mosque, and, of course, a midnight snack, are all traditions that fill me with warmth and gratitude.

It’s during these moments that I feel a true sense of belonging that goes beyond physical distance and cultural differences.

However, amidst the spiritual cleanse and communal celebrations, it’s impossible to ignore the harsh realities faced by many Muslims, particularly the ongoing atrocities committed against the people of Palestine. 

As I immerse myself in prayer and reflection throughout Ramadan, I feel guilty for being able to celebrate as usual while my Palestinian brothers and sisters are enduring unimaginable pain and loss. Even during this sacred time, their suffering serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing injustices in our world.

But this also reminds me of Islam’s teachings of compassion, justice, and solidarity. As I fast and pray, I reflect on the importance of empathy and action in the face of adversity. Ramadan compels me to stand in solidarity with oppressed communities, including, but not limited to, the people of Gaza, Sudan, Syria, and Lebanon, and to advocate for their rights. 

In the spirit of Ramadan’s emphasis on charity and compassion, I will be donating money, or giving Sadaqah, to support the oppressed communities, including Palestinians, by donating to humanitarian organizations, such as Islamic Relief, Human Concern International, and IDRF Canada, to name a few.

Despite difficulties, I know I can always rely on my faith to be a source of strength and resilience. Ramadan reminds me of the power of faith to inspire hope, courage and perseverance, even in the darkest of times.

I will continue to use this blessed month as an opportunity to maintain my faith, strengthen the bonds I have with my community, stand in unwavering solidarity with those who are maltreated, and simply be a better person. I hope to live a life that truly reflects the dignity, freedom, and peace I feel in Ramadan.

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Raiyana Malik

Toronto MU '25

Raiyana is a third-year journalism student at Toronto Metropolitan University completing a double minor in English and French. When she isn't writing, you can catch her with a camera or a book in her hand. Follow her photography on Instagram @raiyana.malik