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The Holy Month of Ramadan


March 07, 2023

Shortly after we return from Spring vacation, the Holy month of Ramadan will begin in the United States. Expected to begin on the evening of Wednesday, March 22 and end the evening of Thursday, April 20 in the United States, the dates for the month of Ramadan are determined based on the first sighting of the new moon over Mecca, Saudi Arabia according to the Hijrī (Islamic) calendar.

Let us remember that our students, TA's, GAs, faculty, and staff who observe Ramadan will be fasting during the most stressful time of the academic year. Please acknowledge this and consider appropriate accommodations.

As the most sacred and holy month of the year, Ramadan is a time for Muslims to grow spiritually and become closer to Allah. Ramadan recognizes the event in which the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was chosen as the ‘Messenger of God’ and received religious revelations through the angel Gabriel that became the Qur’an. Lailat al-Qadr, the holiest night of Ramadan, is known as the “Night of Power” and is said to be when the angel Gabriel (PBUM) revealed the Qur’an’s first verses to the prophet Muhammad.

Ramadan signifies the abstinence of eating and/or drinking anything from dawn to sunset and the practice of abstinence from all kinds of sins. This practice, Sawm, is one of the five pillars of Islam. The remaining four pillars of Islam include Shahada, declaring faith in God and a belief in Muhammad; Salat, to pray five times a day; Zakat, to give to those in need; and Hajj, to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a person’s life if they are able. Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds, and spending time with family and friends. 

Gathering with family and community is a significant part of Ramadan and this year brings the opportunity for many Muslim communities to fully gather as worshipers in public mosques since COVID restrictions have been in place. This will also provide family and friends the chance to gather together during Iftar to break fast together and once again enjoy food and community in larger groups.

Ramadan Mubarak!

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For additional education and personal development related to diversity, equity and inclusion, the following resources are available: DEI Education and Resources, DEI & Antiracism Resources from the UNC Libraries, the Education Equity Toolkit from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and the UNITE workshops for faculty, staff, and students.