Many of our Muslim community members and students are celebrating Ramadan, which started on June 6/7. Some of our colleagues on other campuses shared the following information which we thought would be helpful to all of us in supporting our Muslim students during this holy month. In addition, we are attaching our "Student Absence for Faith or Conscience Form" which sometimes students don't know they can access. Please contact International Student Services or the Office of Diversity and Equity if you have any questions.
Ramadan 2016 started on June 6 or 7 (depending on calendars). Ramadan lasts 29 to 30 days, during which Muslims abstain from food and drink from pre-dawn to sunset. Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory for observant Muslims, although exceptions can be made for reasons of health or age. Muslims also increase their worship and study of the Qur'an during Ramadan, and often attend late night prayers that begin an hour and a half after sunset and last for two hours. These late nights cause many Muslims to rise later than usual, and some people may appear fatigued due to hunger, thirst and disrupted sleep.
Here are a few things for to consider:
- Eid al-Fitr is a three-day celebration at the end of Ramadan. Since Ramadan ends about the time Summer term begins this year, July 6th, students celebrating Eid may miss the first few days of summer term.
- Faculty members can accommodate Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha by not scheduling tests or important assignments on those days. This is not required-just a suggestion.
- If tests or assignments are scheduled on Eid Al-Fitr or Eid Al-Adha, please allow students to complete them before or after the student's excused holiday absence.
- Many Muslim students and families are unaware that excused absences are allowed under federal law for religious holidays.
- Note that some Muslim students might fast while others might not, depending on their faith-involvement.
- We do not expect Muslim students to receive special treatment, but we do hope that as a college we will be as welcoming and sensitve to Muslim students, as we are to other students navigating the responsibilities of home and culture and school.
For more information, here are two links:
"Why Muslims Fast" by www.whyislam.org