Fourth Graders Learn About Ramadan

Boys in the fourth grade enjoyed a special presentation about Ramadan during this holy month.  Ammad’s mother, Haya, visited the boys in IV Davis to teach them about the holiday.  She explained that this year the holy month lasts from May 26 through June 24.  Muslims around the world commemorate this time by fasting from dusk until dawn the entire month.  Ramadan fasting in New York lasts from sunrise at approximately 3:40 a.m. through sunset around 8:25 p.m.  It is one of the longest in the world.

The boys learned that Ramadan pays homage to the moment when the prophet Muhammad received his first prophecy.  Many of his teachings are honored and remembered during this time.  Ramadan reminds people of the importance of sharing and taking care of the poor.  It also highlights that all people are all equal.  When people fast, their hunger is all the same.  A sense of community is also celebrated during this time.

In addition to fasting, people gather at their mosques, or masjids, during Ramadan to pray.  After sunset Muslims enjoy gathering for iftar, the evening meal when they break their fast together.  Members of the community donate food so that everyone can enjoy a delicious meal.  They follow the example of their prophet and break their fasts with dates.  They continue to feast on special Ramadan dishes, such as samosas and mawa jalebi, late into the night.  Ramadan is a celebratory time.  The streets are lit up with decorative lights, shops are open late, restaurants remain open through the early hours of the morning, and children play outside.  Eid al-Fitr, the festival of breaking of the fast, marks the end of Ramadan with final prayers and gatherings.

After the presentation, which included many questions from the boys, the class tasted some traditional bread with jam and rice pudding.  Many boys enjoyed two portions, and all of the boys enjoyed learning about Ramadan.

Ramadan mubarak to our Muslim families and friends!  Special thanks to Haya Z. for teaching the fourth graders about Ramadan.