As the school year had begun over a month ago in August, many Muslim students had begun fasting for the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the month of fasting. During these 29-30 days, Muslims are to refrain from eating, drinking and some other activities from sunrise to sunset. It is a time intended for those who are fasting to learn about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God. It is also a time when everyone comes together to participate and pray together. And that is what took place at NYCOM.
Although everyone had busy schedules and exams, many students were able to participate in the iftars, which is breaking of the fast, hosted by NYCOM’s Muslim Student Association (MSA). There were three iftars held, once a week, and all of them had a decent amount of students attending. It brought in a very strong sense of unity as medical students and Muslims. Many non-Muslims also participated and joined as everyone broke fast.
Breaking of the fast is traditionally done with dates and water as the Prophet did. So as per tradition, students first broke their fast with dates and water and then went to pray in the prayer area on the third floor landing of Riland. After the prayer, food was served in the cafeteria and many students were able to eat together and relieve their momentary stress from the studying.
At the end of Ramadan, there is a celebration known as Eid-al-Fitr. Since Eid fell on August 30, which was very close to exam time for both 1st years and 2nd years, MSA had decided to host an Eid celebration later on September 13. The celebration had a very nice turnout as well comprising of both Muslims and non-Muslims. There was a guest speaker, Anwer Imam, who gave a talk about Ramadan. It is also a tradition during Eid to have henna tattoo designs, and hence henna was brought in during the celebration so that students were able get henna designs done on their hands. Food was also provided by MSA and everyone was able to enjoy a good dinner and gathering.