With Ramadan right around the corner this year, Muslim students are left with anticipation and excitement for what the next 30 days have to offer. From the 3 a.m. I-HOP Suhoors to the late nights in the masjid listening to the beautiful recitation of the Quran, Ramadan truly is a special month. Since Islam follows the lunar calendar system, Ramadan is always 11 days earlier than it was the previous year, which gradually makes it earlier in the year. This results in most students having to practice during the month of Ramadan during the school year. It may be tough because Ramadan is mentally taxing on the body and on your mind.
With 30 days of fasting and night prayers, it becomes difficult at times to balance it with your course load. While this Islamic month can be challenging, the beautiful message and experience of Ramadan make it all worth it, even for stressed-out college students. Ramadan is about giving charity, taking time to reflect on who you are as a person, and, most importantly, practicing humility. The Islamic interpretation of fasting is that one does it to experience what it feels like to be food insecure. Some people have to live life every day not knowing where their next meal comes from. So when you fast it gives you a greater sense of empathy, humility and gratitude. When you keep these core principles in mind, Ramadan will go a lot easier. Just remember that you are fasting for a greater purpose.
I personally have spent a few Ramdans in college and I have found tips and tricks that help me stay afloat during this holy month. I hope this helps anyone that is feeling anxious about balancing Ramadan and school.
- Attainable Goals
Make sure to set some realistic goals for yourself during Ramadan. When you go into something with really big goals it can often be overwhelming when you realize that you may not be able to fulfill those goals. So start with something small and specific. For example, dedicating every Wednesday and Friday of Ramadan to volunteering at a food bank.
- Meal Prep!
I can not emphasize how much of a time-saver meal prepping is. My suggestion is to find a time on the weekend when you either prepare ingredients or meals. My favorite meal prep idea is taco/rice bowls. I cut up a lot of vegetables and freeze them and just heat them up when I am ready to use them. For Suhoor, I love overnight oats. I also drink liquid IV in the morning which helps me stay energized throughout the day.
Being able to maintain a balanced sleep schedule during Ramadan can be really difficult at times, which is why it is important to listen to your body. Make sure to have a designated time that you will sleep every night and have a designated time for your Ibadah.
Lastly, remember to enjoy the warmth Ramadan brings to our hearts and our communities. Enjoy the delicious Iftars with your friends and family, take in the beauty of the sunrise during your Suhoor and enjoy the serene and powerful Quran recitations that we get to listen to at night.